Oct. 8, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The top-ranked Alabama football team returned to the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields for a 90-minute workout in shells Monday as they continue preparations for Saturday's game against SEC-newcomer Missouri.
"This is an important game to us," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "It's an SEC game. We are playing in a place where no one in our team meeting today has ever been before, including me.
"We are playing a new opponent that, in my mind, is a very challenging opponent for a lot of reasons. They are a very good defensive team. Offensively, this is probably one of the most challenging offenses philosophically in terms of being no huddle, a lot of different formations, a lot of motions and adjustments for the defense to make."
Alabama returns to work following the off weekend to install a game plan for the Tigers. The trip to Columbia, Mo., marks the first meeting between the two teams since the Tide visited the Tigers in 1978. Missouri holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series.
Saturday's matchup will feature longtime friends and colleagues facing off against each other. Alabama's head coach Nick Saban and Missouri's head coach Gary Pinkel were college teammates at Kent State and coached together at the graduate assistant level at Kent State.
"I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for the kind of person that Gary is," Saban said. "He was a hard worker and very smart football-wise. We spent one year as GAs and part-time coaches," Saban said. "He has done a fabulous job at Missouri."
Kickoff for Saturday's game is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised nationally by CBS, with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson calling the action and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sideline.
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