Tide focuses on mental aspects of upcoming game

Alabama did not practice Monday, Sept. 30, Nick Saban announced in a noon press conference. Instead, the players focused on the mental aspects of the game in a walk-through, essentially giving them two days off after the Ole Miss game.

But Saban said the Crimson Tide isn’t overlooking the Georgia State Panthers (0-4) and first-year head coach Trent Miles, who Alabama will host Saturday, Oct. 5, for the homecoming game.

“We respect every opponent that we play, regardless of their record,” Saban said. “[Georgia State] has talented players that can make plays. Our focus needs to be on what we need to do to improve as a team.”

The top-ranked Crimson Tide is coming off an impressive 25-0 victory over Ole Miss, but junior safety Vinnie Sunseri said it’s time to forget about what happened last week and focus on Georgia State.

“We don’t want to be sleepwalking this week. We’re excited,” Sunseri said. “We want to keep the momentum rolling. We want to build off this win. It was a big win, but we’ve got to move on from it, keep progressing.”

Bryant-Denny Stadium reached raucous levels against the Rebels. With a kickoff time of 11:21 a.m., the game may not see the same intensity and crowd.

Sunseri said the limited amount of home games should get people into the stadium.

“The fans should be in for every game because we only have a certain amount of [home games] every year,” Sunseri said. “It’s not like basketball or baseball where you have a bunch of home games and a bunch of away games that you’re able to go to. … Everybody should come out and bring a lot of enthusiasm and excitement.”

Chad Lindsay to start at center

Sophomore center Ryan Kelly sustained an injury in the second quarter of the Ole Miss game and will not play against the Panthers.

Junior Chad Lindsay stepped in for Kelly, and his teammates said there was no drop-off in production or execution with the change at center.

Senior right guard Anthony Steen said Lindsay overcame the nerves of playing in a critical Southeastern Conference game and played well.

“First play of the game his eyes were wide open and he said he was a little nervous, but the second or third play he was fine,” Steen said. “After a couple of plays, I didn’t miss a beat with Chad, just like I wouldn’t with Kelly.”

Kellen Williams and Lindsay have shown the depth along the offensive line.

Saban said having guys that can step in at any given moment is invaluable.

“We have a lot of confidence in Chad that he can go in there and do the job because he’s done a good job for us in the past,” Saban said.