Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Holds Final Practice Before Heading to Oklahoma


Thursday, September 05, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --  The Alabama Crimson Tide football team worked for 90-minutes Thursday afternoon, its final Tuscaloosa practice prior to Saturday's nationally televised (ABC Sports) with the No. 2 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.

The Crimson Tide worked in helmets and shorts, concentrating on special teams and reviewing the gameplan for the first ever regular season meeting between these two football giants.

"We had a good workout and we got a lot done," Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione said.  "We had good focus and good intensity today.  We cleaned things up well for the end of the week.  Now we need to have a good trip and be ready to play on Saturday."

Alabama will depart for Oklahoma on Friday afternoon and hold a very short workout at OU's Memorial Stadium.  The workout will be closed to everyone.

Alabama Notebook:

*Alabama redshirt freshman rover Mark Anderson is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla.  As a prep senior (2000), he had 104 tackles and nine sacks leading Washington HS to an 11-2 record.

*Alabama wide receiver Zach Fletcher and Oklahoma linebackers Lance Mitchell and Pasha Jackson were junior college teammates at City College of San Francisco the last two seasons.  CCSF compiled a 24-0 record during those two seasons and won two California State Junior College championships and back-to-back JC Gridwire National championships.

Alabama will face its first Top 5 opponent since beating No. 5 Florida 45-7 in the 1999 SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.  In fact, Alabama played three teams ranked in the Top 5 that season, beating Florida twice and losing to Tennessee.  The Crimson Tide pulled off a 40-39 upset win against the No. 3 ranked Gators on Oct. 2, 1999, snapping UF's school-record 31-game winning streak in the Swamp.  On Oct. 23, No. 5 Tennessee beat Alabama 21-7 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*Since 1977, Alabama has posted a 9-5 (.643) record against Top 5 foes, including three wins over the No. 1 team in the nation.

Year     Opponent          Ranking    Result
1977     at Southern Cal   #1         UA 21-20
1978     *Penn State       #1         UA 14-7
1981     at Penn State     #5         UA 31-16
1982     Penn State        #3         UA 42-21
1983     Auburn            #3         AU 23-20
1987     at LSU            #5         UA 22-10
1989     *Miami            #1         UM 33-25
1990     at Tennessee      #3         UA 9-6
1992     *Miami            #1         UA 34-13
1996     Florida (SEC)     #4         UF 45-30
1998     at Tennessee      #4         UT 35-18
1999     at Florida        #3         UA 40-39 (OT)
1999     Tennessee         #5         UT 21-7
1999     Florida (SEC)     #5         UA 45-7

 * -- Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, La.)