Defense Shows Improvement in Crimson Tide's Second Scrimmage

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Marcell Dareus led the Tide defense with five tackles and two pass breakups on Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Marcell Dareus led the Tide defense with five tackles and two pass breakups on Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

April 10, 2010

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team held its second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday afternoon inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The scrimmage was roughly 120 plays and was played under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.

"I think the first defense played better," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Saturday's scrimmage. "They didn't give up the number of big plays and the tackling was better. I think we were more physical, and we affected the quarterback more. A lot of the things that you need to do to win, we were a little better at. "

Junior defensive end Marcell Dareus provided consistent pressure on the Crimson Tide quarterbacks with five sacks, 10 tackles and several more quarterback hurries. Junior linebacker Dont'a made eight tackles and recorded two sacks while Courtney Upshaw notched three sacks and four total tackles.

The Alabama offense was solid once again with all four of the quarterbacks managing the increased pass rush and producing solid numbers while junior Mark Ingram led the way on the ground with 72 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.

Senior Greg McElroy completed 17-of-27 passes for 156 yards and a score while redshirt freshman A.J. McCarron was 17 of 30 for 215 yards and three touchdowns. True freshman Phillip Sims missed on only four passes in 19 attempts for 139 yards while Star Jackson was 10 for 17 for 91 yards. Julio Jones and Brandon Gibson led the receiving corps with Jones going for 117 yards on nine receptions and two touchdowns while Gibson grabbed 10 balls for 74 yards and a score.

"The first offense, who played very, very well in the last scrimmage, continued to make some big plays and continued to do things well," Saban said. "I think they were a little more challenged today. I think all four quarterbacks played well today, and had pretty good passing stats. We did have a couple of turnovers - a couple of interceptions - that we didn't have in the last scrimmage. I think that was probably due to better play on defense, closer coverage and more pressure on the quarterback."

The Crimson Tide has two more practices - on Tuesday and Thursday of next week - before the 2010 A-Day Game on Saturday, April 17, at 2 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN for the second straight season. Rece Davis, Craig James, Mark May and Wendi Nix will call the action for ESPN.

"I think the big message to me is consistency in performance," Saban said. "Define success - that's the message I had for the players after the scrimmage. We sort of have days that one side of the ball or another will do extremely well and then maybe not do as well the next day out. We have three opportunities to improve as a team from here on out ... the two practices and the A-Day Game to help our team improve and get better. Consistency and performance define success. You can't be complacent or be satisfied."