Oct. 31, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The second-ranked football team returned to the field on Monday with a two-hour practice in shells at the Thompson-Drew Practice Fields as it began preparations for Saturday's game against No. 1 LSU. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT in Bryant-Denny Stadium with game airing on CBS.
"I think that everybody out there probably thinks that there is some special formula or some special magic that, when you play in games like this, that you go do different things to get ready for the game," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban, "The most important thing is that you prepare for the game and that your players are focused on playing their best football, knowing that they are going to play against good football players and a good football team."
The Crimson Tide and Tigers enter the game with identical 8-0 overall records and 5-0 marks in the Southeastern Conference. The meeting between Alabama and LSU will be the 75th in the series that dates back to the 1895 season. The Alabama-LSU game will be the first SEC game between No. 1 and No. 2 outside of the SEC Championship Game. Additionally, it will be just the ninth game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium between teams ranked in the top 10.
"LSU is a great team," said senior defensive lineman Josh Chapman. "They always have been. They always play hard and try to run the ball. They are going to try and run the ball until you stop it. We live for games like this. Being in the SEC, it's a great matchup. We are ready for it."
Earlier in the day, Alabama had five players named to semifinalist award lists. A trio of Tide players highlighted the 16 contenders on the 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award list, which honors the nation's outstanding defensive player of the year, including senior defensive back Mark Barron, senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw and junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Additionally, junior running back Trent Richardson was selected as one if 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the collegiate player of the year, while junior Jeremy Shelley made the list of 20 for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award.
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