Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football Holds First Scrimmage of the Spring


Saturday, March 08, 2003

Brodie Croyle
Brodie Croyle

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama football coach Mike Price took his squad through its first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning and he was pleased with what he saw.

"I thought the attitude and effort was great," Price said following the 83-play scrimmage.  "The execution wasn't always great, but we expected that.  Overall, I thought it was better than I expected and all three quarterbacks threw the ball well.  We want to teach football, not just get reps in practice. I expect the next scrimmage to be over 100 plays, plus punting.

"We had some dropped passes and that will be reflected in the Brandon's (Avalos) and Spencer's (Pennington) stats, but we will work on that."

The first offense, playing against the first defense, took the opening possession and promptly marched 65 yards for the only TD of the scrimmage.  Quarterback Brodie Croyle threw a four-yard fade to Zach Fletcher for the score to cap the drive.

"I thought we were better on offense than I anticipated," Price said.  "I was a little bit concerned about how much of the offense had been picked-up, but I feel a little better about that.  We didn't mess around too much."

For the scrimmage, Croyle was 8-of-12 passing for 76 yards and one TD, while Pennington was 4-of-14 for 39 yards.  Avalos hit 7-of-12 for 53 yards, but suffered two interceptions.

"I thought the offensive line protected very well today," Price added, "but we have to understand that the defense is very bland right now.  I thought we ran the ball well, too and there were some big hits on defense.  I was very pleased that there were no center-quarterback exchange fumbles, which I thought was outstanding."

Redshirt freshman Kenneth Darby led all rushers with 35 yards on 7 carries, while Josh Smith had 22 yards on 3 carries and Shaud Williams netted 21 yards on 6 carries.

Defensive back Thurman Ward and linebacker DeMeco Ryans each had an interception, while Charlie Peprah had a pair of pass break-ups and redshirt freshman defensive end Chris Harris had a fumble recovery and a sack.

Alabama will resume spring practice next week, with work scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  The weekday practices will begin at 3:30 p.m., while next Saturday's practice, with another scrimmage, is slated to start at 10 a.m.

Spring practice concludes on March 29 with the annual A-Day game.  Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Here is a look at the offensive stats from Saturday's scrimmage:

Rushing: Kenneth Darby, 7-35;  Josh Smith, 3-22; Shaud Williams, 6-21; Ray Hudson, 5-18; Ezzie Raulls, 2-13; Nic Luke, 2-8; Trevis O'Neal, 2-5; Brandon Avalos, 2-4; Justin Ballard, 1-1; Spencer Pennington, 2-1; Brodie Croyle, 2-minus 3

Passing: Brodie Croyle, 8-12-76 yards, 1 TD; Spencer Pennington, 4-14-39 yards; Brandon Avalos, 7-12-53 yards, 2 interceptions; Mike Machen, 1-3-4 yards; Teo Clark, 2-3-9 yards

Receiving: Dre Fulgham, 6-54 yards; Zach Fletcher, 3-35 yards, 1 TD; Greg McLain, 2-21; Lance Taylor, 2-20; Tarry Givens, 1-14;  Matt Ragland, 1-9; Triandos Luke, 1-6; Kendrick Eaton, 1-6; Brandon Brooks, 1-5; Shawn Johnson, 1-5; Jason Bolding, 1-4; Dennis DuBois, 1-4; Arturo McDowell, 1-minus 2