Oct. 27, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced that eight players were named player of the week by the Crimson Tide coaching staff, following Saturday’s 29-9 win at Tennessee in Knoxville.
The offensive players of the week were senior quarterback John Parker Wilson, senior center Antoine Caldwell and freshman receiver Julio Jones. Wilson completed 17 of 24 passes for 188 yards in the win over the Vols. The senior completed his final 11 pass attempts in leading UA to its second straight win over the Vols. Caldwell anchored an offensive front that did not allow a sack and paved the way for 4.1-yard per play rushing average. Jones caught six passes for 103 yards and turned in the first 100-yard game by an Alabama receiver this season. He was also named SEC Freshman of the Week for his efforts.
“We had some outstanding performances in the game,” Saban announced at his Monday press conference. “John Parker (Wilson) played a very good game. They got a lot of pressure early in the game and he never lost his poise and really did a god job. Roy (Upchurch) did a great job in the second half and really played with a lot of competitive spirit out there. He really played hard and did an outstanding job on special teams as well. The entire offensive line did a good job, but Antoine Caldwell probably had his best game of the year and really did a good job. Of course, Julio (Jones) had over 100 yards receiving and being the freshman of the week in the SEC, also did a good job.”
The defensive players of the week were senior safety Rashad Johnson, sophomore linebacker Rolando McClain and senior defensive end Bobby Greenwood. Johnson was UA’s second-leading tackler with six stops, including one sack (-7), and one pass break-up. McClain added four tackles and two pass break-ups, while Greenwood added two stops. The Alabama defense held Tennessee to 61 total yards in the second half.
“Defensively, Rashad Johnson, Rolando McClain and Bobby Greenwood, all did a really good job. I thought we played really well as a team defensively. I think that’s going to be important for us to continue to do that in the future.”
The special teams players honored were juniors Chris Rogers and Leigh Tiffin. Rogers had two tackles in the game for the Tide and Tiffin made all three field goal attempts. He has converted nine of 10 field goals on the road this season.
“Chris Rogers, who has been one of the best players consistently on special teams throughout the year, did another very, very good job on kickoff coverage and is on almost all the special teams. Leigh Tiffin had a good night kicking off, as well as making his field goals.”
JONES NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Jones was named the SEC Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday. Jones had six catches for a season-high 103 yards in the Tide’s 29-9 win over Tennessee this past Saturday in Knoxville. He had back-to-back catches on the Tide’s lone touchdown drive of the first half that gave UA a first down at the Tennessee 12-yard line. He caught a 19-yard pass on the first play of the drive and then added a 35-yard catch, his longest of the game that put the ball on the UT 12. For the season, Jones leads the Tide with 28 catches for 444 yards and three touchdowns.
PRACTICE NOTES: Alabama practiced outside for 90 minutes in helmets and shoulder pads Monday afternoon as preparation began for Saturday’s homecoming game against Arkansas State. Coach Saban said that there were no significant injuries after the Tennessee game other than the normal bumps and bruises. Junior nose guard Terrence Cody (sprained knee) was the only player that did not practice on Monday.