Tigers making final preparations for Bama

Despite the absence of three players on the practice field for the third straight day this week, it was business as usual for third-ranked LSU on Wednesday as the Tigers continue to prepare for Saturday's contest against 17th-ranked Alabama.

LSU and Alabama will square off in Tuscaloosa at 4 p.m. Saturday in a sold out Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by CBS. LSU brings a 7-1 overall mark into the contest, while Alabama is 6-2. Both teams are tied for first in the Southeastern Conference Western Division with an identical 4-1 league record.

The Tigers practiced again without backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux, who will not make the trip with the team to Tuscaloosa this weekend, along with linebackers Derrick Odom and Jeremy Benton, who were dismissed from the squad on Wednesday.

"Practice today was just what we needed," LSU coach Les Miles said following the workout. "I like the way we have prepared this week in all three phases of the game. Our team understands that we'll have to play well. We certainly want to represent Louisiana extremely well against Alabama.

"We all understand the significance of the game. It's got to be approached very fundamentally. It just counts as one. We are going to go play our style of football and do the things that put us in a position to win on the road at Alabama."

Miles insisted after practice that the off the field issues have not been a distraction this week.

"We have practiced just like we have," Miles said. "We have (quarterback) Andrew Hatch in there ready to go. This is not a distraction. It is beyond us. We're looking at the game on Saturday. To me, (the distractions) have been minimal."

In what has become a Halloween tradition for Miles-coached teams, the players were treated to bags of candy after practice by the children of the coaches and support staff.

"We had a serious number of ghouls and goblins show up at practice today," Miles said. "The family of our staff, their children, dressed in a costume and delivered candy to our players. It's been done routinely and our coaches, their children and the players really enjoy it."

Saturday's game will also come after the Tigers enjoyed an open date last week. The open date gave the Tigers a chance to get some much-needed rest, while also getting some players back to health, including defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who missed part of the Auburn game with a knee injury.

"There is a little bit more enthusiasm," Miles said following the open week. "The players are fresh and there is a lot of energy on the field. The week off gave us a chance to get some players back to health.

(Glenn) Dorsey, we are optimistic about him. He practiced a little more today."

The Tigers will practice again on Thursday before holding a walk-through on Friday morning. LSU will depart for Birmingham at 2 p.m. on Friday.

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