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Riley, Jean Francois, Kouandjio Paying Attention To LSU-Alabama.


If defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois has his way, and the LSU Tigers, his alma mater, beat Alabama in their big SEC matchup on Saturday night, offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, a Crimson Tide product, will be the next rookie victim to pose for a photo with an LSU T-Shirt.

"If they do lose, he will be taking a picture for me like the rookies," Jean Francois said. "Let [Nick] Saban see it."

Jean Francois has already done it to Preston Smith (Mississippi State) and Matt Jones (Florida). 

"Bama does what they're supposed to do, Kouandjio said, "it will never come to pass."

Between the two of them, this is not as heated a rivalry as it is for most of the fan bases. Kouandjio is "even-keeled" and Saturday night, as players finish their final preparations for the Patriots, Jean Francois, Kouandjio and linebacker Perry Riley, another LSU product, will each watch the game from the comfort of his hotel room.

"I'm just like any regular fan when it comes to watching football, especially my alma mater," said Riley, who will likely be yelling at his television through the night. "My love for them goes to eternity."

Of course, memories of this matchup still remain strong.

Riley remembers the crowds as being "crazy" and Kouandjio used the same descriptor remembering his time in Death Valley during his senior year.

"I'm feeling really good," Riley said.  "Of course the running back, everybody knows he's a beast. But the quarterback he's showing a lot of growth throughout the season. I'm excited about his progress, where the offense is going, the defense is stout as always. I'm excited about our season. You get done with Alabama, you've got a good shot going the rest of the way."

Kouandjio had a chance to go back to Alabama several weeks ago, his first game watching his former team in the stands.  

"It was amazing," he said. "I got to go with my girlfriend, Brittany. It was just amazing to be able to sit there and watch…The field looked smaller than it felt while I was playing there."

Then he thought about wearing an LSU T-Shirt.

"I can't believe Ricky said that."




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