LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has long been commended by teammates and coaches from both Athens High School and Ohio State on his ability to win against tall odds and make things happen when “his back is against the wall.”
I spoke with Burrow about that mentality and how it’s applied eight games into his first season as a starting college quarterback.
“I would agree with that,” he told me. “That’s kind of how it’s always been for me. It just kind of came naturally. I guess we’ll definitely find out if that’s true this week, huh?”
And find out if it’s true they will, as Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide is the most formidable opponent the Tigers – or any team in college football – will face this season. Burrow and his teammates see it as “the big test.”
“They’ve dominated college football for the last five years,” Burrow said of Alabama. “So, this is obviously a big game. Whenever anyone plays Alabama it’s a big game. It’s a top five matchup, SEC West on the line. Big game.”
Going up against a team that’s one of the best in the country on both fronts, the Tigers are going to need to move the chains quickly. Earlier this week, Ed Orgeron mentioned that he wanted to see more creativity in the red zone from the team.
Burrow trusts his coaches to put the appropriate game plan together, and says we’re going to see some new looks from the offense in next week’s contest.
“I know coach Ensminger is a really good coach,” he said. “He’s gonna get some new stuff for us this week. Coach Jerry (Sullivan) is also gonna get some new stuff for us this week. Since we have this bye week, we’re going to be able to experiment with some things.”
There’s no denying Alabama is a matchup that has the ability to make some players nervous. But according to running back Nick Brossette, the mental preparation has helped him and his teammates keep a level head going against such an intimidating opponent.
“I’m gonna say this. Our coach (Tommie Robinson) gave us a saying at the beginning of the season,” he said. “He told us ‘don’t let the moment be bigger than you.’ So, we’re basically just treating this like another game. We’ve been playing football our whole lives, so I’m not going to make it as big as it is.”
But every player on this football team is eager for the heated matchup next Saturday, regardless of how much they try to stay on an even-keel about it mentally.
“It’s the Southeasten Conference. It’s LSU vs. Alabama. Who doesn’t want to watch this?”, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire told a reporter.
LSU and Alabama are currently set for kickoff in Tiger Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. on CBS.