TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? The University of Alabama football held its second and final full scrimmage of preseason practice at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“A lot of good things happened at the scrimmage today,” said head coach Nick Saban. “After the last scrimmage we talked about the focus should be on improvement and I think we made some improvement. I think we tackled better on defense today. We did not give up as many explosive plays. We were in better position to make plays. We got some turnovers. So, there were some good things on defense. I think we made less mental errors. I think we did improve.”
The defense was led by Marcel Stamps (9 tackles, 1 sack), Wallace Gilberry (7 tackles, 4 TFLs, 1 sack) and Darren Mustin (6 tackles). Simeon Castille added five stops and also had an interception in the end zone while Javier Arenas had three tackles and a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown. Tyrone King had the defense’s third interception of the afternoon and Luther Davis chipped in with a pair of sacks.
John Parker Wilson led all passers, completing 18-of-32 passes for 225 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Greg McElroy threw for 91 yards on 13-of-26 passing with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
“I think offensively, we played OK,” said Saban. “We did not dominate like I would like to see us dominate, in terms of dominating the line scrimmage with our offensive line. They have done a very good job all through fall camp. I think we have a lot of leg-weary guys right now. If your football team is working like you want them to work this time of the year you are going to have a lot of guys that are leg-weary and do not have a lot of explosive quickness. In some ways, I think that affected our timing and what we were doing. Even though John Parker (Wilson) threw a couple of interceptions, I thought he had a good day today. He threw a couple of touchdown passes and did a nice job managing the offense. We need to have more guys that can play with a consistent level of intensity and a sense of urgency, relative to what it takes to play winning football all the time.”
On the ground, Terry Grant carried six times for 68 yards and Jimmy Johns rushed for 37 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. Roy Upchurch (7-35) and Glen Coffee (11-33) following Grant and Johns in the rushing stats.
Grant added two catches for 76 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown reception. Matt Caddell recorded four catches for 49 yards with a score, Earl Alexander had three grabs for 44 yards and D.J. Hall was next with 32 yards on three receptions. Mike McCoy (3-24) and Nick Walker (3-8, 1 TD) were the only other receivers with three or more catches.
“Terry Grant played well again today,” said Saban. “Matt Caddell had a good day today. I was pretty pleased with those guys. Wallace Gilberry had a good day today, he some sacks and pressures. So, we had some players do a nice job.”
Leigh Tiffin handled the kicking duties and converted on 5-of-7 field goal attempts. Tiffin hit from 26, 49, 44, 37 and 39 yards and missed from 45 and 57 yards.
“Jamie (Christensen) has a little bit of a strained quad,” said Saban. “He is day-to-day. We held him out today. I think he will be OK. Leigh Tiffin has done a really good job this entire camp. In terms of field goals, he made a 54-yard field last week and just missed a 57-yarder today. It was long enough; he just missed it off the right. He has done a nice job kicking off for the most part. He has done a good job for us and we have a lot of faith, trust and confidence in him.”
In other injury news, Saban noted that defensive tackle Brian Motley underwent surgery on his hand and is in a cast but will be able to play with the injury and should be back toward the end of the week.
The Crimson Tide will take Sunday off, meet on Monday, and then return to practice Tuesday afternoon.
Alabama opens the 2007 season Saturday, Sept. 1, against Western Carolina in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised by the Crimson Tide Sports Network on a pay-per-view basis beginning at 6:07 p.m.
SCRIMMAGE STAT LEADERS
Wilson 18-32, 225 yards (3 TD, 2 INT)
McElroy 13-of-26, 91 yards
Grant 6-68 yards
Johns 12-37 yards (1 TD)
Upchurch 7-35 yards
Coffee 11-33 yards
Grant 2-71 yards (1 TD)
Caddell 4-49 yards (1 TD)
Alexander 3-44 yards
Hall 3-32 yards
Salaam 2-29 yards
McCoy 3-24 yards
McCall 2-24 yards
Upchurch 2-22 yards
Walker 3-8 yards (1 TD)
Stamps 9 tackles, 1 sack
Gilberry 7 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks
Mustin 6 tackles
Castille 5 tackles, 1 INT
Rogers 5 tackles, 1 TFL
Greenwood 5 tackles
Mitchell 5 tackles
Saunders 5 tackles, 1 TFL
Waldrop 5 tackles, 1 PBU
McClain 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Fanney 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Hall 4 tackles
Davis 2 sacks
King 1 tackle, 1 INT
Fitzgerald 8-313 yards (39.1 avg)
Tiffin 5-7 (Made from 26, 49, 44, 37, 39; missed from 45, 57)
Arenas 30-yard INT return
Caddell 11-yard pass from Wilson
Johns 1-yard run
Walker 1-yard pass from Wilson
McElroy 4-yard run
Grant 71-yard pass from Wilson