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Alabama Ready for 2013 Golden Flake A-Day Game

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Crimson Tide set for 2013 A-Day Game.
Crimson Tide set for 2013 A-Day Game.

April 19, 2013

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The University of Alabama football team and head coach Nick Saban wrap up spring practice with the 2013 Golden Flake A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The kickoff for the annual game is set for 2 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised by ESPN2 with Dave Neal (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Maria Taylor (sidelines) calling the action. The game is also being carried by the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Phil Savage (analyst) and Chris Stewart (sidelines). Alabama opened spring practice on Friday, March 15, and held 14 practices through Thursday, April 18, leading up to today's A-Day Game. The Crimson Tide also held two scrimmages here in Bryant-Denny Stadium this spring (April 6 and April 13) in preparation for today's game.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) completed his sixth season with the Crimson Tide in 2012. Named the school's 27th head coach on Jan. 3, 2007, Saban has compiled a 63-13 (.829) record (68-13 before five vacated wins in 2007) at Alabama while leading the Tide to three SEC Western Division championships, two conference titles and three national championships. He is the first coach to win back-to-back BCS national championships and has won four titles in his last eight years of coaching college football. Saban is one of three college coaches in the poll era (since 1936) to win three national championships in four years, joining Frank Leahy of Notre Dame (1946-47, 1949) and Tom Osborne of Nebraska (1994-95, 1997). He is also the fourth coach in the poll era to win four national championships (Paul "Bear" Bryant, John McKay of Southern California and Leahy). Saban holds a career record of 154-55-1 (.736) as a collegiate head coach, earlier serving at Toledo, Michigan State and LSU. He won his first national championship as a head coach at LSU in 2003, guiding the Tigers to a 13-1 record. Saban has coached five conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, plus SEC titles in 2001, 2003, 2009 and 2012) and 14 of his 17 teams have played in postseason bowl games with the Tide appearing in a bowl game all six years under Saban. Saban was also the first head coach to win BCS national championships at two different schools and is the only coach in SEC history to win multiple conference titles at more than one school.

The annual Walk of Fame ceremony will take place Saturday, April 20, at 12:20 p.m. at Denny Chimes. The 2012 permanent team captains -- center Barrett Jones, defensive end Damion Square and left guard Chance Warmack ­-- will have their hand prints and foot prints placed in cement at the base of Denny Chimes.

The College Football Performance Awards will also be on hand Saturday, honoring AJ McCarron for his 2012 season. McCarron earned the 2012 CFPA Quarterback Trophy for his performance in 2012. McCarron will be receiving a 22-inch crystal trophy with an eight-inch crystal football on top.

A-Day will also feature a Quarterback Skills Challenge at halftime. The QB Skills Challenge will consist of five stationary targets and one moving target. Former Tide quarterbacks competing in the challenge are Brodie Croyle, Alan Gray, Scott Hunter, Gary Rutledge, Steadman Shealy, Richard Todd, John Parker Wilson and Andrew Zow.

The format for today's game is much like a normal game, with a few minor variations primarily regarding the game clock. The game will consist of four 15-minute quarters with a running clock. The clock will be stopped only following scoring plays, penalties, and changes of possession. Regular clock rules will be used during the final four minutes of the second quarter and the fourth quarter. Halftime will be 12 minutes long. Players in black jerseys (quarterbacks and injured players) tag-off and are not live. The kickoffs/kick returns are tag-off as well with the ball spotted at the 30-yard line.

*Alabama did not have an A-Day Game in 1991 or 1996. Coach Gene Stallings held a Friday scrimmage at the UA practice field with about 2,000 spectators watching the Tide's last spring scrimmage each year.

*In 1985, Alabama held an A-Day Alumni Game. The varsity played an alumni team and then-President Dr. Joab Thomas played one snap for the alumni and was dropped in the backfield on the first play of the game by Cornelius Bennett.

*The University of Alabama had a $3 admission charge for A-Day in 1972 and 1973.

*Alabama played two straight A-Day games at Birmingham's Legion Field due to stadium construction in Tuscaloosa. The games were played April 25, 1987, and April 9, 1988.

*Alabama's A-Day Game was held on Friday night in 1966 and 1967.

*Coach Paul Bryant's first A-Day game took place on April 27, 1958, and drew 15,000 fans for a night game.

A-DAY ATTENDANCE FIGURES * The official estimated attendance at the 2012 A-Day Game was 78,526, the fifth-largest A-Day attendance in school history. It came on the heels of a school-record 92,310 fans for the 2011 A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium (capacity: 101,821). The 2011 total surpassed the previous record of 92,138+ set in 2007. Alabama has attracted more than 91,000 fans to the A-Day Spring Game in three of the last six seasons, which marks the three largest spring football game crowds in SEC history. The national record for attendance at a spring football game was set by Ohio State in 2009 when 95,722 attended the Buckeyes' spring game.

* Forecasts of rainy weather and national television by ESPN didn't deter a strong contingent of Crimson Tide fans from attending the 2009 A-Day game as a crowd estimated at 84,050 was in attendance at Bryant-Denny Stadium. That's the second-highest A-Day Game mark in school history, and the second-largest crowd to witness a spring game at any Southeastern Conference school behind the 92,138+ who witnessed A-Day proceedings in 2007.

*The 2008 A-Day Game drew 78,200, which was the third-highest mark in school history and the second-largest crowd to witness a spring game at any Southeastern Conference school.

* The 2007 A-Day Game drew in excess of 92,138 fans, with fans being turned away at the gate. The attendance mark of over 92,138 fans was well over the previous best for a Southeastern Conference Spring Day game, believed to be Tennessee's 73,000 in 1986. It also nearly doubled 2007's second-best attendance mark of 47,500 set by Florida.

*The Tide's 2007 and 2008 A-Day attendance mark bettered the previous Bryant-Denny Stadium A-Day record of 46,700 set in 1994. The previous Alabama A-Day record was 51,117 set April 9, 1988, in Birmingham's Legion Field.

A-DAY ATTENDANCE YEAR-BY-YEAR *Here is a look at the Crimson Tide's all-time A-Day attendance figures since the stadium was expanded to 60,000 fans in 1966.

Year Attendance
2012 78,526
2011 92,310
2010 91,312
2009 84,050
2008 78,200
2007 92,138
2006 40,000
2005 25,000
2004 35,000
2003 34,000
2002 37,000
2001 35,000
2000 25,355
1999 32,500
1998 8,968
1997 30,212
1996 No Game
1995 37,323
1994 46,700
1993 30,000
1992 35,016
1991 No Game
1990 16,500
1989 16,500
1988 51,117
1987 32,000
1986 20,435
1985 28,000
1984 16,000
1983 16,000
1982 N/A
1981 N/A
1980 8,000
1979 7,500
1978 N/A
1977 7,000
1976 N/A
1975 N/A
1974 N/A
1973 5,000
1972 20,000
1971 15,000
1970 17,000
1969 17,000
1968 12,000
1967 17,000
1966 15,000