Countdown to Kickoff
Football Concludes Preparation for Ole Miss


Thursday, October 13, 2005

The No. 6 University of Alabama (5-0) football team worked for just over an hour in helmets and shorts Thursday afternoon as continued preparations for Saturday's Southeastern Conference Western Division game against the Ole Miss Rebels (2-3).

"We finished up our move the ball stuff." Alabama head coach Mike Shula said.  "We also got three pretty good days of work against crowd noise, trying to simulate what it will be like on Saturday.  It will be important for us to get off to a good start.  We have to make sure we are ready to go for an early kickoff.  We have some guys that will get more playing time with (Tyrone) Prothro being out."

Shula said the Crimson Tide has put more emphasis on special teams the last two weeks and feels that it will play a big factor in Saturday's game.

"(The) special teams are going to be such a big part of this game for field position," Shula added.  "We still have not played anywhere close to what we think we are capable of playing special teams wise.  We got some more work last week in the bye week and need to get all of our teams going and playing better there."

 - Shula said that game captains would be junior right tackle Kyle Tatum (Prattville), senior defensive tackle Rudy Griffin (Hepzibah, Ga.) and junior safety and special teams player Jeffrey Dukes (Oxford, Miss.).

 - Alabama will hold a brief walk through at the UA Football Complex on Friday before departing for Ole Miss.  The Crimson Tide will not work out at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium prior to Saturday morning's game.

 - The Ole Miss game will be Alabama's second road game of the season.  The Crimson Tide beat South Carolina 34-14 on Sept. 17 in Columbia, SC.

 - Alabama has lost its last two trips to Oxford's Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.  The Rebels won 27-24 in 2001, their first home win over the Crimson Tide since 1976.  Ole Miss scored 24 first-quarter points en route to a 43-28 win over Alabama in 2003.

 - Alabama is 20-5 all-time when ranked sixth in the Associated Press poll.

 - Prior to this week's poll, the last time these football greats, No. 1 Southern California, No. 2 Texas, No. 6  Alabama, No. 8 Penn State and No. 9 Notre Dame and Penn State were each ranked in the AP's Top 10 was Sept. 7, 1981.