NEW ORLEANS (WBRC) - The pre-game media interviews are done. All that is left now is a football game.
LSU head football coach Les Miles and Alabama head football coach Nick Saban spoke to reporters Sunday morning in New Orleans as their teams wrap up preparations for Monday's BCS National Championship game. Both coaches said they are ready.
"Preparation has gone well," Miles said. "We're looking forward to winding it down and playing the game. At this point in time, we're all looking forward to getting on the field."
"I've liked the way we've prepared," Saban said. " I think we are where we need to be. We'll never know for sure until we get out there and start playing."
There are few surprises expected Monday. Both teams played each other two months ago in Tuscaloosa in a game that ended with an overtime field goal win for LSU. Both coaches believe Monday's game will be won in a similar fashion: hard-fought.
"I think that our team learned some things from the first game," Saban said. "Sometimes when you have a negative experience, you're more willing to maybe learn some of the things that can be valuable to you in the future in terms of the execution, the inability to finish in critical times in certain situations in the game, so I look at the first game as more of an opportunity for us to learn and understand some of the things that we're going to need to do to be able to have a chance to be successful this time."
"I want them to come in and make their plays, play their game, do the things they came here to do," Miles said. "That's my greatest desire for this game. I think that if that happens, the score will benefit us."
Ironically, the past two national championship wins for LSU were played in the Superdome. Saban was the head coach when the Tigers won the title in 2003, and Miles, who replaced him the next season, led the Tigers to another BCS Championship title in 2007.
"I think there's been an enjoyment with our program that started in '03 and then happens again in '07 and then come '11," Miles said. "When we came down here in '07, Katrina, really the aftermath, was very much a part of the game. And our players, coaches, certainly myself, became informed."
"I think that Les Miles has done a fabulous job at LSU," Saban said. "When I started out at LSU we were 3-8, didn't have a very good graduation rate. We were struggling in recruiting, had lots of issues and problems.
"I think Les has done a great job of recruiting fantastic players, has had a great coaching staff that has helped develop those players," Saban added. "Their consistency and success is probably second to none in terms of their accomplishments and what they've done. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the program."
Kickoff for Monday's game is at 7:30 p.m. CST.
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