Countdown to Kickoff
Brown Leads UA Offense with 2 TD Catches



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama football team held its second scrimmage of the 2006 preseason Saturday afternoon at Bryant-Denny Stadium with junior wide receiver Keith Brown (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) leading the offense with five catches for 92 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions.

Brown caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) to cap a five-play, 67-yard drive by the first team offense.  The duo teamed up again later in the scrimmage on a 34-yard strike down the left sideline. 

Wilson completed 14 of 21 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns.  He also threw one interception.  Backup quarterback Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.) completed 6 of 15 passes for 27 yards. 

Freshman quarterback Greg McElroy (Southlake, Texas) led the fourth-team offense to a touchdown on the final play of the 99-play scrimmage.  McElroy completed a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Darwin Salaam (Madison), who grabbed the tipped ball and managed to come down with both feet in bounds on the right sideline for the score.  Salaam's acrobatic catch capped a five-play, 33-yard drive.

McElroy completed 2 of 6 passes for 29 yards and one TD.  Salaam had three catches and was the second-leading receiver with 37 yards, including the 20-yard TD grab.

Another scrimmage highlight came on special teams when freshman Javier Arenas (Tampa, Fla.) hauled in an Adam Hill punt at the 16-yard line and then turned in a highlight-reel 84-yard touchdown return as he broke numerous tackles on the play.

Freshman kicker Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals), son of former All-American kicker Van Tiffin (1983-86) converted all three extra points and hit one of three field goal attempts.  He capped a six-play, 14-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal, but missed on attempts of 45 and 47 yards later in the scrimmage.

Redshirt Ali Sharrief (Huntsville) led all UA rushers with 12 carries for 40 yards.  Another redshirt freshman Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee, Fla.) had eight carries for 34 yards and the lone rushing touchdown.  Upchurch capped a four-play, 36-yard drive with a four-yard TD run late in the scrimmage.  Senior running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) missed his third straight day of preseason drills for personal reasons.

Freshman defensive back Sam Burnthall (Decatur) led the defense with five tackles.  Senior linebacker Juwan Simpson (Decatur) and senior defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette) had four tackles each. 

Sophomore defensive lineman Bobby Greenwood (Prattvillle) had two sacks, while junior defensive back Simeon Castille (Birmingham) and Gilberry had one sack each. Sophomore defensive back Cory Reamer (Hoover) had two fumble recoveries.

Alabama will hold its next practice on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.  The Crimson Tide will hold its final two-a-day practice session on Monday, Aug. 21 at 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.  The final scrimmage will be Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 2:30 p.m.  All practices, including the Tuesday scrimmage, are closed to the public.


Head Coach Mike Shula:

"I thought overall we were better. I talked to the team afterwards, we have to make sure that we continue to take strides. We know we aren't there yet, but we're not playing tomorrow, we are playing two weeks from now. In talking to the team, we talked about how things are going to speed up in a hurry. We only have one more two-a-day, which is Monday. Then we've got our last scrimmage on Tuesday and then we start school on Wednesday and start our Hawai'i prep."

Offensive Coordinator Dave Rader:

"The positives of today are that we had an opportunity to hit some deep balls. The negatives are that we didn't hit enough of them. We had one fumble that was critical, but I think our penalties were low today, which was good. We seem to get better as we warm up, but we can't do that, we have to be able to start faster. "

Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines:

"Well, I thought that the first unit made maybe one more step. It might not have been a big step, but at least we keep inching forward. That might be the most important thing right now. We have gotten better since the last scrimmage and we have been working hard. We can't afford to go backwards, we just don't have enough days left. This was an important day for us."