Nov. 30, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team returned to the practice field on Monday as preparations begin for the 2009 SEC Championship Game. No. 2 Alabama will meet No. 1 Florida in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.
After a two-day break, the Crimson Tide practiced in shells for 90 minutes Monday afternoon inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.
“This is a great opportunity for our team to play in the SEC Championship Game, especially for the second year in a row,” Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said at his weekly press conference on Monday. “This is a great competitive venue and one of the best competitive venues that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in. I’m sure our players feel the same way about that. I think if you’re a great competitor you love to play in these types of games.
“(Florida has) a lot of great players and had an undefeated season and have a very good team. It’s certainly a challenge for our guys and everybody should be really motivated. There’s a lot of motive as to why you would want to play in a game like this. The action part of it is stepping up and executing and doing the things you need to do to play your best football.”
The 2009 SEC Championship Game will kick off at 4 p.m. (ET) on Saturday and will be nationally televised by CBS Sports. Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson will call the action from Atlanta. Eli Gold, Phil Savage and Barry Krauss will call the action for the Crimson Tide Sports Network. The game can be heard locally in Tuscaloosa on WFNN-FM (95.3).
SMART NAMED FINALIST FOR BROYLES AWARD: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has been named one of five finalists for the Frank Broyles Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top assistant coach in college football.
Smart is joined by Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn, Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong and TCU defensive coordinator Dick Bumpus as this year’s finalists.
Under Smart’s tutelage, the Alabama defense ranks among the top three nationally in all three major statistical categories. UA is first in the NCAA in pass efficiency defense (85.88), second in scoring defense (10.83 ppg) and rushing defense, (77.08 ypg) and third in total defense (233.92 ypg). Alabama has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 32 straight games – a streak that leads the country. The Crimson Tide defense has recorded 19 interceptions this year which is currently seventh in the NCAA standings.