Crimson Tide Continues Work for LSU Game

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Nov. 4, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 3 Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility on Wednesday afternoon, as preparation continues for Saturday’s SEC Western Division game against No. 9 LSU.

“Practice is going well this week and the players are working hard to try and prepare,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Wednesday’s practice. “We want to finish the week strong. Tomorrow is a real mental preparation day for us, lots of reps and I’ve been pleased with the effort and attitude. This is a challenging team to prepare for on both sides of the ball. They have lots of good players, especially skill guys on offense, and they utilize them in a lot of different ways and that’s always challenging. Defensively they are very good up front, very good in the secondary. They’ve really got good players in the secondary and have played extremely well all year, but especially in the last two games.”

Coach Saban also discussed the injury status of senior tight end Colin Peek, junior running back Terry Grant and freshman defensive back Dre Kirkpatick.

“From an injury update standpoint, Dre practiced some today,” Saban said. “Terry Grant didn’t do much today and Colin Peek practiced a little bit yesterday and a little bit today, but those guys would still be, you know, day-to-day.”

The Alabama-LSU game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. (CST) from Bryant-Denny Stadium. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson will call the action. The game can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, with Eli Gold, Phil Savage and Barry Krauss. The game can be heard locally on WFNN-FM (95.3) in Tuscaloosa.

Coach Saban also participated in the SEC Head Coaches weekly teleconference on Wednesday and here are some of those comments:

On what has jumped out at you about LSU’s offense the last two weeks:
“I think they’ve had very good balance in their offense.  They utilize a lot of their skill players.  Russell Shepard has made a big contribution in the last couple of games and I think they have some very good receivers who can make plays down the field.  Jordan Jefferson has played more and more consistently throughout the season for them.  His pass efficiency is very good. They have the ability to run the ball and create balance, so they are just doing a little better job executing with consistency and I think scoring more points because of it.”

On the matchup between Alabama receivers and LSU secondary, particularly Julio Jones and Patrick Peterson:
“LSU’s got a really good secondary, very athletic, guys tackle well.  They play physical.  They all can judge the ball.  They have really nice-sized good physical safeties and they play well. It’s going to be important for our guys to play well against them.  They play a lot of close coverage and our guys are going to have to get away from them and give the quarterback an opportunity to throw the ball, so it’s going to be a key matchup in the game no doubt.  Hopefully our guys will be ready for it and the things that we do will give them a chance to be successful.”

On the importance of open date heading into a game like LSU:
“Regardless of the next game, I really felt like our team was a little bit tired and beat up, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally going into the last game. When you play eight games in a row, and five of them are SEC games, I think that can take its toll on you a little bit.  This was a good week for us to get some rest physically, have the players make some choices and decisions to help themselves to be able to come back and get focused, emotionally, physically and mentally be in a better place than they were. I think that’s happened for us and I’ve been pleased with that part of how our players have managed the bye week, in terms of the improvement that they’ve made and the rest that we’ve been able to get as well.”

On LSU’s Kelvin Sheppard:
“He’s an outstanding player. He definitely makes a lot of plays, tackles for losses.  I would think from watching the tapes, he’s probably their top tackler.  I think he is very athletic and runs well and he is very instinctive, but I think their defense is really playing well this year.  They have a good scheme.  They are well coached.  The players really play well together.  They’ve got a good secondary. They’ve got a good front seven.  They’ve got some people who can pass rush, so the combination of the players they have are very effective.”