Most LSU players have pushed the memories of last year's meetings with Alabama out of their minds.
The embarrassment of the BCS Championship Game apparently has canceled out any positive recognition of the Tigers' narrow triumph in the first "Game of the Century." And to an extent kicker Drew Alleman, who accounted for all the LSU points in that 9-6 victory, is no exception.
But stepping aside for a moment from the clichéd responses about only focusing on the next opponent, Alleman can't help but briefly describe where that game ranks in his LSU legacy.
"That's where my biggest game was," Alleman said. "Before that, they were like, ‘Who's this guy?' But I don't look back anymore. You have to move on and play for the future. You have to get better every day."
Facing a stout Alabama defense that's allowing just 203.1 yards per game, many have expected Alleman will again play a big part of LSU's scoring production. But this year's Tide have allowed only six field goal attempts on the season, with opponents connecting on half.
And though Alleman outperformed his counterparts in Cade Foster and Jeremy Shelley, who combined to make two out of six field goals last November, this season has proved different. Shelley has made all nine of his attempts in 2012.
"Every game you have to be ready. You never know what's going to happen," Alleman said. "It's the SEC. Any team can come play at any given moment. So we're always ready. The night before, we're always playing the game through our head, getting ourselves ready for that moment."
After Alleman won over the hearts of many LSU fans with his performance against the Tide last season, he has struggled to repeat that effort in 2012. Alleman has missed five field goals this season, including three from inside 35 yards.
He said he's struggled with his plant foot all season, and that has continued to be a point of emphasis in his workouts during preparation for Alabama.
"I've been working on that plant foot, that's the main thing," Alleman said. "It's just staying focused on that and not speeding to the ball, not jumping at it. Just being relaxed. If I do that, I'll be fine."
He admits he's more comfortable now than he's been all season, and with many fans focusing on how the offense will perform, Alleman has taken it upon himself to assure others that the special teams won't be cause for concern.
"It's going to be a big game," Alleman said. "These two teams, we battle tough. We have to be ready. No matter what position we're put in, we have to go out there and play well."
Getting his kicks in
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