Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Continues Work for Home Opener



Sept. 2, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads Tuesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility, as preparations for Saturday's home opener with Tulane continue.

The Crimson Tide will host the Tulane Green Wave on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.(CDT) in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis and fans should contact their cable or satellite provider to order the game.

UA PLAYERS HONORED: A trio of University of Alabama football players - Mike Johnson, Terrence Cody and Leigh Tiffin -earned conference and national accolades on Tuesday following their performances last weekend against then-No. 9 Clemson.

Junior left guard Mike Johnson and junior defensive tackle Terrence Cody were named Southeastern Conference offensive and defensive linemen of the week, while junior kicker Leigh Tiffin earned the "Star of Stars" award from the 2008 Lou Groza National Collegiate Place Kicker Award.

"Mike played an outstanding game," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said at his weekly press conference on Monday. "Probably the best game Mike Johnson has played since we have been here. He has played a lot of good football for us."

Johnson started at left guard and moved to left tackle in the third quarter in Alabama's 34-10 win against Clemson. He was a part of an Alabama offensive line that did not allow a sack in the game and Johnson did not allow any pressures. The Tide offense had 419 total yards and 25 first downs while going 11-for-17 on third downs against the ninth-ranked Tigers. Alabama led in time of possession 41:13 to 18:47.

The offensive line also paved the way for the Crimson Tide's 50 rushing attempts and 239 rushing attempts (4.8 per play) in the win. The 239 rushing yards is the second-highest output by the Crimson Tide under head coach Nick Saban. Alabama rushed for 313 yards and six TDs in last year's season opener against Western Carolina.

Cody made his first career start against Clemson and logged four tackles (two solos) and one tackle for a loss in the 34-10 Tide victory. He was part of a Crimson Tide defense that held the Tigers to no rushing yards and 188 total offensive yards. The Tigers had just 48 total snaps and was 1-of-9 on third downs. Clemson was held to four plays or less in five of nine offensive drives.

Tiffin scored 14 points in the Crimson Tide's win over Clemson and converted 4 of 5 field goal attempts, including a career-long 54-yarder for the first points of the 2008 season. The 54-yard field goal was the longest among Football Bowl Subdivision teams this past weekend. He also tallied kicks of 21, 34 and 26 yards in the win. Tiffin was also named to the Lou Groza Award pre-season watch list last week.

RANKINGS: Following its 34-10 win over Clemson in the season opener, Alabama is now ranked in both polls this week. The Crimson Tide jumped to 13th in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and debuted at 17th in the ESPN Coaches poll. Alabama opened the season 24th in the AP poll, but moved up 11 spots after its impressive win over Clemson.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: The Football Writer's Association of America (FWAA) named the Crimson Tide the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week on Tuesday, following its win over Clemson in the Georgia Dome. The Alabama defense held Clemson to just 188 yards of total offense and 11 first downs. Clemson finished the game with no rushing yards. Senior quarterback John Parker Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns and freshman running back Mark Ingram and junior running back Glen Coffee combined for 186 yards rushing. Tiffin also booted four field goals for the Crimson Tide. For Alabama, it was the Tide's 12th straight win over Clemson and its seventh straight to open a season.