Calling it a day in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 2 Alabama is finishing up practice, meaning our inside look at the Crimson Tide is coming to a close.

The ESPN cameras have been following the Alabama coaches and players all day Wednesday as they prepare for Saturday's game with No. 1 LSU.

"Everybody's been talking about this game since the first of the season," Alabama running back Trent Richardson said. "It's time to play it now and quit talking about it."

It's obvious this isn't Alabama's first rodeo. This is a team that's experienced its share of big games. A lot of these same players played key roles on the 2009 national championship team.

"We know what it takes in these kind of games, and that's going out and playing our best game," Alabama senior center William Vlachos said. "This is definitely the best defense we've faced during our careers."

Alabama coach Nick Saban started the day by driving into the office with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi. Saban said the worst thing he could do this week was be uptight, because that's the way the players would practice and prepare.

There hasn't been any sign of that. Offensive tackle Barrett Jones and Vlachos joked with ESPN personnel before doing a live chat and traded barbs with each other.

The real trick for the Alabama players this week has been avoiding calls. Richardson said he's quit answering his phone because he knows what's waiting for him on the other end.

"Everybody wants tickets," Richardson said. "People I haven't heard from in two or three years are finding my number and calling me. I'm like, 'What are you talking about? I don't have enough tickets for my own family.' "