Aug. 13, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The Crimson Tide held the first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage lasted more than two hours and started with one period of 7-on-7 before the team moved to 11-on-11 drills that included regular game situations, third down situations, red area, goalline, coming out and two-minute.
"The first scrimmages in fall camp are difficult to evaluate," said head coach Nick Saban. "Obviously we've been going two-and-one, two-and-one and had two practices yesterday, so you have a little bit of a weary team. But one of the things you have to learn in camp is you have to fight weary. That's one of the things you have to do in the season, there's a lot of difficultly, there are a lot of circumstances and adversity that you have to overcome, and it's one of the things that we're trying to work mentally, to get our players to be able to do as a football team."
On offense, senior wide receiver Marquis Maze led the way with five catches for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
"Obviously the more maturity you have, the more experience you have, those guys seem to be able to do it a little better," said Saban. "We have some young guys who probably need to make some improvement in that area. We have a long way to go as a team, we had probably far too many penalties out there today, too many missed assignments, too many mental errors, but if we played perfect today we probably wouldn't need to practice 20 more practices for the first game. So we have things we need to improve on, this will certainly give us a great barometer of where we are as a team. We can evaluate a lot of players to see how they responded to a competitive situation, how they competed and how they played."
Sophomore linebacker C.J. Mosley was the top tackler on Saturday with six total stops. Senior linebacker Courtney Upshaw and senior safety Mark Barron each had five tackles. Of Upshaw's five stops, two were tackles for loss and one was a sack.
"I saw a lot of good things out there, from a lot of players, but I also saw a lot things that we need to improve on to be a good football team and play with consistency," said Saban. "We need more players to be able to do that."
Senior center William Vlachos, who was sick and held out of Thursday and Friday practices, returned to action Saturday. Saban noted that Ryan Kelly, Brian Vogler and Alex Watkins were held out of the scrimmage due to injury.
The scrimmage marked practice number 11 for the Crimson Tide and the team is scheduled to return to practice with a two-a-day on Monday.