Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Begins Preparation for Hawai`i



TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The University of Alabama football team capped its first day of classes with a two-and-a-half hour practice Wednesday afternoon in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts and also introduced its game plan for the season opener against Hawai`i.

"We started our first day practice-wise, in preparation for Hawaii," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said.  "We introduced the scout teams.  We split the practice into Hawaii preparation and still got some practice against ourselves.  We will do that throughout the year. 

"We had some of the other guys (walk-ons join the team today)," Shula added.  "They have a five day orientation period, so the first couple of days they will have to be in helmets and jerseys only.  I think by Sunday they will be ready to go full time.  Most of them will be on the scout team."

Alabama will practice again Thursday at 4:20 p.m. at the Thomas Drew practice fields. The Crimson Tide will hold its "mock game" at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Friday and the players and coaches will enjoy their only off day of the preseason on Saturday.  Alabama resumes its normal game-week routine Sunday, August. 27 with a 4 p.m. practice.

The Crimson Tide opens the 2006 season against Hawai`i September 2 in the newly renovated Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis with kickoff set for 6:07 p.m. (CT).