Cody Vs. Luigs: Game Within Game

On a day when Olympic bronze medal winner Deontay Wilder, a heavyweight boxer from Tuscaloosa, visited Alabama football practice, a Crimson Tide football player who is much larger than the 210-pound Wilder was preparing for his own heavyweight match.

Alabama goes to Arkansas Saturday in a key Southeastern Conference game. One of the key matches in that game will pit Arkansas center Jonathan Luigs against Crimson Tide nose tackle Terrence Cody.

Luigs, won the Rimington Award, which goes to the nation's best center, last year as a junior. He's a 6-4, 314-pound senior who has started every game over the past two-plus seasons.

Cody, 6-5, 360, is a junior college transfer who is a primary reason Alabama leads the nation in rushing defense.

"He's good, I'm good," Cody said. "It should be quite a match-up. I'm looking forward to the meeting."

Cody has seen nothing but double teams and triple teams as Alabama has gone out to a 3-0 record and climbed to ninth in the nation. It was suggested that with Luigs, Arkansas may elect to take on Cody one-on-one.

"If they do," Cody said, "it might be a mistake."

Cody expects Arkansas to be a tough opponent. "They have a real good offensive line," he said. "They have a good offense.

"They could be hard to beat."

Cody said that Luigs is a good center because "He is real quick off he ball. I'm working on my feet this week."

He said Arkansas is "real physical," and that the atmosphere in Razorback Stadium is going to be "tough, loud and fun."

Kickoff Saturday is at 11:30 a.m. CDT with regional television coverage by Raycom.

Cody said he takes pride in Alabama leading the nation in rushing defense. Tide opponents have gained 128 yards in three games, an average of 42.7 yards per game.

Cody said that he has been helped by working against Alabama center Antoine Caldwell in practice. "He's the best center I've gone against," Cody said. "He's made me smarter and quicker."

Cody said Alabama practice this week is "on the basics." He said practices and intensity have been good this week.

He said Alabama's coaches have told the players that if they will play to their potential, "no one can beat us."

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