TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? The 16th-ranked Crimson Tide (3-0, 2-0 SEC) practiced outside Monday afternoon as they went over corrections from Saturday’s win over Arkansas and began to prepare for this weekend’s game against No. 20 Georgia (2-1, 0-1 SEC).
“Georgia is an outstanding football team,” said Saban. “Mark Richt has done a fantastic job there. His record speaks for itself, the number of championships they’ve won. They have outstanding players on both sides of the ball. Even though they’ve been a little bit hot and cold on offense, they’re a little more hot than anything else right now in terms of how they’re playing. Quarterback (Matt Stafford) is an outstanding player. They’ve got good skill guys. They’ve got very good runners. Even though they have an offensive line that’s a little bit young and inexperienced, they have done a really, really good job allowing some of these people to make some outstanding plays. Defensively, they’re second in the league in just about every category. They’ve always played great defense there. They’ve got great players. They’re aggressive in their style, so this is a good football team all the way around. And they’ve always been very, very dangerous on special teams.”
The game will be televised nationally by ESPN at 6:45 (CT) and ESPN Gameday will be on hand for the first time since 2005.
“It’s certainly an honor for us to have Gameday come to the University of Alabama,” said Saban. “It’s special exposure for us. It’s special to have those people come and be a part of our program for a day, and we certainly want to have nothing but the greatest hospitality, respect and admiration for what they do so that they have a positive experience here, and I think that goes without saying that our fans welcome them and create an atmosphere that’s special for everyone to see.”
As per the weekly schedule, head coach Nick Saban and several Alabama players addressed the media Monday before practice. Coach Saban noted that he thought the players who missed time in the Arkansas game due to injuries would be ready to go this weekend.
“From an injury standpoint I think (Leigh) Tiffin will be able to kick,” said Saban. “That shouldn’t be a problem. (Darren) Mustin will probably need a day. D.J. Hall may need a day. I think everybody else will be okay.”
In off the field news, tailback Terry Grant was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time after rushing for 96 yards in last Saturday’s victory. Grant ranks second in the SEC in rushing. D.J. Hall, who set the new school record for all-time receiving yards against the Razorbacks, was named honorable mention after hauling a career-high 172 yards and two touchdowns. Hall and Matt Caddell were named the players of the week on offense by the Alabama coaching staff, Mustin and Saunders earned defensive honors while Tiffin and Tyrone King were the special teams players of the game.
“We did have some players of the game in this game,” said Saban. “D.J. Hall on offense, breaking the receiver record here and Matt Caddell with nine catches. I thought our receivers played their best game of the season as a group and these two guys especially made a significant number of plays. Defensively, Keith Saunders and Darren Mustin. Even though Mustin only played half the game, the half the game that he played was outstanding. He really played well. And even though he may not have had the production points of some guys that played the whole game, for what he did in his part of the game, I think it was an outstanding performance. Ty King did a great job on special teams and Leigh Tiffin did a much better job kicking off. Made a big field goal, came back in the game after being injured. So we were really pleased with those two guys on special teams, Ty King caused a fumble and recovered a fumble on a kickoff.
The Crimson Tide will return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon.