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Ready for the Swamp

Over the last two weeks, there have been a lot of questions raised about the performance of the LSU Tigers.

Tharold Simon expects a hostile environment when LSU travels to Florida

With No. 10-ranked Florida on the schedule this week, the main focus of the team has been centered on overall improvement.

One player that says he is extremely focused and ready for the clash with the Gators is cornerback Tharold Simon.

The 6-3 193-pound junior, who has 17 tackles and one interception this season, said he wasn’t alone in thinking that the Tigers are ready for a matchup with the Gators.

“We are just very happy to get back into it,” said Simon. “We’re ready to play an opponent on our level. The last couple of games we’ve been playing down to our opponent and that isn’t good for us. We’re very ready and very turned up to go out there this week and do the best that we can do and come out of Gainesville with a victory.”

With the next five games on the schedule for the Tigers being against teams that have a combined one loss, Simon understands what is in store for LSU.

“It’s going to be tough for us,” he said. “There are a lot of great teams out there, so we just have to come out here and practice hard every day and give it our all and we will be fine.”

After the 2011 matchup between Florida and LSU, a game which LSU won decisively, 41-11, Simon said that he expects to see a very fired up Gator squad on the opposite sideline on Saturday.

“The coaches already told us that they would be ready for us because of the way that we beat them last year,” said Simon. “Like I said, it’s just about preparation. We have to prepare for the worst and the best. We just have to go out there and practice hard and play hard and not worry about it.

“Florida has a much better team than last year. Their quarterback is better and they have great receivers. Even though they are better, we will be ready for them.”

Simon is confident that the Tigers won’t have any problem containing the Gator offense, as long as they stick to their assignments and follow the orders of the coaching staff.

“Their offense is a lot of motion and they do a lot of different things,” he said. “We just have to listen to the coaches and do what they ask and tell us to do. They put us in the right position to win.”

One thing that Simon stressed is that LSU needs to come together more as a team now that they are entering the heart of the conference schedule. He feels as though the process is already well on its way.

“We just all have to come together,” said Simon. “I don’t think we have been together as a team. I think we’ve just all been separate. We’ve been coming together the last few days because that’s what we should do. We just have to go out there and play football and have fun and not stress out as much as we have been. We just have to prepare like we are the best team.”

Simon had a lot of praise for the freshmen that are contributing on defense so far this season, but he knows what is in store for them when they step foot in The Swamp on Saturday.

“We are trying to get the younger guys to understand now what kind of environment they are walking into,” said Simon. “Some of them are still in la-la land but we will get them on the same page as us.”

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