With gameday rapidly approaching, the 12th-ranked LSU Tigers aren't shy in sharing their eagerness for kickoff against 20th-ranked TCU.
"These young guys on this team and these veterans, we've worked hard," junior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson said.
"This whole off-season, this summer, and in the weightroom and off the field, to better ourselves as great players and I think we're ready to play football."
Sophomore cornerback Jalen Mills added, "We're really gonna see where our team is at as a whole. We've been going against each other, every day, week in and week out, and now it's time for us to go against another opponent who's not in purple or gold."
Following last year's 10-3 campaign, that featured a trio of close losses, LSU enters 2013 with some added motivation.
"Coming out last year, losing the bowl game, so we want to start off with a running start," senior running back Alfred Blue said. "And just send a statement to everybody that LSU is back."
Meanwhile, the Tigers are replacing seven defensive starters from a season ago, so while younger Tiger defenders get acclimated, LSU will rely on its offense to shoulder the load.
"It's a big year for us, a lot of expectations on the perimeter," junior wideout Jarvis Landry said. "But also in house, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to contribute and do big things on the offensive side of the ball."
And against TCU, expect the Tigers to go all out, holding nothing back.
"In an opener, it's about winning the game, period," head coach Les Miles said.
"When you play TCU, you look at that film, you have great respect for what they've accomplished. You recognize that it's going to take your best effort, and you're not worried about what's seen by an opponent. When we get to the end of the game, ahead is the only position that we're worried about at this point."
History is on LSU's side. Les Miles is a perfect 8-0 in season-opening games, but the more important stat may be 31-0. LSU is also perfect under Miles in non-conference regular season games.
And that stretch includes season-opening wins over North Carolina and Oregon in 2010 and 2011 respectively. This weekend should be just as tough, but the LSU Tigers believe they're ready for the challenge.
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