HOOVER, Ala. — Alabama football won’t be in the spotlight at SEC Media Days until Wednesday morning, but the Crimson Tide came up multiple times during Day 1 on Monday.
The contingent from LSU, one of the Crimson Tide’s top rivals, was repeatedly asked about Alabama.
First, it was LSU coach Ed Orgeron explaining why he doesn’t believe the gap between the Tigers and Tide is that big.
“Obviously they’ve done a great job. Coach [Nick] Saban has done great job,” Orgeron said. “He did a great job last year at LSU. Last year, it was a very tight game. It was 0-0 going into the fourth quarter. Their quarterback made a few plays and we didn’t. I don’t know if it’s that big of a gap. We need to play our football.”
Alabama defeated LSU 10-0 in Baton Rouge last season. Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts broke free on a 21-yard touchdown run to break a scoreless tie early in the fourth quarter.
“The way to beat Alabama is to recruit on their level,” Orgeron said. “They’re recruiting at a very high level now. They do a great job of evaluation. Coach coaches very well and gets his team ready to play. Again, last year, we weren’t that far off.”
LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark agreed with his coach.
“Alabama and LSU, for the most part, recruit the same players,” Chark said. “If they’re No. 1, we’re No. 2. So the players are there and the talent is there. It’s just the focus and work ethic. I feel like we have that this year, which makes the game even more exciting.
“The game last year was 10-0. For Bama being respected as the best team in the country, that’s a great game. I really think the talent level is even. It’s just about how you execute.”
LSU running back Derrius Guice doubled down on his comments about Alabama being scared of LSU. Following LSU’s drubbing of Arkansas last season, Guice said Alabama “always stacks 10 people in the box to stop us. They’re scared as well.”
Guice didn’t back down from those words on Monday.
“That’s what I said,” Guice said on Monday afternoon.
When asked to elaborate, he added: “Like I said last year, every time we were about to run they had like the whole box loaded.”
Former Alabama offensive lineman Alphonse Taylor chimed in on Twitter:
Pretty sure it's called "DEFENSE" but hey🤷🏾♂️ what do I know…. https://t.co/424KSvN6aF
— Alphonse Taylor (@SHANKK50) July 10, 2017
In other news, Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen had nice things to say about Alabama’s Hurts, who will be a sophomore this season.
“He’s a guy that you see on game days where he’s just a cool, calm kind of guy where nothing’s going to phase him,” Allen said. “He’s a really, really good quarterback as well.”
Chark named Alabama’s defense as the best he’s faced during his career at LSU.
“It would have to be Alabama. Their defensive line wreaked havoc every game they played, so you got to find ways to get open, and get open quick,” he said. “So facing them is a challenge every year.
“They’re very smart, and coached well, so I think that would probably be the most disciplined and difficult defense we’ve ever faced.”