TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The University of Alabama football team practiced through the rain on Tuesday in helmets and shoulder pads as they began preparation for the final road game of the regular season. They will head to Baton Rouge, La. for a Saturday night contest on ESPN against No. 12 LSU.
The Crimson Tide will try to continue the success they have had in Baton Rouge over the years. In the last 18 games played at Tiger Stadium, Alabama owns a 15-2-1 record. Since 1970 the home team in the series has lost 25 of the 36 meetings. The Crimson Tide will look to end a three-game skid against LSU, which includes a 26-10 loss in Baton Rouge in 2004. Alabama's last win at Tiger Stadium was a 31-0 route in 2001.
"We've got an incredible opportunity this week," said Alabama head coach Mike Shula. "We've played 10 games so far. We've lost three tough games on the road against some real good football teams and we lost one at home where we didn't play like we're capable of playing. There's nothing you can do about that other than bounce back this week."
In Alabama's three road games this year they have suffered three close losses. The opponents in those three games are currently ranked in the top-15 of both the Associated Press and USA Today polls and have a combined record of 23-4. Arkansas and Florida are both 8-1. The Gators are fourth in the BCS standings and the Razorbacks are listed 11th. LSU will be the third ranked opponent for Alabama. The Tigers are listed 12th in every poll this week.
"The biggest part of the challenge this week for us, and I think that'll start today, is making sure everyone is in the right mindset as far as getting their focus on LSU and what we've got to get done in this week's preparation," said Shula. "Our team has given unbelievable effort during the course of each and every week of practice. It's unfortunate that it hasn't paid off like we think it could have. Again, all that can change this week with the way we prepare and go out."
This weekend's game will mark the seventh televised game this season for the Crimson Tide. It will be the first appearance on ESPN for Alabama since the last time they visited Tiger Stadium in 2004. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 6:45 p.m. (CT) in front of a capacity crowd of 92,400.