Big 3: Saban optimistic on Lacy, Cooper

November, 7, 2012
11/07/12
1:36
PM ET
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban took to the SEC's weekly teleconference on Wednesday morning to talk about how his team is handling the hangover from an emotional win over LSU on the road last week. He touched on the health of Amari Cooper and Eddie Lacy, coming back ready for Texas A&M and the challenge of the Aggies offense.

1. Injury update: Saban said he's "optimistic" both Cooper and Lacy will be available to play Saturday against Texas A&M. Lacy sat out most of Monday's practice but returned on Tuesday and took half the repetitions, according to Saban. "Hopefully he'll be even better today," Saban said. Cooper has been full-go at practice all week after nursing an injured ankle for the better part of two weeks. Saban said he seems to be getting better every day.

2. Return to form: Alabama's last-second win over LSU was emotionally draining. AJ McCarron's tears after the game was evidence of that. More than a few days later, the question remains: How do you come back from such a difficult, draining game? Saban did his best to answer that on Wednesday, stressing the importance of focusing on the task at hand. "They're going to have a difficult 15-round fight coming up," he said. Practice has gone well this week and the players are working hard, Saban said. "We're doing OK, we just got to continue to finish the week and improve and play our best game of the year," he added.

3. Stopping the Aggies: Texas A&M will be the opponent in the ring Saturday afternoon, and the Aggies are no pushovers. Saban hailed Kevin Sumlin's team as the best offense in the league and said Johnny Manziel is one of the most dynamic players in the game. "He's been pretty phenomenal this year," Saban said of Manziel.

Alex Scarborough | email

Alabama/SEC reporter

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