Tigers prepare early for Nov. 3 game against Crimson Tide
The serious preparation and game-planning for LSU’s Nov. 3 game with Alabama won’t come until next week, but Tigers punter Brad Wing knows there’s no reason to try to fool anyone now.
“It’s Bama week for us,” Wing said Thursday after LSU completed its third and final practice before taking a break for Saturday’s open date. “It’s just a longer week.”
The Tigers will take a break from the physical Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with some players returning home for a brief visit and others just lounging around and watching college football.
Of particular interest will be the game between No. 6-ranked LSU’s next two opponents: No. 13 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
“Even though we won’t be doing anything physical,” Wing said, “we’ll be mentally prepping for that game.”
Like many of his teammates, Wing can already hear the crowd noise in Tiger Stadium for next Saturday’s showdown (7 p.m., CBS) and feel the intensity in his mind.
“Everything is going to be crazy,” Wing said. “Just hitting the stadium is going to be wild. The toughest thing in games like this is trying to remain calm and cool. You can’t let emotions overflow, because you won’t perform well.”
Reid on the mend
Free safety Eric Reid said he was held out of contact during practice this week because of the bruised sternum he suffered Oct. 13 against South Carolina, but hopes to be near 100 percent in time for Alabama.
“I’ll be good to go when the game gets here,” Reid said. “I will be as close to 100 percent as possible.”
Reid engaged in plenty of physical contact in LSU’s 24-19 win last Saturday at Texas A&M, including a late hit on Aggies receiver Mike Evans in the fourth quarter that drew a 15-yard personal foul.
“I was breaking on the ball and I looked, and he was right there in front of me,” Reid said, indicating the hit was unintentional. “I curled up. I didn’t see him until the last second.”
ESPN’s ‘LSU bureau’
ESPN the Magazine will be operating the equivalent of a branch office in Baton Rouge this week as it plans to devote an entire upcoming edition to the LSU-Alabama game.
LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said the magazine has requested 48 credentials for the game. That’s in addition to the local ESPN website that covers LSU, any additional coverage on ESPN.com and the anticipated broadcast crews for ESPN “College Game Day” TV and radio shows.
An announcement on whether ESPN is bringing its popular “College GameDay” show to Baton Rouge is expected Sunday. The set would again likely be on the LSU Parade Grounds.
Bonnette said ESPN the Magazine has devoted an entire issue to NFL and NBA games before, but this will be the first time it has done so for a college game.
With a swing
When college football fans tune in on CBS for the LSU-Alabama game, they’ll be greeted by a wall of noise and a sea of swirling color.
LSU senior associate athletic director Herb Vincent said the school plans to distribute 60,000 gold towels to LSU fans at the Alabama game.