Countdown to Kickoff
Football Team Begins Work for FIU Game



Sept. 7, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team returned to the practice field Monday afternoon setting its sights on the 2009 home opener against FIU this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The Crimson Tide practiced for 90 minutes in shells Monday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's home opener.

"We are certainly looking forward to our home opener this week," Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said at his weekly press conference.  "It's great to play at home. It's great to play here where we have fantastic tradition and great fans.  I think our players are looking forward to it.  We certainly enjoyed the great support we had in Atlanta, and it was a very positive venue in every way, but we're always happy to play at home and looking forward to it."

Alabama is coming off a 34-24 win over No 7 Virginia Tech, while FIU did not play and will open its season this week in Tuscaloosa.

"They actually have a lot of speed, a lot of team speed," Saban said. "They are a wide-open throw the ball vertical passing game.  The quarterback is back, and he had a good year last year. Their receiver No. 4 (T.Y.) Hilton is as good a player as anybody in the country.  This is one of those games that we need to focus on what we need to do to improve as a team. It's going to be very important that we make a significant improvement from week one to week two."

Alabama and FIU will kick off shortly after 6 p.m. (CST) this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis in Alabama and Florida on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.  The game can also be seen outside of Alabama and Florida on ESPN GamePlan and