Mosley Has Focus For LSU Saturday
Alabama and LSU will play for the third time in a calendar year Saturday night in Baton Rouge in a game that was hyped to the Nth degree in pre-season. That was based on two games in the 2011 season, both battles of No. 1 vs. No. 2. LSU won the regular season game in Tuscaloosa last year, 9-6 in overtime. The Crimson Tide won the rematch in New Orleans, and thereby won the national championship by handing the Tigers their only loss of the season.
This year, Alabama is 8-0, including 5-0 in Southeastern Conference games. LSU has stumbled once, at Florida, and is 7-1 overall and 3-1 in conference games. Bama is ranked number one in all national polls, the Bengal Tigers fifth. They will kick off at 7 p.m. CDT Saturday in Tiger Stadium.
In the Tide's national championship game victory, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley made one of the memorable plays, an interception of an errant shovel pass by Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson. To his credit, Jefferson followed up on the play by tackling Mosley. it wasn't a vicious hit, but Mosley suffered a dislocated hip. He had to be carted from the field and missed the rest of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter of the title game. He did make it back for the post-game celebration on the field.
And then he started rehabilitation.
"It took about a month," he said.
It was suggested that a month doesn't seem like a very long rehabilitation period for a dislocated hip.
Of course, that suggestion didn't come from a man who had gone through it. Still, Mosley agreed that, "Yeah, overall it wasn't. But day-by-day it kind of seemed like it. At that time, I didn't know what was going on. So, yeah, I was like, ‘What's going to happen?' But once I found out what was wrong and found out how long rehab was going to be, I got my mind right and just got into rehab. I was lucky enough and blessed enough to get back on the field and do what I'm doing now."
What he is doing now is leading the nation's number one defense. Alabama leads the nation in every meaningful defensive statistic, and Mosley, a 6-2, 232-pound junior weakside linebacker from Theodore, is running away with the Bama tackle title. Through eight games Mosley has made 39 primary stops and assistend on 26 others for 65 total. The second man statistically, safety Vinnie Sunseri, has 25 primary and 11 assists for 36 total.
Mosley has been in on four tackles for losses of 29 yards and has been in on three sacks for 23 yards in losses. He also has two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown against Michigan; caused a fumble and recovered a fumble; broken up a pass; and contributed two quarterback pressures.
He said, "I just try to play fast, just try to make the plays I can make. I can't make a play every time, but when I can, I do my best to make it."
Looking back at last January, Mosley said, "It was a great win overall. The team did a great job. I was just mad I didn't get to finish the game. Things happen. You can't prevent that, it was just a freak accident. But overall, we won the game and I was happy for the team and I was happy for the way I played. I'm going to try to do my best to keep the plays going when we get down there and try to do my best to help the team win."
Mosley expects a charged atmosphere in Tiger Stadium Saturday night. He said, "The main thing is just the atmosphere of the crowd. Some teams might go down there and just not have the right mindset or (be) ready to play and might let the crowd get to them or let the adversity get to them.
"But being where we are, we have to make sure we stay focused and block out all the clutter and just be ready for a physical game come Saturday.
"They're just great fans. They love their team and they're going to do everything they can to support them – just like here at Alabama. Our fans are going to be the same way, they're going to support us. So we're going to bring them down there with us to Baton Rouge and try to get the job done."
Mosley described LSU as "still a powerhouse team. They're going to run the football consistently. If you don't stop them, they're going to keep running it down your throat. They still got great wide receivers and they got a great quarterback. When they make their connections, they get the job done. So you've got to be ready for whatever they give us."
Alabama Coach Nick Saban has emphasized the importance of the team being focused, avoiding hype. Mosley understands that. "We don't even worry about those kinds of things," he said. "We play our type of football. We play Alabama football. As long as we do that, we're going to get the job done.
"With two SEC teams like us and LSU, we both are going to run the ball. It's whoever bends and folds first. We've got to make sure we're on our stuff and be ready for our power football and they've got to be ready for ours.
"Just make sure you're staying focused, blocking out all the clutter and not worrying about the atmosphere and the crowd, because that's not what's going to be on the field with us. It's going to be 11 of their players and 11 of ours."
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