Alabama a hot topic at SEC Media Days

Les Miles and a couple of his LSU players were thrown several questions regarding Alabama, last year's national championship game and this year's matchup on Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge at their media day session Wednesday.

Alabama being Alabama, the topic of the Crimson Tide has come up in several different interview sessions at SEC Media Days this week, and Nick Saban & Co. haven't even made their appearance yet.

But that's what happens when you have a target on your back. Not only does everyone want to beat you, but everyone wants to talk about you, too.

During the LSU time slot on Wednesday, several reporters wanted to rehash the national championship and discuss Alabama's prowess with Les Miles and some of his players.

For example…

Reporter: "Have you watched the national championship game against Alabama?"

Miles: "I've seen it a couple times. There weren't that many plays for us on offense."

Reporter: "What happened to LSU in that game?"

Miles: "What happened was we played our fourteenth game and we didn't play as well as we did in our thirteenth."

Miles was also asked about cornerback Tyrann Mathieu's "verbal squabble" with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron over Twitter this summer.

"Our guys are certainly proud of their team and I think [Mathieu] probably represented that," Miles said. "No game is won on a Twitter page. It's a nice place to pass time, much like media days. It's all about what you can earn in the fall."

LSU returns a squad capable of making another run to the national title game, led by first-year starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

Mettenberger, a junior who transferred to LSU from JUCO before the 2011 season, relished the spotlight, though in a soft spoken, humble way. He was more than happy to answer reporters' questions and said he was just excited that Miles asked him to come.

Of course, Mettenberger, who Miles actually said might have taken a snap in the national championship game had he not injured his hand during a bowl practice, was asked about the second go-around with Alabama and facing them in November.

"Their defense is a NFL defense," he said. "You're going to see a lot of different stuff. You just gotta be prepared for anything they bring at you. If I can go in and prepare that week, I think I'll be ready for Alabama this year."

Keeping the compliments coming, Mettenberger didn't have any negatives to say about the Tide.

"They recruit guys who are freak athletes, but they're also smart people, smart football players," he said. "And when you have a guy who can not only do it physically, but mentally can hold it, you can do a lot of stuff offensively and defensively. If they keep bringing in guys who can keep doing what they're doing, then who knows what they'll be doing in years to come."

With the way things ended last year for the Tigers—going 13-0 then falling to the rivaled Tide in brutal fashion—LSU, needless to say, has a chip on its shoulder heading into the Nov. 3 matchup.

"Alabama is obviously a big game every year," safety Eric Reid said. "I grew up watching that game. We know it's there, but we're not putting all our eggs in that basket. We have to play a lot of games between now and then and just take it one game at a time."

The game is primetime at 7 p.m. on CBS on Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge.

"We enjoy playing night games in Tiger Stadium," Miles said. "I can tell you that our AD and powers that be thought this would be the best time for us. I agree with them. We look forward to playing a quality Alabama team that night in Tiger Stadium."


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