TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- The University of Alabama football team will play its first home game since Sept. 16 on Saturday when they host Duke University in a non-conference game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide began preparations for the Blue Devils on Tuesday with a two-hour practice in full pads.
Alabama (3-2, 1-2 SEC) will look to get back to its winning ways after suffering two straight losses on the road. They lost a heartbreaker in double overtime at Arkansas, 24-23, and fell to No. 5 Florida, 28-13. It was the first time since 2000 the Crimson Tide played back-to-back conference games on the road.
This weekend Alabama will welcome Duke (0-4, 0-3 ACC) to town. The Blue Devils have struggled, scoring 13 points in four games and failing to score a point in three contests. They are coming off back-to-back shutout losses to Virginia Tech, 36-0, and Virginia, 37-0.
"We get started today on our preparation for Duke," said Alabama head coach Mike Shula. "It's a team that we don't know a lot about. We've watched them on tape. Our focus this week is to find a way to get back on track. We had good work Sunday night. The kids, I think, have a great attitude. We've suffered two tough losses, losses in which we felt like we could have won the game. The main thing for all of us to do is be positive and learn how we can all get better."
The Crimson Tide has two of the top wide receivers in the SEC. Keith Brown and DJ Hall have combined for 47 catches for 806 yards and five touchdowns this season. The duo are responsible for 54.6-percent of the team's receptions, 69-percent of the receiving yards and 71.4-percent of the touchdown receptions. Brown has recorded 30 catches for 447 yards and two touchdowns. He leads the SEC with six receptions a game and is fourth in yards per game. Hall has 17 grabs for 360 yards and three touchdowns. He is second in yards per game and ninth in receptions per game.
Duke will try to keep the receivers in check with one of the top defensive backs in college football. John Talley, a preseason first team All-America choice by The Sporting News, came in to the season as the active leader in career interceptions with 11. He has picked off one pass this season and forced two fumbles.
The Alabama - Duke game is scheduled to begin at 6:07 p.m. The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis by Crimson Tide Sports Marketing.