Alabama head coach Nick Saban appeared to be in a good mood as he held his final press conference of the week before his team faces LSU.

Saban began the press conference with a little humor before thanking everyone for his birthday wishes. After that, though, it was back to the task at hand.

"We had a good work week this week," Saban said. "I think the key to the drill, which I've talked to the players about a couple times, is discipline to be able to execute, be physical, everybody do their job in the game, be able to sustain that kind of mental intensity for 60 minutes in the game.

"These games have always been tough games. They've always been close games. They've always been physical games. So I think you've got to get your mind set to be able to play a game like that."

Saturday's night game will feature two top-20 teams once again in this series and Saban called for fans to bring energy to Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"I know it'll be a great atmosphere in the stadium. I think it will be important to our players that our fans are really into the game. Got a lot of national attention riding on this game and this game has turned into a big rivalry for both sides and I think we should respond to it accordingly."

Here are the other topics he addressed on Wednesday:

  • He said RB Josh Jacobs will play on Saturday but DL Da'Shawn Hand will be a gametime decision.
  • His contact with Jim McElwain since he and Florida parted ways earlier this week.
  • How he approaches his vote in the coaches poll.
  • What he's seen from LSU QB Danny Etling this season and what challenges he presents.
  • Whether the rankings will serve as motivation.
  • Using the Catapult system to keep his players' energy levels high and how to manage conditioning over the course of a long system.