Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Gears Up for Second Scrimmage



Aug. 15, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in helmet and shoulder pads Friday afternoon, the eve of the second and final scrimmage of preseason camp.

Alabama will hold its second scrimmage of the preseason Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage is closed to the public.

"We may do something later on that's a game-type, game organization type thing, but not a live scrimmage," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Thursday's practice. "This will be the last really live scrimmage. We will make as much game-like as we possibly can. We may do some situational stuff and substitution stuff, but not actually football-live type stuff later on, so this will be the last scrimmage."

Saban said the Tide will be looking to improve in this week's scrimmage, particularly red zone offense and third down defense.

"Statistically, we didn't do very well in the red zone. We are trying to improve on defense and we're trying to improve on offense and the defense did better in the red zone last time. The offense did better on third down. So, we keep continuing to work on those things in practice. We try and create a lot of repetitions. For emphasis purposes, I think if you can run the ball well, you can always do well in the red zone, because the field shrinks, relative to being able to pass it.

"And, third down is just a matter everybody paying attention to detail, so you can execute the passing game. You have to be able to handle the blitz, you have to be able to throw and catch it and you have to have people be able to separate in close coverage. All those things we continue to work on and we have made significant progress in those areas. How good? We won't know until that first game."

Following Saturday's scrimmage, the Crimson Tide will take Sunday and Monday off before returning to the practice field on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 3:30 p.m. Coach Saban said the team will begin work on its game plan for the season opener with Clemson next week.