TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The Alabama football team worked through its first scrimmage of the preseason camp Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The two-hour practice featured game situations involving changing field position, including a long team portion followed by third-down situations, red-zone opportunities, goal-line situations and work in the two-minute offense.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban was pleased with the effort given by the team, citing some big plays by the offensive unit while noting some concern about the tackling of the defense and the team’s overall consistency in approach and performance. Saban emphasized that the team is making progress, but still has improvement to make in all areas.
“Some guys did a really good job,” Saban said after the scrimmage. “They played well, made some plays, but those guys can still improve. Some guys did not play as well as they would have liked to play, but we’re not going to get frustrated by that, but we are going take what we need to do to teach them so they can improve and become better players.
“For the most part, the tackling on defense was not what it needs to be and because of the tackles and mental mistakes, we gave up too many big plays. Now, somebody on offense made those plays and they had something to with making those plays and that is a good thing. We made some explosive plays today by numerous players on offense, which is good. Big plays and turnovers are as critical factors in winning football games as anything.
“Our consistency we need to improve on. It took us about half of the scrimmage to get in the flow of it on offense and when we got in the flow we made some plays and I was pleased with that. Defensively, we started out pretty good, but we did not handle adversity very well. That is something we need to work on in the future.
“Terry Grant did a nice job running the football today and also catching it. Jimmy Johns did a pretty good job of blocking, as well as running. John Parker (Wilson) had a pretty good day today. He threw for 231 yards and he had a couple of big plays.
“We did not quite get what we wanted out of the kicking game. We have a lot of work to do and we have to continue to improve. Improve the quality and also in terms of personnel. That is something that we have to continue to work on; getting the right people in the right places.”
Saban noted only one health issue from Saturday’s scrimmage. Freshman defensive lineman Jeremy Elder (College Park, Ga.) had to leave the scrimmage early after experiencing some heat-related problems, but did not appear to have a serious condition.
The Crimson Tide will take Sunday off, but returns to practice with a pair of practices on Monday, a morning session at 9:30 a.m. and an evening workout at 7:30 p.m. at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields. Alabama’s next scrimmage of fall camp will take place next Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama will open the 2007 season against Western Carolina on September 1 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Statistics from Saturday’s scrimmage:
John Parker Wilson 13 for 22, 231 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int.; Greg McElroy 16 of 26, 201 yards, 3 TDs, O Int.; Nick Fanuzzi 4 for 9, 24 yards, 0 TDs, 2 Int.; Thomas Darrah 5 for 6, 72 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.
Terry Grant 15 rush, 110 yards, 1 TD; Jimmy Johns 10 rush, 39 yards, 1 TD; Glen Coffee 4 rush, 15 yards.
Matt Caddell 4 rec., 48 yards; Nikita Stover 3 rec., 61 yards, 1 TD; Glen Coffee 3 rec., 38 yards; Terry Grant 3 rec., 38 yards; Keith Brown 3 rec., 37 yards, 1 TD; Jimmy Johns 3 rec., 26 yards; DJ Hall 2 rec., 41 yards; Preston Dial 2 rec., 22 yards, 1 TD; Marquis Maze 2 rec., 21 yards, 1 TD; Mike McCoy 1 rec., 50 yards, 1 TD; Travis McCall 1 rec., 43 yards; Baron Huber 1 rec., 3 yards, 1 TD.
Jamie Christensen Made: 42, 21; Missed 31. Leigh Tiffin Made: 51, 21.
P.J. Fitzgerald 8 punts, 301 yards, 37.6-yard average.
Bobby Greenwood 5 tackles, 1 QB Sack (6 yards); Rashad Johnson 5 tackles; Wallace Gilberry 4 tackles, 3 QB Sacks (14 yards); Brandon Fanney 4 tackles, 1 QB Sack (6 yards); Darren Mustin 4 tackles; 1 Pass Break Up; Chris Rogers 4 tackles, 1 Interception; Javier Arenas 4 tackles; Tremayne Coger 4 tackles.
Grant 22-yard run (Tiffin PAT)
Tiffin 51-yard FG
Christensen 42-yards FG
Maze 24-yard pass from Darrah (Christensen PAT)
McCoy 50-yard pass from Wilson (PAT not attempted)
Stover 50-yards pass from McElroy (PAT not attempted)
Tiffin 21-yard FG
Johns 18-yard run (PAT not attempted)
Brown 13-yards pass from McElroy (PAT not attempted)
Huber 3-yard pass from Wilson (PAT not attempted)
Dial 3-yard pass from McElroy (PAT not attempted)