Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Gears Up for Houston Offense



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ?? The University of Alabama team held a two-hour practice Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility as preparations continue for Saturday’s annual homecoming game against the Houston Cougars at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The Crimson Tide worked on red-zone offense, red-zone defense and third down situations during Wednesday’s session.

“I’ve been pleased with the effort and attitude at practice this week,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said.  “We have probably had two of the better practices that we’ve had these two days, at least from an intensity standpoint.  This is a very, very difficult preparation for us.  The scout team has done a very good job of trying to simulate a no-huddle offense, but that has a tremendous amount of multiples. 

“Our focus has been on our team improving and having a good football team, playing winning football,” Saban added. “I’ve used this before, but it’s kind of like climbing a mountain and we’re somewhere around base camp and we’ve got a long way to go.  I think our focus right now should be on improvement and it should be on more and more guys playing with more consistency and doing a better job of executing, so that we have a better chance to have success.”

The Cougars (2-2, 1-1 C-USA) will bring a talented offense to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, including wide receiver Donnie Avery, who ranks ninth nationally in receiving yards per game (108.5) and fourth nationally in kickoff returns (35.2).

“Houston is a very good team,” Saban said.  “They won 10 games last year. They are one of the top offensive teams in the country.  They have eight starters back on defense.  This is going to be a challenging game for us, as all of these games are in the middle of the season in the SEC.  These kinds of games take a lot of maturity by the players to prepare properly, to have the kind of focus that you need to play against a good football team that is not in your league.  This is obviously the second week in a row that we need to be able to do that.”

Saban said that junior defensive end Bobby Greenwood (Prattville, Ala.) has practice some this week with limited contact and would be listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.

The Alabama-Houston game kicks off at 2:07 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday and will televised on a pay-per-view basis through the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Chris Stewart (play-by-play), Tyler Watts (analyst) and Barry Krauss (sideline reporter).  Fans in the states of Alabama and Texas may order the game through their local cable outlets, DirecTV or DISH Network.  The game is available outside the states of Alabama and Texas through ESPN GamePlan, DirecTV and DISH Network.