Aug. 16, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The University of Alabama closed out fall camp with a 2 ½-hour scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In addition to regular scrimmage work, the Tide also focused on third down situations, red zone offense and defense and the two-minute drill.
"This kind of officially ends fall camp with the scrimmage today and we certainly have room for improvement," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said afterward. "That is certainly what we focus on. The good news is we made some big plays on offense today. John Parker (Wilson) was pretty precise with the ball. He did not have any interceptions and we did not turn it over. We probably did not have the consistency that we need play in and play out to be a good offensive team."
Wilson completed 14 of 25 passes for 255 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Sophomore quarterback Greg McElroy completed 19 of 38 passes for 198 yards on Saturday.
The offense had a couple of big plays from freshman wide receiver Julio Jones and junior wide receiver Mike McCoy.
"We had some guys make some big plays," Saban added. "Julio (Jones) had five catches for about 125 yards. He made a big play. Mike McCoy made a big play and had three catches. B.J. Scott had five catches in the scrimmage. Earl Alexander had four catches. So, we spread the ball around a little bit more today. We were a little more effective throwing it."
Alabama's top six receivers had 23 receptions in Saturday's scrimmage, led by Jones (125 yards, 1 TD) and freshmen B.J. Scott (60 yards), who had five catches each. Sophomore wide receiver Earl Alexander had four catches for 44 yards, while McCoy (81 yards, 1 TD), freshman wide receiver Chris Jackson (60 yards) and junior running back Terry Grant (37 yards) had three catches apiece.
Junior running back Glen Coffee led all UA rushers with 35 yards on 11 carries. Freshman Mark Ingram had seven carries for 30 yards and Grant had six rushing attempts for 13 yards.
Saban also noted defensive improvement on Saturday, particularly in the red zone and third down situations.
"Defensively, I thought we played better in this scrimmage," Saban continued. "We were more consistent. We did give up a couple of big plays and that's something we always want to guard against. The defense played well in the red area and played well on third down. If you play well in the red area and play well on third down and don't give up big plays, then all of a sudden you become hard to score on. That's something that we continue to improve on. I don't think the ones (first team defense) gave up but one big play, but that is one too many. That's something that we have to continue to work on. "
Junior linebacker Prince Hall led the Tide defense with eight tackles. Junior linebacker Eryk Anders also had an active day with six tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss and one blocked field goal in the scrimmage.
Junior defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, junior defensive back Ali Sharrief and sophomore preseason All-SEC linebacker Rolando McClain had five tackles each. Deaderick also added four sacks. Preseason All-SEC senior safety Rashad Johnson added three stops and one interception.
"All in all, we're not disappointed with where we are," Saban added. "We certainly need to continue to make improvement as a football team, especially with a lot of young players and the depth we have on our football team.
"There was a huge difference in some of the young players this week and last week. Donta Hightower played really well in this scrimmage and made a big improvement. Jerell Harris has improved. The young receivers have improved. Mark Ingram has done a good job. He didn't make any big runs today, but is still pretty effective out there. We have a couple of young offensive linemen we continue to work with. Terrence Cody is a new and that has made an impact in the middle. We need to continue to work on his conditioning, so he can sustain things. Marcel Dareus has done some good things."
Alabama will take the next two days off and return to practice on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 3:30 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
STATISTICAL LEADERS FROM SATURDAY'S SCRIMMAGE
John Parker Wilson - 14 for 25, 255 yards, 0 Int., 2 TDs; Greg McElroy - 19 for 38, 198 yards, 0 TDs, 0 Int.
Glen Coffee - 11 rush, 35 yards, 0 TDs; Mark Ingram - 7 rush, 30 yards, 0 TDs; Terry Grant - 6 rush, 13 yards, 0 TDs; Roy Upchurch - 4 rush, 17 yards, 0 TDs.
Julio Jones - 5 rec. 125 yards, 1 TD; B.J. Scott - 5 rec., 56 yards, 0 TDs; Earl Alexander - 4 rec., 44 yards, 0 TDs; Mike McCoy - 3 rec., 81 yards, 1 TD; Chris Jackson - 3 rec., 60 yards, 0 TDs; Terry Grant - 3 rec, 37 yards, 0 TDs.
Prince Hall (LB) - 8 tackles
Eryk Anders (LB) - 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 Blocked Field Goal
Brandon Deaderick (DL) - 5 tackles, 4 sacks
Brandon Fanney (DL) - 4 tackles, 2 sacks
Ali Sharrief (DB) - 5 tackles, 1 sack
Rolando McClain (LB) - 5 tackles
Rashad Johnson (DB) - 3 tackles, 1 Interception