Countdown to Kickoff
Crimson Tide Ready to Face Rebels



Oct. 16, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala – The No. 2 University of Alabama football team put the finishing touches on its game plan for the Mississippi Rebels with a 90-minute practice in helmets and shorts Thursday afternoon in the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.

The Crimson Tide expects a physical football game this week from the Rebels and has hard worked this week preparing for a challenging offense and defense they expect to see on Saturday.

“We certainly have a very challenging game against a team that could be 6-0 very easily and lost three games all by less than seven points,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “They have been very competitive and played well on both sides of the ball and on special teams. They have some very talented players on offense.  Their quarterback has done a great job for them. They have a very challenging scheme to prepare for. 

“Houston Nutt is one of those guys that makes it difficult to prepare for all the things they can and will do and how they use their players.  Defensively, they have really played well and they certainly have some big-play players on special teams.  This is a challenging game for us and our players need to bring their “A” game and that’s going to be critical to us being successful.”

Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer says the Tide has worked hard this week against the multiple formations they expect to see from the Rebels, including the “wildcat” offense. 

“Tackle the guy with the ball,” Reamer said. “We have a couple of different things we are going to do for it, kind of like we did against Arkansas last year. They can throw the ball out of that formation too, so we have to be ready for that.   We just have to contain the guy and not let him get to the outside; because he is a fast guy and he can make a lot of moves and get in the end zone real fast.”

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.

FORMER TIDE PLAYERS SIGN NFL CONTRACTS:  Former Alabama running backs Shaun Alexander and Kenneth Darby signed one-year NFL contracts this week. Alexander, a former NFL MVP, signed a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins. Alexander, a three-time Pro Bowl running back and 2005 NFL MVP, played eight NFL seasons, all with Seattle. Alexander has compiled 9,429 yards, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average, and 100 touchdowns. He has also caught 214 passes for 1,511 yards and 12 touchdowns.  His most productive season in 2005, the year he was named MVP. He logged career highs with 370 rushes for 1,880 yards and 28 touchdowns, the latter of which set an NFL record at the time. Alexander is the Tide’s all-time leading rusher with 3,565 yards. Darby signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Rams. Darby played in one NFL game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007.  Darby is third on Alabama’s all-time rushing list with 3,324 yards.