TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban opened LSU week with his Monday news conference.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide (8-0, 5-0 SEC) travels to Baton, Rouge, La., on Saturday for a date with the 15th-ranked Tigers (5-2, 3-1). Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
Highlights from Saban’s time at the podium:
- We got a lot of things done last week in practice. We felt like our team made a lot of progress.
- Now after a weekend off, it’s always important to refocus.
- We consider this an undefeated team because they haven’t lost under their new coach, Ed Orgeron.
- LSU has improved a lot under Ed Orgeron. Leonard Fournette is one of the most talented players in the country. Their quarterback has given them a lot of balance on offense. This is one of the best secondaries we’ve faced all year.
- We’re anxious to go back to work today and start preparing with our players.
- Damien Harris has improved a lot and is playing better. He’s more confident now.
- Alphonse Taylor (concussion) is going to practice today. He’s still day-to-day. We’re going to let him do what he can do, and not push him.
- We haven’t made any final decisions on who’ll play at safety. Minkah Fitzpatrick has worked back there some. He played safety in high school. He’s very natural at it. We’re going to continue to work with those guys and see who can handle it so we can get the best combination on the field.
- We’re very pleased with the way Jonathan Allen has developed throughout his career. Last year, he was able to shine as a pass rusher because we had a lot of depth. This year, he’s had to play in all phases of the game and he’s done a really good job.
- We’ve looked at our options at punt returner. Xavian Marks has been back there. He returned a punt for a touchdown. Trevon Diggs has been back there some. We’re going to continue to evaluate it. It’s going to be important that the guy back there has good judgment because of the way they punt.
- I think Calvin Ridley has had a great year. Last year, we were a different kind of team. This year, we haven’t been able to get him the ball down the field. We’re tried, but we haven’t been able to connect. He’s handling his role well. He’s a guy who can make explosive plays for us. When I say we need to improve as an offensive team, that’s what I’m talking about.
- Saban got one birthday present today: A button that you press that says “That’s bullsh*t.”
- We want to know that we can trust every player to do their job out there, and that’s true with Tony Brown as well.
This post will be updated.