Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Begins Practice for Auburn Game



Nov. 24, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The top-ranked University of Alabama football team practiced for 90 minutes in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts Monday inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility as game-week preparations begin for this Saturday’s game against Auburn.

“We have reported back and we’re ready to go.” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said at his Monday press conference. “We had a productive week last week, in terms of getting some rest, getting healthy and also getting some good practice in and making some improvement fundamentally.  We practiced a little bit extra for our upcoming opponents and now we’re ready to get back into a normal practice week and get prepared for a game.”

Alabama and Auburn will meet for the 73rd time this weekend when the two teams square off in Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Saban said on Monday that Auburn was a solid team with some narrow losses in SEC play.

“Auburn has a really good team, in my opinion,” Saban added. “They’ve lost four games in the SEC by five points or less. They are a very well-coached team. They are an outstanding defensive team and one of the highest ranked teams in our league, in scoring defense. Their front is very, very good. They’ve got some dominant players up front. They are physical. They can play the run. They’ve got some pass-rushers that can affect the quarterback. They are outstanding.

“Offensively, they’ve got good runners and good offensive line. Kodi Burns has gotten better and better each game that he has played. They’ve got very good receivers, mostly the same guys we played against a year ago.  They’re outstanding on special teams and one of the best kickoff return teams in the country.  They are good on punt returns and play well on (special) teams. This is a team that we have a tremendous amount of respect for and know that we going to have to play as good a football as we have played all year to have success against.”

Saban also said that junior running back Roy Upchurch (neck spasms) and Earl Alexander (ankle) have both been cleared to practice this week.

“From an injury standpoint, we don’t have any new injuries to report,” Saban said. “We have a couple of guys that need to prove to themselves that they are healthy enough to play, but they have been cleared to practice and go full speed.”

Alabama and Auburn will meet this Saturday, Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m. (CST) and the game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports.