Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Continues Preparation for Season Opener


Thursday, August 22, 2002

Justin Smiley


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- Alabama football coach Dennis Franchione termed Thursday's practice "grinding work" as his Tide team moved closer to the season opener against Middle Tennessee on Aug. 31.

"That game is not quite in their (the players) focus," Franchione offered.  "They are halfway between working on Alabama and Middle Tennessee.  And, they're juggling the physical recovery aspect, too."

Thursday's practice was geared specifically toward the Tide's running game as the quarterbacks did not throw a pass during the session.

"We needed to rest the quarterbacks' arms and our receivers needed some leg recovery time, too," said Franchione.

The Tide will work Friday afternoon and then go through a "mock game" weekend consisting of dinner and meetings Friday night and a Saturday morning session that will include every situation the players may encounter on game-day.

Sunday will begin the normal game-week schedule for the Tide.

Franchione also announced that Alabama's practices will be closed to the public starting on Friday.