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 prepares for game of the year

Tide prepares for game of the year
Jerrod Seaton

You can’t escape it. Everywhere on campus people are talking about the big game in Tuscaloosa this weekend.

LSU. Alabama. Number one. Number two. College Gameday. Primetime on CBS.

Many are billing Saturday’s showdown as the “game of the year,” and players are hearing the hype.

“It’s real exciting,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said. “We’ve been hearing about it ever since the Tennessee game. As soon as I got home I saw the commercial about it.”

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones agrees that the hysteria around this week’s game is at a new high.

“Everyone I saw pretty much was like, ‘you got a pretty big game this week,’” Jones said. “I was like that’s an under-estimation. So it was hard to escape.”

While there’s a lot of energy and excitement around the game, coach Nick Saban is trying to keep his players grounded.

“It’s important to be able to stay focused on what you need to do to play well,” Saban said. “You can’t drain yourself emotionally because of all the things happening surrounding the game. You have to be ready to play the game when the game comes.”

Alabama has revenge on its mind

Last year Alabama went into Baton Rouge, where the Tigers handed the Tide its second loss of the season. Apart from the national implications that the game has, Alabama will also be out for revenge.

“Every time we play against a team we lost to, we definitely want to beat them the next year,” Hightower said. “We’re definitely looking forward to playing those guys and [getting] revenge.”

The secondary was especially abused in the loss, giving up multiple big plays through the air. Junior safety Robert Lester thinks the team can use it as a learning experience.

“We use the game from last year to look and see what all we messed up. If we fixed those things it would be a totally different game,” Lester said. “So watching that game and going into this game, it could determine the outcome big time.”

LSU brings in a bag of tricks

One thing the Tigers are known for under head coach Les Miles are the trick plays that they like to run. Alabama saw that first hand last year, when the team ran a reverse on a fourth and long to ice the game.

“We have an eye on them for trickery on offense. You can’t put anything past Les Miles,” Hightower said. “Who runs an end around on a fourth down play? You don’t really see that much.”

Saban turns 60

Nick Saban celebrated his 60th birthday on Monday and the team had a special surprise for him. The players gave him a special jersey with the number 60 on it.

“We had the lights off and he walked in and [we] yelled surprise,” Jones said. “He smiled. He seemed very happy. He was a little taken aback by it. But he quickly said thank you and moved on to his speech for the day.”

“I wasn’t thinking about age,” Saban joked. “I was thinking about ‘I’m a skill player, there’s no way I can sport the 60, man. I got to have a lower than 50 number of some sort.’”

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