Saban, Tigers prepare for Ole Miss

LSU head football coach Nick Saban addressed members of the media at his weekly luncheon held Monday afternoon in the fifth floor conference room of the LSU Athletic Administration Building.

Opening statement...
"I felt like our team made a step in what we talked about a lot in trying to create an identity for itself in terms of how we competed and how we played against a good, physical team in Alabama. We really competed well in the game, played with a lot of toughness and tenacity. I think those are important ingredients in trying to develop competitive character in a team. But the key to the drill is to be able to do this on a consistent basis, which has been something that I think we need to try to continue to build on."

"I think the other thing is that there's definitely lots of areas in terms of execution of what we do that we can improve on. We made some mental errors on defense in the first half, which really cost us some big plays. Over 100 yards of offense was due to mental errors. Not that they wouldn't have made them if we'd have done it correctly, but what you'd like to do is say we put everybody in the right place and let's see if their guys can make the plays against our guys if they're all in the right place. So, some of that is discipline, eye control, keying the right things, seeing the right things and making the right mental adjustments in the game to put yourself in the proper position to make the play."

"The same thing offensively -- I think we've got to develop more faith, trust, confidence and belief in what we're supposed to do and how we're supposed to do it so that we go out and do it the way it's supposed to get done. That's the only way we're going to improve in the passing game, and that's the only way we're going to improve quarterback wise. Even though we ran the ball effectively in the game, we didn't start out that way. We struggled a little bit early, but I was really pleased with the way the offensive line adapted and adjusted in the game. We got them blocked pretty well for the most part, and our ability to run the ball was pretty effective as the game went on."

On LSU's players of the week vs. Alabama...
"We had some impressive performances. (Running back)
Joseph Addai, who's been a really consistent player for us, again played extremely well. (Offensive tackle) Andrew Whitworth also played very well in the offensive line. (Defensive tackle) Claude Wroten and (Defensive end) Marcus Spears were pretty dominating up front. They're the defensive players. Marcus is also the SEC player, Defensive Lineman of the Week. Ronnie Prude and Chris Jackson, who did a very good job of punting and kicking off in the game. We did some placement kicks. He wasn't the guy that did the onside kick, which was not so good. His punting was very effective in the game. They had a very good return game -- they led the nation in kick off returns. He kept cross-field kicking and placing the ball, and he did a nice job of that. Their return game was very minimal. It really helped field position in the game, which I think was extremely important when you play a team like Alabama who's an effective running team. Field position really is important to make them go the long way for their scores."

"I also thought it was critical that the defense made some plays in the red area. Even though everybody thinks that one play was not such a good play, but it worked out good. Those things seemed to balance out over time. We've made a couple of stops in the red area that were critical in this game because they were also the No. 1 team in red-area offense in our conference."

On LSU's injury situation coming out of the Alabama game...
"We've got a couple of guys, nothing new.
Jessie Daniels, we'll probably protect a little bit today -- no new injury but just to get his wrist to settle down just a little bit. There was no new injury to it. There's nothing wrong with it. Luke Sanders is probably going to be out a couple of weeks with a shoulder that he got in practice. But other than that we're pretty healthy."

On seniors playing final game in Tiger Stadium...
"Going into this game I know this is going to be an emotional time for our seniors, who are going to be playing their last game in Tiger Stadium. I think that it's a tribute to our fans and supporters that we have that playing in our stadium, Tiger Stadium, is a special experience for our players. I know I speak for our players when I say how much they appreciate that and how difficult it is for them, probably, to know that this will be their last game to play in Tiger Stadium."

"The fans were great in the last game, especially in the second half. I think it had an impact and affect on the game. We certainly appreciate that, and I know our seniors appreciate it and our entire team appreciates. For this small group of seniors that we have, they've had a lot of success while they've played here at LSU, and there's nothing that we'd like to do better for them to have success as they play their last game here."

On Ole Miss...
"When it comes to Ole Miss, I think Ole Miss has certainly shown some ability to play some outstanding football this year. Beating South Carolina at South Carolina was a great win for them, and playing Tennessee right to the wire like they did in a really tough game. Watching that game reminds me of our game up there last year with them. They have a lot of players returning from last year's team."

"Offensively, because they've played two or three quarterbacks, one guy passes it fairly well and the other two guys are kind of athletic runners and throwers. They've not consistently shown the ability to score lots of points, somewhat due to maybe that. They've got four out of five offensive linemen back. They've got basically the same receivers they had last year. They've got one or two good runners back. So, they've got a lot of good football players back to have an effective offensive team, and I think it's going to be important for us to play very well. Defensively, they've got three out of four guys back up front, enough guys to be good."

"They played extremely well against Tennessee, and they've given us problems in the past. You can say what you want, think what you want, but we've won two games against these guys in the last two years by a total of four points. This is a rivalry game, and emotion has a lot to do with it. So, anybody who's not ready for a fight and a tough game in this game is probably not thinking right. I'm going to say that to you and everybody else that's watching. This team has enough good football players to beat anybody that they play, and they've certainly played extremely well against us in every game that we've played against them since I've been here."

"They have a good kicking game. They have a great kicker. They always play well on special teams. So, this is a very capable team. They've shown that and proven that in some games this year. It's going to be important for us to bring our "A" game and play the way we need to play to have the kind of success that it'll take to beat this team."

Tiger Blitz Top Stories