Countdown to Kickoff
Crimson Tide Holds First Bye-Week Practice



Oct. 7, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After a couple of off days, the No. 2 University of Alabama football team returned to the practice field Tuesday afternoon for its first of three bye-week practices.

The Crimson Tide worked in helmets and shoulder pads Tuesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility, dodging a few rain showers during the two-hour workout.

Alabama senior quarterback John Parker Wilson is glad to have some time off this week, but said that Tuesday’s practice was a good one, especially in the passing game.

“We had a really good practice today and we threw the ball really well,” Wilson said.  “We have a chance to get better this week and we are going against a really good defense.  For me, it’s working on timing with the receivers and trying to get as sharp as we can in the passing game. Of course, we have to keep running the ball, but we have to get better in the passing game.”

Alabama senior defensive end Bobby Greenwood said the open date was an opportunity for the team to work on the fundamentals of football and for the team to improve.

“The biggest goal is to go back to the basics,” Greenwood said. “You work on each team you play each week and you kind of lose focus on your technique a little bit, so we have to go back and work on fitting our gaps, working on the pass rush and all the little things.  We worked hard our there today.  You wouldn’t know it was a bye week. We really worked hard and tried to get better.”

Alabama junior left tackle Andre Smith missed Tuesday’s practice with an illness.

“Andre was sick today and was excused,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said. “He should O.K. for tomorrow.”

The Crimson Tide is also expected to practice Wednesday and Thursday this week before taking the weekend off. 

After an open date this weekend, Alabama will host Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

1979 TEAM ADVANCES IN AT&T TOURNAMENT: The 1979 University of Alabama football team has advanced to the next round in the 2008 AT&T “All-Time Greatest Team Tournament.”  The tournament is a 10-week program available through SEC Mobile, a portal accessible via AT&T handsets that allows fans to vote in a playoff-style competition where they choose the greatest teams to hit the gridiron. Entering the interactive portal, which allows fans instant access to the school and team they love, is as easy as texting SEC to 567890 from an AT&T handset.

The 1979 Alabama team (12-0) allowed 10 or more points twice all season as the Crimson Tide won its third straight SEC title and captured the school’s 11th national championship with a 24-9 win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl. Led by three All-Americans, the squad completed the most dominant decade in college football history, compiling a record of 103-16-1.

Fans can check out the latest seeded matchups online at and then vote via an AT&T handset. In addition, each week, AT&T will post the SEC Matchup Challenge, which will challenge fans to test their SEC knowledge to correctly pick the winner of each week’s SEC matchups. Fans can also test their SEC history and team knowledge by participating in the weekly SEC Trivia, with five questions per week.

Another former Alabama national champion is matched up in week five of the tournament as the 1992 Alabama team squares off with the 1962 Ole Miss team.