Nov. 15, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 10 Alabama football team practiced inside on Monday at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in shells in preparation for Thursday's home game against Georgia State.
Head coach Nick Saban knows this week presents several challenges in terms of the amount of time his team has to get ready for the Panthers.
"Well today is like Wednesday if we were playing on Saturday, yet it is sort of a Monday practice for us," Saban stated. "Our approach is we're going to cut practice down by 20 minutes or so each of the next two days, but try to do and cover the repetitions that we get versus the other team and the scout team in preparation of the other team on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"At this point, with this approach, it's going to be technical knowledge that we have to get and we can't focus on trying to get fundamental repetitions against each other because we just don't have that much practice time."
Three players received individual honors on Monday for the Crimson Tide, as junior wide receiver Julio Jones was named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's most outstanding receiver. Sophomore defensive back Robert Lester was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against No. 17 Mississippi State while Marquis Maze was listed as honorable mention.
Jones has compiled 799 yards in 58 receptions this season. If selected, Jones would become only the second player from the SEC to receive the honor. Josh Reed of LSU won the award in 2001. Lester intercepted two passes on Saturday against the Bulldogs, with his first coming at the Alabama 6-yard line to end Mississippi State's opening drive of the game. His interception total for the season is now up to seven, which is tied for the most in the nation. Lester also recorded four total tackles in the game.
"It's a big honor to be recognized as a Biletnikoff semifinalist," Jones said. "We've gotten great protection from the offensive line and Greg (McElroy) has been throwing great passes to me. As long as we keep doing that, we will all be successful."
Alabama and Georgia State will face off Thursday at 6:30 p.m., CST. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard calling the action from the booth and Erin Andrews reporting from the sideline.