In his weekly Southeastern Conference media teleconference, Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, “Both teams are probably a little bit more geared up to score points and have scored points this year more consistently than maybe” in 2011.
Alabama, 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Southeastern Conference games, hosts LSU, 7-2/3-2, at 7 p.m. CST Saturday. CBS will televise the game between No.1 Bama and No. 2 LSU.
Saban pointed out that every team is different, and particularly noted that LSU is a different offensive team with Zach Mettenberger at quarterback and Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator for the Tigers. And Saban has pointed out for the last week plus that LSU has great offensive balance. He even said that the Tigers are “a little different” on defense. “They’re very fast and athletic like they always are,” he added.
And, he said, Alabama is “a little bit different” on both offense and defense.
Saban said, “This is obviously the biggest challenge for our team. LSU's got a really good team and very explosive offensively. Really extremely athletic on defense.
“Very well coached. Les Miles has done a fantastic job with that program. Every year we've played for the last five or six years. This is a really exciting game for every competitive player and every competitor to be a part of. It's going to be a very challenging game for us and our players are working hard to try to get well-prepared so that they can play their best football of the year.”
This will not be a game of hurry up, no huddle or spread option. The teams are pro-style, usually with two running backs. As Saban said, “more the kind of football that we grew up with.
“I like this kind of football.”
He also said that it is an effective way to play football and that LSU does a good job of executing.
A staple of coach-speak, parroted by players, is that “We approach every game the same way,” or “It’s just another game,” or somesuch.
Saban said, “In preparation for a game like this, you really want your players to focus on the things that they need to do to play their very best football, which you'd like for them to do in every game.
“Based on the history of this game, the quality of the team that LSU has, the guys that have been in the program and played against them before and know the very physical, difficult, competitive battles that we've been in in every game, it's hard for them, hard for me, hard for probably LSU's players, it's probably hard for everybody to think that this is just another game.
“The game has great significance. You'd really like for your players to focus on the things that they need to do to play well and not worry about that part of it in terms of the importance of the game. But the importance of how important it is to play well in a game like this. That's what we'd like for our players to be focused on.”
And in case you’re wondering, Saban did not get a question about the rehashed report from Texas that he might be interested in becoming coach of the Longhorns, based on one Texas booster’s e-mail to another Texas booster alleging something that Saban’s agent said last January. The agent, Jimmy Sexton, has not commented on the issue.
Beat writers meet with Saban again following Wednesday’s practice. Someone may bring it up. (It will not be you-know-who.)