"The game is about the players," Saban said in his weekly media conference. "There are a lot of good players. These are two very good teams that have good players on both sides and there is a lot to talk about in terms of what's going to happen on the field. Les Miles has done a fantastic job in the five years he has been as LSU. They always play with toughness. They play with great effort. They are well-coached on both sides of the ball as well as special teams."
In his media conference Miles was a little more colorful. "It's truly always been about LSU versus
Then why is the game called Saban Bowl III?
It's because Saban spent five years at LSU, won a national championship in 2003 and then left to coach the Miami Dolphins. Miles succeeded him at LSU.
When Saban left the Dolphins after two seasons to take
So, as we get ready for Saban Bowl III, the game is about the coaches and will be as long as Saban is at
Miles won the first meeting 41-34 in 2007 in Tuscaloosa, while leading the Tigers to the national championship. Saban won the 2008 matchup 27-21 in overtime in Baton Rouge.
Their third meeting has national championship implications.
"I think it's a great challenge," Miles said. "It's a compliment to your competitor that you play your best. I think your best opponents bring out the best in you, and I think our guys look forward to playing well. It's a rivalry, it's an opportunity, it's a big game, it's fun."
LSU has scored 73 points in its past two games, the game figures to be
a defensive struggle and the play of the quarterbacks,
not thrown a touchdown pass in the Tide's past three games and averaged
only 119.7 yards passing per game in that span. Perhaps, he can get
back on track following
Jefferson had a career game against Auburn, completing 21-of-31 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns, in a 31-10 victory two weeks ago and followed that with 163-yard, two touchdown performance last week in a 42-0 rout of Tulane.
Alabama's defense has made a habit of shutting down talented quarterbacks this season, although Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton had some success against the Tide two weeks ago, throwing for 265 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
Miles understands that
"He has to do the things that we've asked him to do," Miles said. "He's got to make quality decisions with the ball. He has to make the checks and get the ball to the receivers, tight ends and running backs as directed, and he just has to play within the scheme of the offense. If he does that, he'll do fine. He's a very talented man."
Jefferson didn't fare too well in LSU's 13-3 loss to