Thursday, August 28, 2003
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama Crimson Tide put the finishing touches on its preparation for Saturday's 2003 season opener against the South Florida Bulls, with a 75-minute workout Thursday afternoon in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide will hold a brief workout on Friday in Tuscaloosa before heading to Birmingham for dinner and meetings in preparation for Saturday's game.
"We finalized all of our preparations," first-year Alabama head coach Mike Shula said. "The guys are really focused and excited about getting out there and playing. A lot of times these last 48 hours are very important in terms of getting your mind right, getting a little rest and focusing on your job.
"In talking to the players and telling them 'when you go play Saturday don't and try to be somebody that you have not been during practices and the scrimmages. Don't think all of a sudden you have to do something we are not asking you to do. Do what we are asking you to do, and do it the best way you know how and do it full speed."
University of Alabama President Dr. Robert E. Witt visited practice Thursday afternoon and addressed the team.
"Dr. Witt talked to the team today," Shula added. "Dr. Witt has been great. We have talked to the team about the support system we have had from (Director of Athletics) Mal Moore and Dr. Witt. Personally, it makes me feel good as a coach to know those guys are doing whatever they can to help us be successful and he just wanted to talk to the team and tell them to concentrate on the opportunity they have right now."
Shula also announced that senior running back Shaud Williams (offense), senior free safety Charles Jones (defense) and senior receiver Triandos Luke (special teams) will serve as game captains for the season opener.
The Alabama-South Florida game will be nationally televised by ESPN beginning at 2:07 p.m. (CT) this Saturday from Legion Field.