Alabama coach Nick Saban always bristles when asked, prior to facing a weak non-conference opponent, about the possibility of younger players seeing late action after the outcome has been decided. So when Crimson Tide defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan mentioned it Tuesday prior to facing rival LSU, it was more than a little off-script, given that quotes from UA players are almost always in step with the Saban narrative.
"We want to try and come out and step on their throats, break their will and try and end the game as quick as possible and let some of our freshmen play," Pagan said, according to al.com.
Recent series history suggests the Crimson Tide won't be so fortunate. In the last nine Alabama-LSU games, as many have gone to overtime (two) as have been decided by a double-digit margin.
There is no word yet whether Pagan's comment has been pinned in the LSU locker room for motivation. Or for that matter, whether Les Miles' Monday comment about the Tigers' advantage at wide receiver has been pinned in Alabama's.
In this series, the helmet factor is motivation enough.