Countdown to Kickoff
Football Ready for Showdown with Florida


Thursday, September 29, 2005

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 15 University of Alabama (4-0) football team worked for 90 minutes in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts Thursday afternoon, wrapping up preparation for Saturday's Southeastern Conference showdown with the No. 5 ranked Florida Gators (4-0).
"I thought we had a good day," Alabama head coach Mike Shula said. "The guys are focused.  The guys are into it.  It's going to take a complete effort in all three phases and we know we have to get better and play better than we did last week. We know our best football game is still out there.
"We just keep hitting the guys with preparing the best way they know how.  I think that has paid off over the course of this year and hopefully it will again this week."
Shula also said that Alabama would enter the Florida game as healthy as it has been this season.
"We are about as healthy as we have ever been," Shula added.  "It looks like (junior linebacker) Terrence Jones (Northport) is going to be ready to go and help out the defense and special teams.  (Senior right guard) Mark Sanders (Ashville) will be ready to go in an emergency. (Sophomore cornerback) Eric Gray (Trinity) has looked as good as he has looked all year.  Hopefully, he can help us possibly on defense, and for sure, on special teams.

  • Shula announced on Thursday that Brodie Croyle (Rainbow City), DeMeco Ryans (Bessemer) and Le'Ron McClain (Northport) would serve as captains for the Florida game.
  • Alabama-Florida is one of three games this weekend featuring a pair of 4-0 teams. The other two involve Minnesota at Penn State and Virginia Tech at West Virginia. In all, there are only 11 teams in the nation with 4-0 records.
  • The Alabama-Florida game has been designated as "Covered in Crimson" by the University of Alabama's various spirit groups. UA football fans are encouraged to wear "crimson" to Saturday's game with Florida to show their support of the Crimson Tide.
  • Alabama and Florida meet this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a nationally televised game by CBS Sports. The kickoff time is 2:34 p.m. (CT).
  • CBS Sports analyst Todd Blackledge attended practice on Thursday in preparation for Saturday's national telecast.