Oct. 20, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 2 University of Alabama football team hit the field Monday afternoon in preparation for the 91st meeting between the Crimson Tide and Tennessee Volunteers, one the south’s oldest football rivalries.
The Crimson Tide worked for 90 minutes at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in helmets and shoulders pads as Tennessee game week began.
“Tennessee is obviously a big challenge for us,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “They have a lot of good players. They have 16 starters back from last year’s team. Phillip Fulmer has been there a long time. He has a lot of experience and he has won a lot of games. He is going to get this team playing better and better and better as the season goes on, I am sure of that, and they have made a significant amount of improvement and played very well last week against Mississippi State.
“Defensively, they are in the Top 20 in just about every category nationally that you can be in. They are the second-best defense in the SEC, statistically, in almost every area, whether its yards, points allowed or whatever it is. Eric Berry has five interceptions. They have 14 picks as a defense (ranks No. 1 nationally). They are a ball-hawking bunch that thrives on turnovers.”
The Crimson Tide and Volunteers will meet Saturday, Oct. 25 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville and the game will be televised by ESPN beginning at 6:45 p.m. (CDT).
CODY OUT WITH MCL SPRAIN: Coach Saban confirmed Monday that junior nose guard Terrence Cody will be out for “at least two weeks.” Cody suffered the right knee injury during the third quarter of Alabama’s 24-20 win over Mississippi last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. “We did an MRI on (junior nose guard Terrence) Cody and he has an MCL sprain. He’s probably going to be out at least two weeks and then we will re-evaluate where he is then. It’s a similar injury to what Smitty (junior left tackle Andre Smith) had and we will see what happens,” Saban said on Monday. For the season, Cody has started all seven games for Alabama, which ranks second in the SEC with 66.1 rushing yards allowed per game. Cody has 15 tackles, 3 ½ tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the Tide.
JOHNSON HONORED: Alabama junior left guard Mike Johnson was named the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Monday, after his performance in the Tide’s 24-20 win over Mississippi on Oct. 18. The Pensacola, Fla., native did not allow a sack or quarterback pressure and did not have any missed assignments in Alabama’s 24-20 win against Ole Miss. Alabama finished the game with 326 total yards (219 passing, 107 rushing) in the win, with 219 of those yards coming in the first half as the Tide opened up a 24-3 lead. The honor for Johnson is his second of the season (Clemson) and the third of the year for an Alabama offensive lineman (Andre Smith vs. Arkansas).