Alabama is preparing for LSU, a battle of nationally-ranked teams playing for the best record in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. Bama is 8-2 overall and 5-1 in SEC games and ranked 10th in the nation, while LSU is 7-2 overall and 4-1 in SEC games and ranked 12th in the nation. Kickoff in Baton Rouge will be at 8 p.m. CST with national television coverage by ESPN.
It appears it will be very cool Saturday night. The high in Baton Rouge Saturday is expected to be only in the mid-50s and the temperature could get down towards the 30s late in the game.
Franchione said the late kickoff won't affect preparation. "We do everything the same," he said. "Our schedule never changes on how we handle the players on Friday and Saturday regardless of the kickoff time." Obviously, things are done at different times, but the schedule from kickoff back remains the same insofar as meetings, meals, etc. The coach added, "This has been a mature team in handling things on road games."
The Tide head coach said, "We've had a good week of preparation. The focus has been good and we;'ve been sharp in practice. We've had good attention to detail and we're looking forward to the trip."
Bama worked for less than two hours in its Thursday practice, a day in which the game plan is "cleaned up."
One player will not make the trip. Back-up cornerback David Scott's wife had a baby this week and he will remain with his family. Franchione noted that the birth had been expected this week and preparations had been made as if Scott would not be available.
Although Franchione pointed out that Alabama must be prepared to defend everything LSU does offensively, he did note that the Tigers' quarterback, Marcus Randall, is very athletic and that Bama will have to be ready for him to run with the football.
Last week LSU used a miracle play, a 75-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game, to defeat Kentucky. Franchione was asked if he had a miracle defense. "I hope we need one," he said.
An interesting practice technique this week has had offensive linemen Atlas Herrion and Von Ewing playing on the scout team defensive line. Franchione said, "LSU has the biggest defensive line we'll play against this year, so we just put some big guys over there to practice against."