Nov. 5, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked University of Alabama football team worked out for two hours in full pads Wednesday afternoon as preparations continue for Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown with No. 15 LSU in Baton Rouge.
"I think the message to everyone is the focus needs to be on the game," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "The focus needs to be on what we need to do to play well on Saturday. The field is going to be 53-yards deep and 100-yards long like it always is wherever you play. They (LSU) certainly have a lot of good players and it is going to be challenging to us to play the kind of football to have success. The focus is every guy needs to prepare himself to play his best football."
Alabama and LSU will meet Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium in a pivotal Western Division clash. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) calling the action.
ESPN's College GameDay, the popular two-hour college football preview show, will also be on hand in Baton Rouge this weekend. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard will report from Baton Rouge from 9-11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN.
Alabama junior nose guard Terrence Cody was named a semifinalist for the 14th Chuck Bednarik Award on Wednesday. The Chuck Bednarik Award is given to the national defensive player of the year. The list of candidates was selected by the Maxwell Football Club Advisory Committee. Cody has 15 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss to anchor the middle of the Tide's defensive line that has allowed just 65.6 rushing yards per game.
The Bednarik Award will be announced during the Home Depot/ESPNU College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11, 2008, in Orlando, Fla.
Coach Saban participated in the SEC Head Football Coaches Teleconference Wednesday morning and here are some of those comments:
On development of Glen Coffee:
"Glen played well for us last year and ended up missing a few games toward the end of the season, which I think made people maybe not remember him as much. I think he has gotten a little bigger, a little bit stronger and he is a little more confident, in terms of the offense and system, just being in it for a longer amount of time. I think our offensive line has done a really good job for him. Glen has always been a good all-around player. He is a good receiver. He is a good blocker. He is a good runner with the ball. He's just had a really good year for us."
On Terrence Cody's status:
"He has worked in practice and he has done a good job. He does not seem to have any increased soreness from the work he has done. We are working on his conditioning, trying to get him back in the swing of things, get him in shape and get his confidence back. He has done everything we have asked him to do in practice and has not had an issue."
On turning this program around and doing it so quickly:
"We really don't have a time table. We didn't have time table, and we've never had a time table. You take what you have and where you are and try to build on it. You try to make every person in the organization have an opportunity to more successful as a person, as a student and as a player. You just take what you have and keep building on it. I think a lot of the players have made a tremendous amount of improvement, bought in (to the system), do things a certain way, work hard and make a commitment to a standard of excellence. We've been able to recruit some other players to compliment them that have contributed in a positive way as well. There's not really a time table, it's just where you are and get better. Our focus right now is we have a tough game coming up and we're looking forward and not backward.
"We had some good players. They've certainly made a lot of improvement and gotten bigger and stronger and worked really hard. I think we have better team chemistry, more togetherness, more guys committed to playing winning football on a consistent basis. Again, it is what it is. We had what we had. We worked with it. We build on it. We recruited around it and we've been able to make some improvements."