Dec. 28, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads at the New Orleans Saints indoor practice facility on Sunday as preparations continue for Utah and the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl.
It was the second straight day the Crimson Tide practiced inside the Saints facility. The No. 4 Tide (12-1) will face the sixth-ranked and undefeated Utah Utes (12-0) at 7 p.m. on January 2 in the Louisiana Superdome.
"There is a lot of stuff to pay attention to (with the Utah defense)," Alabama left guard Mike Johnson said following Sunday's workout. "They are very speedy on defense and very explosive. They will run through you if they can. We have to keep our pads down and play just as physical as we have played any SEC team all year."
The Utah defense will challenge the Crimson Tide with a quick and explosive unit that has played at an elite level all season. The Utes rank 12th nationally in scoring defense (17.25 points per game), 17th in total defense (295.9) and 14th in rushing defense (104.8).
The Crimson Tide is playing in its 13th Sugar Bowl with eight wins in their previous 12 appearances in New Orleans. UA is taking part in its NCAA-record 56th bowl game with a 31-21-3 all-time bowl record.