With a concerted effort to keep bulletin-board material to a minimum this week, most of the interviews with LSU players have been run-of-the-mill to the point of almost mundane.
For one reason or another, a handful of players normally available to the media has been excluded from the media sessions, apparently in an effort to shield the players from their own potential chatter.
Then Tuesday arrived and senior tight end DeAngelo Peterson showed up.
Always one to be blunt and transparent, Peterson joined quarterback Jarrett Lee as the only players made available Tuesday.
|Peterson: '. If the ball comes my way, I'll make an opportunity with it.'|
Peterson didn’t disappoint, at least not for media material purposes.
It started out innocently enough, with Peterson talking about how he has played well against the Crimson Tide the last two seasons.
He touched on why he’s not down about a surprisingly unproductive 2011 season – revealing that he has played with a hand injury since the third game.
“We’re going to pound the ball,” he said. “That’s us. I’ve been playing with a hand injury. I’m not really worried about catching the ball. I’ve been worried more about run-blocking and showing I can do that well.”
Peterson was asked if he could play a big role against the tenacious Bama defense, and again, the response was honest and started out as nothing out of the ordinary.
It didn’t finish that way.
“I think I can play a big role,” Peterson said. “Because I feel like their linebackers can’t guard me one-on-one and I don’t think their safeties can either. If the ball comes my way, I’ll make an opportunity with it.”
Why does Peterson like the matchup with the Tide linebackers?
“They’re slow,” he said. “They’re big, they're like 260. I don’t think they can run with me. I feel like I can get open against their linebackers.”
Just a hunch, but that might be the last time Peterson gets a chance with the media this season.
Then there was Lee
For as much fuel as Peterson might’ve thrown on the fire, Lee was the opposite.
He praised the Tide defense, saying it’s better than it was a year ago when the Tigers racked up 433 total yards – 225 of that on the ground.
“They disguise very well; they’re not often out of position,” Lee said.
Lee also conceded that he expects to get hit a few times by the Bama pass rush.
“They’re a talented defense and sometimes they’re going to get through and you’re going to get hit,” he said.
Plenty of props
While Lee carried the politically correct speech flag on Tuesday, fifth-year senior T-Bob Hebert did his best to do the same on Monday night.
As one of the handful of Tigers who have been on the field for at least three of the memorable battles between LSU and Alabama, Hebert has gained plenty of experience.
Asked what made the Tide defense so stout, Hebert said “It’s a mixture of their scheme and their talent. They get top-class talent and guys who go to the NFL, and when you combine that with an NFL scheme, you better be ready to bring you’re ‘A’ game.”
Moving the chains
--- LSU is playing its fifth straight game as a No. 1-ranked team, its longest stretch since 1959.
--- The Tigers and Crimson Tide are meeting as undefeated teams in November for the third time. The others were in 1972 and ’73.
--- This will be the seventh time LSU has faced a former head coach and the Tigers are 4-2 in those games, including Miles’ 2-2 record against Saban.
--- Lee has thrown at least one touchdown in all eight games this season, the first Tigers QB to do that since Herby Tyler in 1998. Lee and Jordan Jefferson are the only active SEC quarterbacks with 30 touchdown tosses or more.
--- This season marks the fifth year in a row LSU and Alabama meet when both teams are ranked.