The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 5, 2013

Bama-LSU still big even if it's no game of century

(Continued)

ATHENS —

"This is not the kind of game that anybody could not get excited about playing in," Saban said.

The Tigers (7-2, 3-2) already have a pair of three-point road losses to unranked Georgia and Mississippi, but have recovered well enough to make this the fourth consecutive meeting when both Alabama and LSU are ranked in the Top 10.

"I can tell you that our guys are in college football for these kind of games," LSU coach Les Miles said. "We look forward to playing in them. It's a great opportunity for all. Any time you line up against Alabama, there's a rivalry. There's national prestige.

"I think the greatest compliment that we can pay an opponent is our best efforts, and certainly Alabama will get that."

Besides the stakes, this game has been notable in recent meetings for dramatic finishes and tight games, the national title rematch in January 2012 when Alabama won 21-0 being a notable exception.

The last three regular-season meetings have been decided by four points or less, and LSU won two of them.

Last season, T.J. Yeldon took McCarron's screen pass 28 yards for a touchdown with 51 seconds remaining for a 21-17 victory.

"Last year's game hurt," LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said. "We played a great game until the last minute. Now, I'm just getting ready for this game. Every year we play, it's a huge game, a rivalry game. Everybody is doubting us. I just want to prove them wrong. We play better when everybody is against us.

"This is a chance to showcase our talent. It's like an Ali-Foreman fight every time we play. The intensity level is like no other game. "

In 2011, the 1 versus 2 so-called "Game of the Century" came down to the kickers with LSU winning 9-6 in overtime.

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