TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The University of Alabama football team put an end to its preseason camp with a 63-play scrimmage at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in sultry heat on Tuesday afternoon. The first team offense and defense had an overall good showing.
The first-team offense took the first possession and marched 90 yards against the second-team defense. Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover, Ala) was 4-for-4 on the initial drive for 86 yards. He completed a 38-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Will Oakley (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) to give the offense a first down at the 42-yard line. On the very next play, Wilson hit tight end Nick Walker (Brundidge, Ala.) for a 24-yard gain to the 18-yard line.
After two offensive penalties, Wilson completed a 16-yard pass to junior DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) to set up a first and goal at the four. Hall caught two passes for 34 yards in the scrimmage. Senior fullback Tim Castille (Birmingham, Ala.) scored three plays later with a one-yard plunge to cap the drive.
The first-team defense was equally impressive as it forced a turnover on the first play from scrimmage and allowed only one play of more than 10 yards. Junior defensive back Simeon Castille (Birmingham, Ala.) picked off senior quarterback Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.) at the 17-yard line on the first snap.
The first unit held the second teamers in check throughout the day. In fact the first eight snaps resulted in minus five yards and one turnover.
The UA special teams also played a vital role in the scrimmage. Freshman Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) nailed all three field goal attempts (33, 37 and 46 yards) and his lone extra point. Freshman punter P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs, Fla.) had four punts for a 35-yard average, including a long of 46 yards.
Wilson finished the day hitting 4 of 7 passes for 86 yards. Guillon was 5 for 13 for 39 yards with one interception.
Freshman running back Ali Sharrief (Huntsville, Ala.) led all rushers with 35 yards on six carries. Freshman Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) had a scrimmage-high seven carries for 16 yards, while sophomore running back Jimmy Johns (Brookhaven, Miss.), who missed Saturday''s scrimmage with an inury, added five carries for 26 yards.
Junior defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette) had two tackles, including a sack for minus six yards. Another junior defensive lineman Keith Saunders (Willingboro, NJ) added three tackles, including one sack for minus six yards. Sophomore defensive lineman Ezekial Knight (Wedowee, Ala.) added two sacks for minus 13 yards.
Sophomore linebacker Marcel Stamps (Brantley, Ala.) led all tacklers with five and recovered one fumble that stopped a drive by the first team offense.
The third scrimmage of the preseason brought an end to camp as classes on the UA campus begin Wednesday, August 23. The Crimson Tide will return to the practice at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday.
Head Coach Mike Shula
"We basically had a shorter scrimmage with probably about half of the plays of the last two scrimmages. We worked a lot of people with different combinations."
"On offense, Marc Guillon took some reps with the first team. Marc's really had a good week with a good scrimmage last week. He just didn't have as much help as maybe he could have had to make some plays, but his thought process has been good."
"I thought our first offense on the first drive looked good, moved the ball and overcame a penalty in the plus territory, but we had some mistakes after that. I thought our first defense looked good overall."