Tigers closing in on season opener

The Tigers continued their preparation for Oregon State on Wednesday afternoon with a workout head coach Nick Saban described as ‘inconsistent.' <br><br> With two days remaining before the Tigers' season-opener, Saban challenged the 2003 National Champions on their focus, and said the youth of the team may be counting against it at this stage of the preseason.

"We've been a little more inconsistent than I would've liked," Saban said, "in terms of one day the offense practices pretty good and the next day the defense practices pretty good and vice versa, rather than just everybody every day going out there and challenging each other and enjoying it.

"I think some of that's because we've got some young guys in some positions where they're feeling their way a little bit, and when they get confused they don't play as well as you'd like them to."

Freshman offensive lineman Herman Johnson, with his injured left leg wrapped in a white stocking, participated in stretching exercises only, while junior wide receiver Skyler Green wore a red non-contact jersey and had his twisted ankle wrapped tightly to prevent excess movement while cutting.

"The only guy that was out today was Herman, and Skyler practiced probably three-quarters of the practice and I would say he's probably 80-percent," said Saban.

Despite Saban's claims that Green has been making "radical progress" over the last few days, the Tigers have been preparing for the possibility that they may be without him on Saturday night, both at receiver and as a kick returner on special teams.

"I feel confident in the other guys that we have in the kicking game," Saban said. "Corey Webster's done a very good job returning punts and kickoffs. Joseph Addai's done a good job with kickoffs. Skyler is such an asset on special teams because he's such a weapon, but he's not 100 percent healthy. We will probably spot-use him in situations across the board, on special teams and as a player."

Saban also took time to acknowledge LSU's opening opponent, and said that both he and the team are well aware that Oregon State, with their NFL West Coast-style offense, will be a tougher opponent than many might believe.

"I think that playing a Pac-10 team the quality of Oregon State at home is kind of a unique experience for us, we haven't had the opportunity to do that in the past," said Saban. "I think it's a good year for us to be able to do it. I think it's got our players attention, I know they have a lot of respect for coach (Mike) Riley and the Oregon State team.

"I know with our fans, anticipation is probably twofold, with the results that we had last year that we'd still like to put behind us and focus on this year as a team, and also because were playing a good opponent."

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