“It’s really important, especially being a home game,” Pagan said. “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 the Tide wasn’t particularly happy with its performance in the trenches last season and the team has something to prove upfront.
“Last year, well honestly, we don’t really feel too good about how we played,” Pagan said. “We kind of feel like they out-physicaled us last year, but this year is a whole new approach and we want to dominate all phases of the game.”
THE DRIVE: Alabama’s last drive against LSU in 2012 was a season defining moment. The Tide scored in the last minute, sealing a victory.
Cameras caught an emotional AJ McCarron crying tears of joy following the game as time expired and as he embraced his teammates and family.
But McCarron said he felt the moment was overblown and he wasn’t shocked he got emotional.
“Everybody made a big deal about it,” McCarron said. “There's been plenty people to have tears of joy after a big game. I've seen Ray Lewis, Michael Jordan and tons of people. I mean, but the media did what it does best -- blow something up.”
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood said he understood where the emotion came from.
“It was just an emotional win for us,” Norwood said. “To see AJ act that way after the game, it was like, man, all the hard work that do around here is just paying off. All that emotion came out at once. You can’t control.”
LANDON COLLINS: Tide safety Landon Collins said he still hears about his commitment to Alabama over LSU “all the time,” and “I don’t think that will ever stop.”
Collins infamously chose the Tide over the Tigers on an ESPN broadcast in 2011 with his mother by his side. However, his mother didn’t agree with his choice and let her feelings be known.
“The best two teams. No. 1 and No. 2 in the (2011 national) championship,” Collins said. “I didn’t know who to pick out of them. I made the best decision for myself and my opportunity and I’m doing great where I’m at now.”
Collins is familiar with more than half of the Tigers’ roster and is eager to compete against some of the players he grew up with.
“They’re cheering me on,” Collins said. “Some of them say, even though it’s the home state and I got Alabama (gear) on, I still got 216 in my heart. That’s all they say.”