In preparation for Saturday’s showdown against No. 1-ranked Alabama, LSU coach Les Miles said technique is the key for the No. 5 Tigers to pull out the victory.
“We talk about this being a technical game,” Miles said during Wednesday’s SEC coaches’ teleconference. “We’re working on our technique and the things that make each player better.
“There’s no edge to this game. You have to earn everything you get.”
While many of his players have talked about looking back to LSU’s 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game as motivation, Miles said he’s looking forward.
“I recognize that’s a history some guys on our team carry with them,” Miles said. “But that’s a last-year issue. We have a lot of new guys playing on both sides of the ball. This will be a different LSU team and we look forward to playing well.”
Miles said “all hands” were at practice Tuesday, indicating that guard Josh Williford was among them. Williford has not played since suffering a concussion Oct. 6 at Florida, but Miles said Monday he expect him to be available against Alabama.
Miles also had praise for freshman running back Jeremy Hill, who he said has picked up the college game faster than most freshmen. Hill has led LSU in rushing the last two games with 124 and 127 yards, respectively.
“You really wonder how quickly he will emerge,” Miles said. “Jeremy picked up the offense quickly and has a high football IQ.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban, who spoke later in the teleconference, also had high marks for LSU’s stable of backs: Hill, Michael Ford, Spencer Ware and Kenny Hilliard. He said the Tigers probably possess the most physical ground game Alabama will have played this year.
“They’ve played four guys very successfully and in their own ways they’re all very good players,” said Saban, who turned 61 Wednesday. “Physical, tough, fast. I think the quality of all those guys makes it really difficult.”
Well versed as he is in Tiger Stadium’s famous atmosphere as LSU’s former coach, Saban was asked about what he thought it would be like for Saturday’s game.
While Saban said it will be a difficult place to play, he stressed that it is LSU’s players that will make Tiger Stadium a test moreso than Tiger fans.
“We’ve played in Tiger Stadium before and we know it’s a difficult place to play like most places,” said Saban, Miles’ predecessor from 2000-04. “They’ve got enough good players out there that it will take our best effort to play well against them.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Saturday on CBS, the second straight year the LSU-Alabama game has been shown in prime time.