Jan. 2, 2010
COSTA MESA, Calif. - The Alabama football team held its first practice in California in full pads Saturday afternoon at the Costa Mesa High School Sports Complex. The team practiced for two hours under the Southern California sun in preparations for its BCS National Championship Game against the Texas Longhorns.
No. 1 Alabama (13-0, 8-0 SEC) and No. 2 Texas (13-0, 8-0 Big 12) will meet in the BCS National Championship Game on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. The game will be nationally televised by ABC Sports.
"I think the biggest thing is the players need to focus on the right things," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "I think the clutter is all about how important the game is, what it means, the consequences of the game, positively or negatively. Those are all the things you don't want to think about. What you want to think about is what do I have to do to play my best game? What do I have to do to play my best football? What do we have to do as a team?
"There are a lot of little things that are going on while this is all happening. You have to stay focused on the right things. I am proud of what our players have accomplished thus far this year and no one can take away what they have done to get here."
The Crimson Tide practiced all last week in Tuscaloosa but took the day off Friday due to travel. Alabama arrived in Southern California in the early afternoon on New Year's Day.
After practice the team headed to Downtown Disney to eat dinner at the ESPN Zone and spend the evening in the Disneyland Park.
Senior Tight End Colin Peek
On the first practice in California:
"It was harder than normal today. The weather was gorgeous, you couldn't expect anything better. I am from the Sunshine State but it was pretty sunny out here today. Everyone is focused and we are ready to get after it. There was a lot of intensity on the practice field today."
On the focus of the team now being in California:
"Once we got here yesterday everyone was ready to get back to work. We are all looking forward to the task at hand. Being here in California has really turned this process into a reality."
Junior Defensive Back Kareem Jackson
On being back at practice:
"It was a little different but I thought we had a good practice today being our first time out here. We have another day of work tomorrow. We just have to come out and continue to practice hard. We have been practicing hard the last few weeks but we can all tell it's a reality now."
On the intensity of practice:
"The intensity out there was good. Obviously we have things to work on. We just have to go out there and keep getting better. We just need to watch some film and do the little things that will prepare us for success in the game."