TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Although Alabama has a 24-hour rule about enjoying victories such as Saturday night's 48-7 thrashing of Arkansas before having to worry about the next foe, several Crimson Tide football players obliged media members regarding the looming showdown against LSU.
Even though it's two weeks away.
"We have to take one day at a time, control things and be ready when the time comes," fifth-year senior outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings said. "I hear about what they've been doing, but they're not a team we've played yet. We're going to go to work and be ready when LSU comes in here."
Said junior safety Xavier McKinney: "It's definitely going to be exciting."
Alabama and LSU remained 1-2 in the coaches poll Sunday, but the Tigers vaulted past the Tide in the Associated Press poll, setting up the Southeastern Conference's biggest game of 2019. The Nov. 9 matchup of 8-0 teams inside Bryant-Denny Stadium will be televised by CBS with a 3:30 p.m. Eastern kickoff.
It will be the third occasion this decade in which Alabama and LSU have met as the nation's top two teams. The first two took place during the 2011 season, when the top-ranked Tigers beat the No. 2 Tide 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa but then lost the rematch 21-0 in the BCS title game, resulting in the second of Nick Saban's five national championships with Alabama.
LSU edged No. 9 Auburn 23-20 on Saturday in Baton Rouge.
"We've got a bye week first, so I want to take care of my body and get in the weight room," Alabama redshirt junior outside linebacker Terrell Lewis said. "I'm going to watch film, but I'm going to use this bye week to kind of relax and get away from football. I'll still work out and take care of my body."
When pressed about LSU, which ranks among the nation's top five in total yards per game (535.9), passing yards a game (377.6) and points per contest (46.8), Lewis said, "It will be just another game. We've played in a lot of big games — Florida State, Georgia. This is another big game, but LSU is always a big game."
Lewis played sparingly off the bench as a freshman against LSU in 2016, when the Tide blanked the Tigers 10-0 in Baton Rouge. He missed the 2017 matchup with an elbow injury and sat out all of last season with a torn ACL.
There is definitely an appreciation for what's looming.
"It's not the fact that it's LSU," Lewis said. "It's the fact that I get to play in another home game."
The Tide will have Monday off before resuming practice Tuesday.
The Tide played turnover-free against the Razorbacks while gathering a fumble and three interceptions. Alabama now has 18 takeaways and only five turnovers through eight games, with that plus-13 margin leading the nation.