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Brunch with Brian: Alabama

Is there a big game this weekend or something?

Ole Miss v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images’s Alabama week.

Over the summer I was dreading this game. After the FSU debacle I thought “ah geez why even play this game.” But that was then and this is now. LSU’s going to be at home, at night, with a chance to gain control of the SEC West. Now I say “fuck it, let’s go beat these guys.” What does Brian Kelly say?

“It’s not pressure,” Kelly said. “It’s a privilege. It’s why I came to LSU, to play in games like this.”

Halloween is of course Nick Saban’s birthday and Kelly opened his presser by doing the decent thing: wishing Saban a happy birthday.

“It’s Nick Saban’s birthday, so I want to wish him a happy birthday,” Kelly joked. “Maybe that’ll soften things up.”

But it’s not just Saban Kelly and his Tigers will have to contend with; they’ll have to do battle against Bama’s reigning Heisman trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young.

“I mean, they’ve all (SEC QBs) been so difficult to defend and this will be the most difficult,” BKelly said. “What’s most difficult with him is improvising, his ability to improvise and when he improvises, he’s making plays. He’s getting the ball out to skill players. An enormous challenge for our defense to contain him in some fashion. Maybe you even have to look at how to slow him down a little bit because he’s that good of a player.”

LSU used the bye week to get healthier and the staff is expecting Major Burns to return to the field Saturday.

“Major Burns is cleared to participate, so he will be at practice today (Monday),” Kelly said. “As you can imagine, he will be part of our gameplan. We expect him to play, and he will be an important part of what we do.”

Kelly said he “thinks” sophomore guard Garrett Dellinger could return to the field as well.

“He had a good weekend. He was here this weekend,” Kelly said. “That is a little bit different because he has to be able to take a load on that knee. You’ve got to be able to take the load, and that is what we’re working on right now. We think we’re going to get him there, but it’s a process because now we’re going to add practice to it. So, we have to see how he responds each day after practice.”

Kelly also thinks Jack Bech (back) will be able to play Saturday, but John Emery (Achilles) is more iffy.