Countdown to Kickoff
Coach Fran Pleased With First Two Workouts as Bama Prepares for USM


Wednesday, September 18, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --  The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on Wednesday afternoon as preparations continued for Saturday night's non-conference game with Southern Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

"Today was a good workout," Alabama coach Dennis Franchione said.  "We have two really good practices this week.  Today, we cut back just a little so we can get our legs back under us in time for this weekend."

The two-hour session also marked the second straight day the Crimson Tide did not practice in full pads.

"Normally we are (in pads) on Tuesday, but it's a long season with 13 games," Franchione added.  "I want to keep us a fresh as possible during this period where we play six games before an open date.

"The heat and humidity has also been pretty high the last few weeks and that is a factor, too. As humid as it is, we had several kids lose as much as seven or eight pounds yesterday and it would have been a lot more had we been in full pads.  We don't cut back on the work any at all.  We go at it pretty hard whether we are in pads or not."

Alabama will continue it work for the Southern Miss with a 4 p.m. practice on Thursday.  The Alabama-USM game will be televised by espn2 and kickoff will be at 6 p.m. (CT) on Saturday.

All gates will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Tide fans are reminded that in the interest of fan safety, the following items will not be allowed in Bryant-Denny Stadium: oversized bags (anything over 8.5 x 11); backpacks; cameras; camera cases; video recorders; coolers or food containers; umbrellas or artificial noisemakers.