Countdown to Kickoff
Football Continues Preparations for Texas in California

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Alabama practiced for the second day in California Sunday.
Alabama practiced for the second day in California Sunday.

Jan. 3, 2010

COSTA MESA, Calif. - The No. 1-ranked Alabama football team continued preparations for No. 2 Texas in full pads Sunday afternoon at the Costa Mesa High School Sports Complex. The Crimson Tide practiced for two hours under the California sun.

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.

"We have had two good days of practice," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "Yesterday was more of just getting acclimated and a transition time but I thought the players responded to it really well and had a really good spirit at practice today.

"Obviously we have had some things to clean up the last couple days in full pads but tomorrow we will go in shells and continue the same kind of work. The Rose Bowl people have been fantastic to us and the hospitality here has been great. The players got a chance to go to Disneyland last night which was a good experience for them."

Alabama will practice on Monday and Tuesday and then have a walkthrough at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday before squaring off against Texas at the BCS National Championship game on Thursday.

Senior Linebacker Eryk Anders

On being in California for the National Championship Game:

"This is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities and we are trying to make the best of this opportunity."

On what Texas does offensively:

"They can do a lot of things. They throw and run the ball really well. They are very unique in what they do with their personnel so they don't really remind of us of someone that we have played."

On defending the Texas passing game:

"We have a good game plan but we just have to go out there and execute. We are preparing for them just like we have prepared for everyone else, we have just had a little more time to do it. We just have to go out there and do what we do and make them adjust for us."

Senior Kicker Leigh Tiffin

On not playing a game in nearly a month:

"I think it's going to be a lot like playing in the first game of the year. It is sort of like we have been through camp again, it has been awhile since we have played a game but I don't expect us to miss a beat. We just have to go out there and pick up where we left off."

On the surface at the Rose Bowl:

"I spoke with Kai Forbath, the UCLA kicker, and he told me it will probably be the best field that I will ever play on. I am not really worried about the surface and the weather so far doesn't seem like it will be a problem. I think we will have a great environment to play in."

On the pressures of being a kicker in this big of a game:

"It is a lot like what Coach Saban talks about. You can pay attention to all the results and outcomes and put a lot of extra pressure on yourself or you can just focus on what it takes to be successful at your position and in what you do. That is my plan for this game. You go through a checklist of things that are important to you doing well and if you do that you should have success."

Freshman Offensive Lineman Barrett Jones

On facing the Texas' defensive front:

"They have a really talented front but I think we see it every day in practice with our guys. They play a lot of odd like our front does so we feel that this is going to help us, but at the same time we know it's probably the best front we have faced so we are really working hard to prepare for them."

On the play of William Vlachos:

"William has done a phenomenal job. The center is a very important position along the offensive line, having to be the quarterback of the line and making all the calls so he gets us organized up there. It has been really important for him to step up and be a great communicator and a great leader."

How much pride do the linemen take in the Heisman Trophy:

"We take a lot of pride in the Heisman Trophy. It wasn't really our goal for this year - our goal is to win a national championship - but at the same time we know we have a great player in Mark (Ingram) and we want to do everything we can to allow him to win as many awards as he can. We think it's a great honor they saw fit to give it to him. He makes us look good. We open a tiny hole and the next thing you know Mark is gone."

On the confidence of the line after the Florida victory:

"That game definitely gave us a lot of confidence but at the same time we can't take anything for granted. If we don't go out there and execute, like any other team, we will lose. We have always felt all year it is about us and we just have to handle our assignments and make our blocks."