Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Begins Practice for Mississippi State Game



Nov. 10, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The top-ranked University of Alabama football team worked for 90 minutes helmets and shoulder pads Monday afternoon as game-week preparation began for Saturday’s game against Mississippi State.

“Mississippi State is a very good, physical team,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said at his weekly press conference Monday afternoon.  “They are probably two points away from being the second-place team in our division. They have two one-point losses to some pretty good teams in the SEC. 

“They play tremendous football on defense.  They’ve got a lot of experience.  They’ve got a lot of starters back. They are rated in the Top 20 in the country in lot of those areas.  They are very well coached. Sylvester (Croom) has done a good job.  They’ve got a lot of discipline.  They play hard.  They’ve got a lot of toughness.  They are a physical team. They try to run the ball at you on offense and have shown balance this year in their ability to throw it.  Their defense is number one in pass defense in our league.  They’ve done a really good job in the kicking game.”

Saban also said junior running back Roy Upchurch and sophomore receiver Earl Alexander (shoulder) did not practice on Monday and both were questionable for Saturday’s game.

“We have two guys that have injury situations and probably won’t practice for a day or two and probably will be day-to-day and will be questionable for this game,” Saban added. “Roy Upchurch continues to have problems that we need to evaluate and we will keep you updated when we find something out about what his injury circumstance really is.  It’s not something that it totally football-related. 

“Earl Alexander hurt his shoulder in the game and you just never know when you dislocate your shoulder how much damage you do.  Sometimes, you pop it back in and continue to play.  We need to do an MRI on Earl.  He’s probably going to need to quiet down for a little while and see how he responds.”

Alabama and Mississippi State game will kick off at 6:45 p.m. (CST) and the game will be televised by ESPN.