"We really were pleased with the practice and improvement that we were able to make last week with some players relative to the bye week. I also think that some guys that have been playing a little bit nicked up were able to rest a little bit and try to get healthy. We don't really have a lot of injury issues right now as we move into the very difficult November schedule, starting out with LSU. This is not the kind of game that anybody could not get excited about playing in. Obviously this rivalry in the last few years has always meant a lot. Whether it's national rankings or SEC West standings, it's a very meaningful game. Two really good programs, really good teams.
LSU is one of the best programs in the country in terms of the quality of players that they have, the great job that their coaches do in developing those players and also how they play and how they compete in every game that they play in. This team could very easily be 9-0, losing two games on the road, [each game decided] by three points to very good teams in very tough environments.
Zach Mettenberger has played extremely well for them at quarterback. Jeremy Hill is the leading rusher in our conference and one of the best in the country. Their ability to run the ball and have balance on offense with two outstanding receivers who are both ranked as top guys in our league. Very good on third down – best in the country 58 percent conversion rate. So even when you do get them stopped it's been hard for people to get them off the field on third down. This is by far to me the most explosive and most talented offensive team that we have faced all year long.
Defensively, they always play great on defense. They play hard, they play with toughness. They always have good players, they always have great team speed on defense and they again are ranked very highly in our conference in terms of their defense. It will certainly be a challenge for us to try to control the line of scrimmage against a team like this and be able to make explosive plays down the field in the passing game.
They are very good on special teams, take some of those skill guys that they have. [Odell] Beckham Jr. is a good returner – a good punt and kickoff returner. They always got really good skill guys, because they have great team speed. They always do a great job on special teams.
Les Miles has done a fabulous job in my opinion consistently having a really good football team for a long time at LSU and this team is no different."
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Athletics Dept.