TUSCALOOSA The Crimson Tide continued its practice on Saturday for the 2006 Independence Bowl game against Oklahoma State Dec. 28 at 3:30 p.m. (CT) in Shreveport, La.
“Today we had one of the best drills we have had since we started bowl practice,” said interim head coach Joe Kines. “We went quite a few little reps there and had some enthusiasm and some backs knock that ball in the end zone. We did a nice job. The effort was tremendous on both sides of the ball. We tried to get that done yesterday and come back today and finish up with the two-minute drills. We tried to cover every situation. I am pleased with how we stayed focus.”
Practice leading up to the bowl game not only is used to prepare the team for its opponent but also is a good time to get some extra work for some of the younger players and guys who haven’t played as much throughout the season. The Tide has been using the last half hour of practice to run drills with those players once the starters have finished with practice.
“Every rep they get, you are just stealing away from spring practice,” said Kines. “You are just getting ahead and buying time. They worked all day long with the others so you can’t keep them out there forever. What we have done they have done well.”
Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson, who was in that position last year as a backup behind Brodie Croyle, remembers how important the extra repetitions are to young players.
“It is huge,” said Wilson. “Those guys get out there and get extra work. Those extra reps are really big for them. The whole team is getting extra practice which will translate into next year and spring practice. They are getting all the reps after we are done.”
Five Tide football players received their undergraduate degrees on Saturday prior to football practice. Kenneth Darby, Jeffrey Dukes, Chris Harris, Keith Saunders and Kyle Tatum were each awarded their degrees in a ceremony at Coleman Coliseum two hours before practice.
Alabama will be off on Sunday and will return to practice on Monday and Tuesday. They will then take Wednesday off and will conduct their final two practices on Thursday and Friday before traveling to Shreveport for bowl week.