LSU Football ready for physical Alabama team: "He's like a running back"

LSU Football returned to the practice field and players met with the media to talk about the upcoming matchup against Alabama.

DE Lewis Neal, LSU defense preparing to defend Wildcat (video above)

On Monday, Ed Orgeron said Alabama is one of the best teams he's seen and on Tuesday, some of his players agreed including defensive end Lewis Neal.

"I see them executing well. When they have their mind set on a play, if that's their No. 1 play, they're going to run it until you can't stop it," Neal said. "It's going to boil down to who executes the best."

This isn't the Alabama team most are used to seeing as the Tide have been operating much more out of the shotgun in a spread look.

"Part of the reason why is college football is transforming, but they still do a lot of those formations," Neal said. 

Neal says defending this offense and quarterback Jalen Hurts is all about assignments and execution.

"We have to do the same things. We've got to have a great gameplan and execute it start to finish. He's a great runner so you want him to beat you with his arm. We're just going to focus on keeping him in the pocket."

As far as the offensive line, both Neal and lineman Greg Gilmore praised them including All-American Cam Robinson.

"I see great group and discipline. They execute very well. He (Robinson) has strong hands, but it's nothing we haven't seen," Neal said.

Hurts has impressed Gilmore for a while and while LSU hasn't faced as mobile a quarterback since Jacksonville State, pass rush will be key.

"I've seen some videos of him in high school. He's like a running back playing quarterback. We just got to get better push in the middle," Gilmore said. "We've got Lewis and Arden. If you've got edge rushers and push up the middle, he can't step up." 

Weathersby ready for tough return against Alabama (video below)

LSU offensive tackle Toby Weathersby has been cleared to return to the team and has been practicing with the 1's at times he said on Tuesday. During practice, Weathersby worked behind Maea Teuhema on the right side for most of practice.

Whether Weathersby gets the nod at right tackle will depend a lot on how he finishes out the week of practice. For now, he's preparing to face the No. 1 defense in the country. The time off and worthy opponent he'd return against isn't weighing on him.

"It feels good just in general to be back with my teammates and have that same feeling that they've been having on gameday or even during practice," Weathersby said. "It's a neutral feeling. I feel good with myself and my team."

As far as who Weathersby will be matched up against, Alabama has numerous players he'll see including the likes of Tim Williams and Jonathan Allen. Across the board, LSU has to be prepared.

"They switch around so it's no definite person I'll be matched up against. Practice is going get me where I need to be," Weathersby said. "It was a solid defense last year and it's a solid defense this year. You can't go around it. That's going to be them for years on out."

The rest of the offensive line is healthy according to Weathersby and, "where they need to be."

Valentine/Boutte scuffle in practice

During 1-on-1 drills with LSU offensive linemen pitted against defensive linemen, Travonte Valentine and Josh Boutte went up against each other with Boutte getting the best of Valentine...until Valentine pushed Boutte back after the whistle. Valentine ended up on top of Boutte.

A scrum on the ground ensued with some jabs being thrown back and forth as teammates tried to break it up. The scuffle lasted around 30 seconds and afterwards, Valentine continued to yell and tried to get back to Boutte.

That caused Ed Orgeron to blow the whistle, stop the drill and restrain Valentine back behind the drill where he had some words for him. Valentine continued to stew over it with a teammate keeping a watchful eye on Valentine to make sure he didn't return to Boutte.

The scrum even caught the attention of Leonard Fournette, who yelled over from a neighboring drill that Valentine had gotten beaten. 

The big nose tackle has seen his playing time disappear as Ed Orgeron has not liked his practice habits. With Valentine's unwillingness to let it go, this was just another blow to his chances of seeing the field as he continues to run with the third team. Teammates can't like this type of behavior from anyone either.

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