TUSCALOOSA, Ala. The University of Alabama football team is looking to get back on its winning track Saturday when the Crimson Tide hosts the Houston Cougars in the annual homecoming game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson completed 28 of 53 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s game against Florida State. With two touchdown passes, Wilson tied former Alabama All-American and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath for 10th place all-time with 25 career touchdown passes. The 53 passes attempts are the second most in Alabama history behind Scott Hunter’s school-record 55 pass attempts in a 49-26 loss to Auburn at Legion Field in 1969.
“One of things we have stressed this week, obviously Coach Saban has talked about it a lot, we just have to come out and be consistent as an offensive unit,” Wilson said after Tuesday’s practice. “We need to really concentrate on that during practice so it translates over to the game. It goes back to being consistent. I don’t think on every play we are being consistent. It is something we are working on, and something we are going to get better at. We have a great offense. We are clicking at times and need to put a whole game together.”
Wilson said the one thing that stood out in his mind about the Houston defense was team speed.
“They have great speed,” Wilson said. “They have great skill guys. The front seven are good as well. They have big guys that can hit and are very physical and of course the speed they have outside is very good.”
Senior left cornerback Simeon Castille will be playing his final homecoming game for the Crimson Tide this Saturday. In his four previous games, he has eight tackles, one TFL (-1) and an 11-yard fumble return. In last year’s win over Florida International, Castille had four tackles, one TFL (-1) and his 11-yard fumble return set up a third-quarter touchdown in a 38-3 win.
Castille look for his fourth straight homecoming win this Saturday. His father, Jeremiah (1979-82), and brother, Tim (2003-06), were also undefeated in homecoming at the Capstone. A win over Houston on Saturday would make the Castille family 12-0 in homecoming games.
“I have not thought about it that much, but it is crazy to hear this is my last homecoming game,” Castille said after Tuesday’s practice. “It seems like yesterday I was playing in my first game against Utah State (Sept. 4, 2004 and scored on 31-yard interception return in third quarter). Time flies. Hopefully we will get a win this week and we need one bad. It would be great to get a win on homecoming and get us back on the right track.”
Castille talked about the uniqueness of the Houston offense and the challenges they present with some talented skill players.
“Just the places that they put people; you will see a wide receiver lined up in the backfield, the tailback out wide and all the motion they do and the plays that they run. They have some really good players on offense. The guys that they have make their offense good, especially the speed at wide receiver.”