K.J. Malone is thinking about those guys again.
“When do you start thinking about Alabama?” the Tiger lineman was asked during a postgame interview after LSU dashed for 311 rushing yards in its 38-21 win against Ole Miss.
“Right now,” he answered. “Right after the game.”
Malone and LSU will have two weeks of preparation under an undefeated interim head coach to face who’s next: No. 1 Alabama.
“We’re going to be very excited to play a very good football team,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Saturday. “We’re going to be up for the challenge. It’s going to be a physical football game. They have very good athletes. They are very well‐coached, but so are we.”
The Crimson Tide have won five in a row against the Tigers. LSU hasn’t toppled the Tide since its 9-6, field goals-only overtime win on Nov. 5, 2011.
LSU, Alabama’s series featured six games since the Tigers’ last win, including Alabama’s 21-0 skunk of the Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 9, 2012.
Senior linebacker Duke Riley added that he wouldn’t start thinking about the Crimson Tide until after LSU’s second bye week this month.
“When that time comes,” he said. “We’ve got a bye week next week, I’m just focusing on this bye week. We need a little break. It’s going to be fun, though.”
Alabama will be on bye, too, before LSU hosts the Tide in two weeks.
What will Alabama, during its two weeks of prep, have to watch to scout the Tigers?
Three double-digit wins under a new head coach and offensive coordinator — Orgeron and Steve Ensminger — who have consistently added wrinkles into LSU’s “new” offense.
For example, multiple times against the Rebels, Fournette — who shattered LSU’s school record for single-game rushing yards (284) on his first eight carries Saturday — lined offset in the I-formation with LSU’s slippery sophomore tailback Derrius Guice behind him as the lead ball carrier.
“We tried to put him and Guice in at the same time,” Orgeron said. “Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. We wanted to try it.”
The Tide corralled Fournette to 31 yards on 19 carries last season. This season, Alabama has just four games of film to watch on Fournette, all of which are 100-yard games.
Fournette’s lingering ankle injury, which outed him for three of LSU’s seven games, is a high and low ankle sprain with a bone bruise, he revealed Saturday night.
Additionally, LSU was without Fournette’s “flashlight” against the Rebels as fullback J.D. Moore did not return to the game with a stinger, according to the LSU Sports Radio Network on Saturday.
Moore was also removed from LSU’s 14-point loss against the Tide last season with a torn ACL, thus ending Moore’s sophomore season.
LSU’s scoring drives against the Rebels don’t give the Tide much too see, either.
The Tigers featured touchdown drives of three plays, seven plays, two plays, one play and 11 plays en route to 515 total yards of offense against the Rebels.
Three of LSU’s five touchdowns in three or fewer plays? That was unexpected, senior tight end Colin Jeter said.
LSU’s offense prefers the quick scores, Malone added.
“Oh, no,” he said of LSU’s win versus Ole Miss. “It’s always nice to have explosive plays like that … Those plays made the difference in the game.”
To beat Alabama, flawlessness is necessary, Riley said.
“You know, we’ve got to be perfect,” he said.