Player confidence fosters team chemistry which breeds healthy communication.
That’s the simple but powerful equation for a successful football team according to Nick Saban. And apparently, the Tide is mastering Saban’s 3 C’s during their crucial bye week before LSU.
The Tide may be proud of their progress this off week, but over in Baton Rouge, Les Miles isn’t shy about his confidence heading into Tuscaloosa.
“We like the match up,” Miles began initially modestly. “We think that we kind of give them some challenges on the perimeter. We have a quarterback whose first law and rule is make the throw and several receivers that get open in space, and again we understand who we’re playing. They’re a very good team and we think there’s a match up there that benefits us.”
Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry help make LSU’s matchup hard to beat. They have a combined 1,891 yards and 16 touchdowns. Beckham is second in the nation in all-purpose yards with 207.3 yards per game. LSU quarterback Zac Mettenberger is second in the SEC in passing yards and touchdowns- but the last two games he has struggled- throwing five interceptions. None-the-less LSU’s offense is averaging 40.2 points per game and Alabama knows having confidence means they can’t forget what makes their opponent capable. Maintaining the perimeter and stopping the run will be the task at hand for Alabama- because Nick Saban knows this is the most balanced and talented offense the Crimson Tide will face this season.
“Mettenberger has played extremely well for them at quarterback,” Nick Saban told reporters earlier in the week. “Jeremy Hill is the leading rusher in our conference and one of the best in the country. Their ability to run the ball and have balance on offense with two outstanding receivers who are both ranked as top guys in our league. Very good on third down,” Saban continued his laundry list of Tiger qualities, “Best in the country, 58 percent conversion rate so even when you do get them stopped it;s hard. It’s been hard for people to get them off the field with 3rd down.”
Alabama isn’t facing LSU without their own arsenal. The Tide has given up 9.8 points per game- the best in the country. Alabama’s opponents other than Texas A&M have scored a total of 38 points in seven games – total.
In the most current era of Alabama football- you know its November when the thrill of an LSU vs Alabama game is in the fall air. That’s because competition for these two teams isn’t just when they meet on the football field, it’s a battle of statistics all year long- settled with one 60 minute football game late in the season.
“It’s really important especially being a home game to try and come out and step on their throats,” Alabama junior defensive end Jeoffry Pagan said on Tuesday. “You know, break their will… try and end the game as quick as possible and let some of our freshman play.”
Quote of the week in Tuscaloosa award goes to Mr. Pagan for the win.