We’ve arrived at yet another Alabama-LSU throwdown that comes with major implications. The top-ranked Crimson Tide are undefeated on the season but skeptics question their strength of schedule up to this point. No. 5 LSU has a loss on its docket to Florida, but gets to host the game and had last week off to prepare.
Les Miles joined WWL in New Orleans with Deke Bellavia to discuss how having last week off affected preparations for Alabama, how the team used that week off, the need for better production deep down the field in the passing game, what impresses him most about the Crimson Tide and what it will take to win Saturday.
What did having last week off allow you guys to do in preparing for No. 1 Alabama?:
“First of all, I think we get fresher legs, get rehabilitated, have time to get some rest. After eight weeks of a season, there’s some nicks and bruises and bumps that you liked to get healed up again. I think that’s kind of what happened. We have fresher legs and are more ready and more inclined to have more contact.”
How much of the time was spent looking back at what this team has done and how much was preparing for the Crimson Tide?:
“We look at our self-scout and do a very thorough job and kind of look at all the calls we’ve made the last weeks, those things technically that give us a tendency. Some of those tendencies are what you’re going to do, but some of those tendencies, that’s not what you’re going to do and you can make some adjustments. Frankly, when you do that, we recognize what the defense or what the offense sees when we make a call and that’s an advantage to us.”
But did you do a lot game-planning ahead for Alabama?:
“We worked on it a little bit last week. It’s always more appropriate when you get to game week, and the snaps that you have game week are the ones that prepare you best. They’re the most recent recall and the information is much more important at that point. We do a lot of the work, but frankly we don’t present it all until we get to game week.”
On the play of quarterback Zach Mettenberger:
“The ability for him to execute that passing game down the field is something that we really need to have happen. Those guys sit back and play coverage, frankly the opportunities for the deeper throws and bigger gains aren’t there. When they play our running game so tightly, we have to take advantage of some of those throws. … There’s certainly two or three of those throws that we’d like to have hit and that’s two more touchdowns and that just makes the day much better.”
What impresses you about Alabama?:
“Well-coached, always in the right position, very capable on offense, defense and special teams. Again, this is a very, very talented, well-prepared team, and we’re going to be challenged.”
On what it’ll take to win the game:
“We like to bring it this way — we can only control what we’re going to do. We have to focus on that, and make sure that our technique’s best, make sure that our play-calling’s best and make sure our strategy’s best. … We owe us in this game. We need to play the best for the guys that are wearing the purple and gold. … I think our preparation is going to be quality; our effort’s going to be sincere.”