Oct. 22, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads on Wednesday afternoon as preparation continues for Saturday’s game against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said the Tide has had good practices this week and the team’s energy level has been good.
“We are obviously getting ready for a very physical game and the players have practiced well and had a good energy level,” Saban said following Wednesday’s practice. “This is a difficult preparation on both sides of the ball. They are a very good defensive team. They do a lot of things and have a lot of different pressures. They have changed offensively a little bit, but there are still some things that they have done in the past. So, we are kind of working on both sides of that.
“It is going to be very important for our players to focus on the task at hand. This is a very challenging game for us to go on the road in a difficult place to play. Tennessee has a lot of good players that are capable of making plays, so it will be very challenging for us and everybody has a responsibility to do their role and do their job and do it at their full capacity. And play to that capacity for 60 minutes and every play that they are called on to do it.
“We understand the rivalry and tradition here and I think our players have done a good job of that. I think it’s also important that the leadership on this team continues to reinforce and support all the players. We have all kinds of different players with different roles on this team, different ages, young guys, old guys, hurt guys, guys that aren’t playing as much as they would like and I think it’s very important that everybody keeps a positive attitude about their role and knows how important they are in helping the overall success of the team.”
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), with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Holly Rowe (sideline reporter) calling the action to a national cable audience.
INJURY UPDATE: Coach Saban said on Wednesday that sophomore wide receiver Earl Alexander (sore foot) has practiced the last two days after sitting out Monday’s practice. Saban also said that junior nose guard Terrence Cody (sprained MCL) rode the stationary bicycle on Wednesday and “was making good progress and doing as well as could be expected.”
CHAPMAN, WASHINGTON WORKING AT NOSE GUARD: Saban said sophomore Josh Chapman and junior Lorenzo Washington have been working at nose guard this week. “Hopefully both of those guys will take advantage of the opportunity they have created by Terrence’s absence.”