The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 30, 2012

LSU hungry for redemption in rematch with Alabama

(Continued)

"To me, I like to fulfill all my goals, and that's one we didn't, so it's motivation for us."

Mostly, Alabama players insist they're not getting caught up in the hype and they're treating it as just another game, etc.

Clearly, it's not, however. The teams have a combined three losses the past two seasons, and two of them were head-to-head.

Tide coach Nick Saban said his players got a little too amped up by all the hype before last season's regular season meeting when both teams had an open date to let the emotions simmer. It's not his preferred recipe.

"When you play in games like this, everybody would say it's really critical you play your best in a game like this," Saban said. "But the formula and the recipe for what that is doesn't really change. Even though you'd like to change it, and put a little more sugar in the cake to make it taste better, it usually makes it taste worse.

"We have to stay with the formula that helps our players take care of business the best way they can."

Both teams employ similar formulas: Stout defense and strong running games and quarterbacks who try to avoid mistakes.

The Tigers have been more tested. This is their fourth straight game against a ranked team, starting with a loss at No. 8 Florida.

Alabama is coming off its only victory over a team currently in the Top 25, 38-7 over No. 17 Mississippi State

It just so happens LSU was off last weekend, so coach Les Miles got to watch that game from start to finish. He came away impressed.

"I watched every snap of the Alabama-Mississippi State game Saturday," Miles said. "It looked just as bad on the coach's copy. That Alabama team is pretty good. They look like the No. 1 team in the country. Coach Saban has done a great job there. Their team is deserving to be the No. 1 team in the country. I look forward to playing that team.

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