Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Continues Work for Saturday's Game



Oct. 15, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team worked for two hours in full pads Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility, as preparations continues for Saturday’s Southeastern Conference matchup between the Crimson Tide and the Mississippi Rebels.

“We’ve practiced a little better each day,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve had a lot of hitting and trying to get back into it. Each day we’ve been a little bit better, a little better intensity and little better consistency in what we are doing. 

“Obviously (Ole Miss) is a good team. They’ve played a lot of good football. They are tough to run against on defense. They play a lot of eight-man fronts. Offensively, they do a lot of stuff that’s going to be very challenging for our defense. So, the extra work time has been good for us. It’s going to take the same kind of intensity and focus that we had in the Clemson and Georgia game, because this is a very good team that we are playing and we’ve got to go win the game with execution, what we do and how we do it play the kind toughness we need to control the line of scrimmage. They are a very good running team and they are intent on stopping the run. So, it will be an interesting matchup up front.”

Saban also commented on the Tide’s recent NCAA graduation rates that were released on Tuesday and complimented the staff and players for a job well done.

 “I’d like to take a minute and talk about the success rate we’ve had here in terms of graduation, our grade point average with our current players and the progress that we’ve made,” Saban said.  “I am very pleased and happy that we are the top team in our league, in terms of graduation rate. I think it says a lot about a lot of people. We always talk about our program and trying to help people be successful, in terms of developing personal characteristics, graduating from school, being successful as a student, being as good a football player as you can be and help them launch a career.

"I think very seldom do people really get an opportunity to see how that works and how we do it and these are obviously some statistical information that shows what kind of good job our administration has done, the kind of facility we have and the kind of people that we have – Jon Dever and his staff – our tutoring staff and everybody that works in the academic program and how our players have responded to do a good job, which is really what it’s all about.  I know we get caught up in the BCS polls and standings and how to do this and that and all of that, but when it comes to the players on the team the thing they are going to accomplish that’s going to be most significant to the quality of their life is the day they graduate.”

The Crimson Tide and Rebels will meet at 2:30 p.m. (CDT) this Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium and the game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports, with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) calling the action.