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

Alabama faces big test against LSU


With one loss already, Alabama knows it needs to win out. Every game is a big game now, but this week’s game against No. 4 LSU still stands out to the players.

Quarterback Jake Coker said watching this game was a tradition of sorts growing up. Whether he was in high school in Mobile, Alabama or playing football at Florida State it was hard to miss such a big game.

“I guess when I was real young I remember the play where Julio catches it and runs like 70 yards for a touchdown, and I remember the ‘Game of the Century’,” Coker said. “I don’t know who didn’t see that game, and last year with Blake and that final drive, that was pretty awesome.”

Coker won’t forget watching his team secure an overtime victory in Tiger Stadium, but this game is shaping up to be just as memorable. Both teams are in the thick of the playoff conversation, and both teams are ranked in the top ten for the seventh time since 2005.

Center Ryan Kelly said Saturday’s game will be a game of “grown man” football.

“You can’t be hesitant up front when you play LSU,” Kelly said. “Just in general, they have a lot of team speed. LSU always does.”

When LSU visits town on Saturday, Alabama players will see a few familiar faces wearing purple and gold. One of those faces will include Alabama’s recent linebacker coach Kevin Steele who left Alabama to become LSU’s defensive coordinator.

“I know he (Steele) knows a lot about what we do, but we know a lot about what he does, too,” Kelly said. “Both teams are going to change a little bit what they do, but at the end of the day it doesn’t come down to what he does. It comes down to our offense and how we communicate.”

Kelly said the Tiger defense seems to be playing a bit harder and faster under Steele’s leadership. He said he expects plenty of blitzes will challenge Alabama’s offensive line this weekend, but practicing against Alabama’s defense on an almost daily basis has helped them improve.

To counter the pass rush Coker might find himself forced to get rid of the ball quickly. Fortunately for him, receivers like ArDarius Stewart have stepped up to compliment freshman Calvin Ridley.

“We’ve just gotten more comfortable with each other and everything’s getting a lot smoother,” Coker said. “Heck, I’ve just gotten them the ball and they made plays. It was really all on them, because they did a heck of a job.”

This weekend LSU will test Alabama. If the Crimson Tide pass the test a playoff berth could be a few weeks away, but the team is not afraid of failing this week.

“[I’m] Just really excited about it,” Coker said. “It’s a real big game and we’re just trying to get prepared and we’re going to have fun.”

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