Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide tries not to let hype affect preparation

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide is prepared and excited to face the LSU Tigers Saturday night in Death Valley. Despite the atmosphere surrounding the game, the team is not looking at their opponents much differently than they have other teams this season.

“It’s a really, really exciting game, but we’ve got to play within ourselves,” safety Vinnie Sunseri said. “I guess that’s what [head coach Nick Saban] is trying to stress this week is to play within ourselves and play our game. Don’t get out of the game plan that we go into a game with, and don’t try to do too much. Just do what we’ve done all season.”

The Tide team is prepared for a physical match up against the Tigers. Center Barrett Jones said he believes this game will be the most physical game the Tide will play all year. The senior said the team has been motivated during practice this week, but not much has changed in preparation for the Tigers.

“We haven’t really needed any dramatic speeches or anything,” Jones said. “It’s not been really that different I guess. There might be a little tempo difference, but you know how coach is. We don’t really do anything special necessarily.”

Defense preparing for a strong offense

The Tide defense is working hard to be ready for the dual-threat Tiger offense, which is capable of making plays both running and passing the football.

“They do a good job of getting guys open and creating separation from the DBs, and we gotta do a good job of getting on their wide receivers and force [quarterback Zach Mettenberger] to throw the ball into tight situations,” Sunseri said.

The Tiger offense has slacked this season in pass protection, which could aid the Tide defense in rushing the quarterback. Sunseri said the Tide defense has been able to push through the line in previous games, forcing the quarterback to slide in the pocket. The Tiger’s inefficiency in this area will give the Tide a little leeway, the sophomore said.

Defensive end Damion Square said the defense is looking for a physical game without anything fancy. The senior said he believes the defenses of both teams will decide the outcome of the game.

“You want to be the best D on the field that night,” Square said. “You want to leave Baton Rouge and say we were the best D on the field that night. And I feel, in this game, whoever the best D is is the team who is going to win.”

AJ McCarron unconcerned with passing streak

Quarterback AJ McCarron did not throw an interception during the Mississippi State University game, keeping his passing streak without a turnover alive, but Jones said McCarron’s streak is not the most important thing on the quarterback’s mind.

“I think more importantly than the interception streak, ’cause he’ll be the first one to tell you there’s been a few balls he’s thrown that could have been picked off this year, but kind of an overall effectiveness in taking care of the ball,” Jones said. “From time to time, you’re going to have one, and one will pop out. If the interception streak ends, we’re not going to call the game and quit. It’s not that big of a deal to us or to him really.”

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