Countdown to Kickoff
Football Team Returns to Practice; Gets Ready for North Texas



Sept. 14, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team returned to practice Monday, with a practice of just over an hour in shells inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. The Crimson Tide worked indoors on Monday due to heavy rains in Tuscaloosa.

During his weekly press conference, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said that he wanted Alabama to play with consistency throughout the entire game and that would be a point of emphasis this week.

“I think we need to learn to get off fast and finish strong,” Saban said.  “I think that’s what we want to continue to emphasize with the players so we can play with a model of consistency over a 60-minute period.  The season is an on-going process and we need to focus on every player getting better, every player improving what he needs to do to become a better player, regardless of what his role is in the game.  That is something we want to put a lot of emphasis on this week.”

Alabama junior quarterback Greg McElroy will face his former high school coach this Saturday in Tuscaloosa.  North Texas head coach Todd Dodge was the head coach at Southlake Carroll High School and led the team to four state titles in five years. McElroy was one of his star pupils at quarterback.

“Coach Dodge and I had a good relationship,” McElroy said on Monday. “Obviously, I kind of fell behind a player who he had a fantastic relationship with in Chase (Daniel), so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked to with Coach Dodge as a starting quarterback, but I very much enjoyed the year I had with him.  We did some great things offensively.  We ended up scoring more points than any other offense in the history of Texas high school football that year.  Coach Dodge is really a great coach, and I am glad to see him having some success this year.  His son (Riley Dodge) is a good quarterback and I have a lot of faith in him as well.  Other than this game, I will be pulling for them the rest of the year.”

No. 4 Alabama and North Texas will meet Saturday, Sept. 19 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be televised by the SEC Network (WTTO 21 in Birmingham, ESPN GamePlan and with kickoff set for 11:21 a.m. (CST).