Saturday, March 12, 2005
The University of Alabama football team held its third scrimmage of the spring today in one of its longer scrimmages of the season and the defense held court again but head coach Mike Shula feels some of the depth of the defense started to pan out.
"We had a few more plays today," said Alabama head coach Mike Shula. "I know the first offense had around 50. Overall the defense looked pretty good. I think we're seeing more guys that we know we're going to need to count on to play, step up and play well. Guys like Terrence Jones is one for sure. We're getting a look at Matt Collins as our backup (middle) linebacker; he got a lot of reps today. Marcus Carter had a good week and I think overall defensively we're pretty pleased with the way things went today."
Keith Saunders led the defense with nine tackles including two sacks totaling a loss of 10 yards. Juwan Garth finished with seven tackles including two for a loss of eight yards and a quarterback pressure. Jones had a solid day tallying five tackles, two for a loss of two yards and a seven-yard sack. Defensive end Mark Anderson was just as impressive with four tackles, one for a loss of a yard, two sacks totaling 10 yards and an interception off a shovel pass. Matt Collins and Charlie Peprah each chipped in five tackles.
The defense finished the day with seven sacks, six tackles for a loss, two interceptions, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, three pass-break ups and a quarterback pressure.
"Offensively, I think there were some good individual efforts. I think overall as an offense we weren't consistent enough," said Shula. "One of the things we talked to our offense about afterwards was not making the mistakes where you have a big play but it gets called back because of a holding call. You've got to stay out of long yardage situations. I think overall this week we improved offensively, hopefully we'll improve more next week and it'll show up better at the A-Day game. That's what offensive football is about, is 11 guys having to do things right, otherwise it's not going to be what you want."
Shula went on to talk about some of the individual effort on the offensive side of the ball.
"We did have some guys make some plays like (Tyrone) Prothro. We need to continue to do that as an offense, get those guys the football. Our receivers, we think, are all going to be good playmakers for us. Aaron Johns had a couple nice runs, but overall we've just got to be a little more consistent."
Quarterback John Parker Wilson finished the day 14-21 for 165 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wilson's touchdown strikes were for 66 yards to Prothro and 10 yards to Ezekial Knight. Knight hauled in the pass in the back of the end zone with a defender in tight coverage.
Theo Townsend led all running backs with 58 yards rushing including a 52-yard touchdown run on a fourth down and short yardage situation. Johns wasn't far behind with 53 yards on 13 carries including a long rush of 30 yards.
Prothro led all receivers with four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown while Knight had five catches for 49 yards.
Shula also addressed the offensive line.
"The offensive line was a little bit better, although we struggled early. I think the biggest thing is getting our assignments down and there are a lot of looks and a lot of new guys. We're going to be fine on our offensive line. We've just got to continue to get reps. And you're replacing three starters so you've got a lot of young guys going against some guys that have been around. It's going to take time. We'd like for it to be where guys are playing at their top level right now but it's not going to happen, so we've just got to work and improve and those are things we're looking for."
Alabama will conclude its spring season this week with workouts on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for Saturday's annual A-Day Game.
SCRIMMAGE STATS (March 12)
Passing: John Parker Wilson (14-21, 167, 2 TD, 2 INT); Marc Guillon (7-14, 53, 0 TD, 0 INT); Adam Thrash (1-2, 49, 0 TD, 0 INT)
Rushing: Aaron Johns (13-53); Trevino Pope (10-15), Theo Townsend (9-58-1), R Johnson (6-11), JP Wilson (4/-13), Marc Guillon (3/-17) and Adam Thrash (2/-12).
Receiving: Prothro (5-83-1), Ezekial Knight (5-49-1), Matt Miller (2-28), Keith Brown (2-25), Patrick Gordon (1-49), Greg McClain (1-13), Trent Davidson (1-9), DJ Hall (1-8), Kyle Bennett (1-7), Mookie Chaney (1-6), Theo Townsend (1-5) and LeRon McLain (1-2),
Theo Townsend 52-yard run
C.J. Rhody 37-yard FG
Tyrone Prothro 66-yard pass from John Parker Wilson (Rhody PAT)
Ryan Saxby 41-yard FG
Keith Saunders: 9 tackles, 2 sacks (-10)
Juwan Garth: 7 tackles, 2 TFL (-8), 1 QBP
Terrence Jones: 5 tackles, 1 TFL (-2), 1 sack (-7)
Charlie Peprah: 5 tackles
Matt Collins: 5 tackles
Mark Anderson: 4 tackles, 1 TFL (-1), 2 sacks (-10), 1 INT
Team Highlights: 6 TFL, 7 sacks, 1 FF, 2 INT, 3 PBU, 1 QBP