Thursday, October 28, 2010 Alabama has nation's toughest remaining schedule

TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama is the No. 1 team in the country in at least one significant category. It's one reason all the Bowl Championship Series gurus have crimson on their pallet for painting the national championship portrait.

Seventh-ranked Alabama has the toughest future schedule in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision teams, according to NCAA statistics. The Tide's final three FBS opponents have a combined record of 19-3, and all are ranked in every top-25 poll, including the BCS standings. Alabama also plays 5-3 Georgia State, a Football Championship Subdivision team, Nov. 18.

Read the Article Here. Crimson Tide Back in Full Pads for Wednesday's Practice

Oct. 27, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team returned to practice Wednesday afternoon for a two-hour session at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.  The Crimson Tide worked out in full pads for the first time of the bye week after practicing in shorts and shoulder pads on Monday and Tuesday.

Read Full Article Here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Weeks SEC Schedule

  • Tennessee @ South Carolina – 12:21 PM
  • Florida @ Georgia – 3:30 PM
  • Auburn @ Ole Miss – 6:00 PM
  • Vanderbilt @ Arkansas – 7:00 PM
  • Kentucky @ Mississippi State – 7:00 PM Tide holds first bye week Practice

Oct. 26, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team practiced for two-hours in full pads Tuesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.

Read Article Here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Auburn Takes Top Spot in BCS Standings


On Sunday, the BCS released its latest BCS Standings. For a second week now, there is a new team at the top of the list and it still isn’t Boise State. With the third #1 ranked team in the land loosing in as many weeks, Auburn takes the spot at the front with an impressive win over LSU. Auburn jumped from their 4th spot last week. Oregon and Boise still remain at 2 and 3, while Alabama moves up one spot taking advantage of the LSU loss.

With half of the season in the books, every week makes it clear that this season’s Iron Bowl will have some major impacts on how this thing sorts out. Especially if both Alabama and Auburn run the table before the matchup in Tuscaloosa.

Here is the second BCS Rankings of the year.

  1. Auburn (.9371)
  2. Oregon (.9069)
  3. Boise State (.8846)
  4. TCU (.8833)
  5. Michigan State (.8387)
  6. Missouri (.8006)
  7. Alabama (.7100)
  8. Utah (.7049)
  9. Oklahoma (.6691)
  10. Wisconsin (.6584)
  11. Ohio State (.6356)
  12. LSU (.6219)
  13. Stanford (.5185)
  14. Nebraska (.5073)
  15. Arizona (.4492)
  16. Florida State (.4395)
  17. Oklahoma State (.3053)
  18. Iowa (.2834)
  19. Arkansas (.2481)
  20. South Carolina (.2431)
  21. Mississippi State (.1959)
  22. Miami (FL) (.1799)
  23. Virginia Tech (.1367)
  24. Nevada (.0865)
  25. Baylor (.0403)

James Carpenter Selected as SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week

Today, the SEC announced that Left Tackle James Carpenter was selected as this week’s Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week. The selection comes off his work during the Tide’s overwhelming victory over the Tennessee Volunteers.

During the game, Carpenter did not allow a sack or pressure. He also was not flagged for a penalty in Saturday’s game. He is also the one who had the key blocks in Trent Richardson’s 65 yard TD run.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crimson Tide Continues to Prepare for Tennessee The Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads Wednesday at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields to continue work for Saturday's game against Tennessee in Knoxville.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

First BCS Standings Released

 bcs_logoOn Sunday, the first BCS Standings were released. Top of the list, is a familiar face in the Oklahoma Sooners followed by the Oregon Ducks. Three SEC teams help make up the top ten including Auburn (4), LSU (6), and Alabama (8). All of who are in the Western Division of the SEC and all have to play each other still this season. Here is the complete rankings.

  1. Oklahoma (.9215)
  2. Oregon (.8921)
  3. Boise State (.8898)
  4. Auburn (.8641)
  5. TCU (.8573)
  6. LSU (.8245)
  7. Michigan State (.7628)
  8. Alabama (.6654)
  9. Utah (.6540)
  10. Ohio State (.5726)
  11. Missouri (.5491)
  12. Stanford (.5374)
  13. Wisconsin (.5335)
  14. Oklahoma State (.5261)
  15. Iowa (.4824)
  16. Nebraska (.4295)
  17. Florida State (.4267)
  18. Arizona (.3807)
  19. Texas (.2214)
  20. West Virginia (.1812)
  21. South Carolina (.1555)
  22. Kansas State (.1422)
  23. Arkansas (.1302)
  24. Mississippi State (.1253)
  25. Virginia Tech (.0658)

Friday, October 15, 2010 Tide Holds Final Practice Before Mississippi

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team practiced for 90-minutes Thursday in shells (short, shoulder pads and helmets) at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility.

Full Story…

Thursday, October 14, 2010 Alabama Continues Work for Mississippi

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team practiced for two hours in full pads Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields to gear up for Saturday’s Homecoming game against Mississippi.

After a loss at South Carolina last Saturday, head coach Nick Saban is looking for his players to respond in practice this week as they turn their focus to Mississippi.

“We’ve worked pretty well,” Saban said following Wednesday’s practice. “I think when the game comes everybody has the will to win, but I think the important thing is that you have to have the will to prepare yourself to be able to play successfully.”

With Mississippi’s offense featuring quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, it will be unlike any the Tide has faced this year and has presented the Tide with challenges this week in practice.

“Ole Miss I think is a really good team and very difficult preparation because what they’re doing offensively now is not anything like what we’ve seen to this point,” Saban said. “The quarterback really creates a lot of problems and issues with his ability to run. He’s a great runner and can throw it.”

Junior receiver Julio Jones (hand) practiced Wednesday and did not have any more problems since practicing Tuesday. According to Saban, Jones caught balls and practiced with the rest of the team. He will be evaluated day-to-day to determine his status for Saturday.

Saturday’s game is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised on ESPN2. More information regarding Homecoming festivities at the Capstone can be found by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Crimson Tide Prepares to Face Rebels

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama football team went to practice for the first time since its first loss in over a year Tuesday with a two-hour session in full pads.

Head coach Nick Saban gave his players an extra day off from physical contact Monday to help his players recuperate coming off a stretch of playing top 20 teams in three consecutive weeks. The Tide are preparing for its seventh straight game and do not receive a bye week until after next Saturday's matchup with Tennessee.

"It was good to get back out and hit someone," sophomore linebacker Nico Johnson said. "We made some mistakes last Saturday, but it was good to release some of the stress and get back to the basics and correct everything."

The Crimson Tide defense will need to prepare to keep the Mississippi offensive attack at bay. The Rebels offense, led by former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense, averaging 37.2 points per game.

"They have a lot of weapons," Johnson said of the Mississippi offense. "They have more weapons than anyone else in the SEC and we're going to have to go out and be fundamentally sound. Every defender will have to be responsible and do their job."

Alabama will hold two more practices on Wednesday and Thursday before Friday's walk-through. The Crimson Tide will play its 90th Homecoming game this Saturday when they take on Mississippi at 8:10 p.m., on ESPN2. For more information on Homecoming festivities at the Capstone, click here.

AL.COM- Julio Jones, D.J. Fluker practice; Jones making 'one-handed catches', Izzy Gould, Tuscaloosa Bureau

TUSCALOOSA - Alabama receiver Julio Jones and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker wore black non-contact jerseys at Tuesday's practice.

Jones ran receiving routes, simulated catches, but was not thrown to during the brief media viewing period, which lasted roughly 20 minutes.

Afterward, Tide receiver Michael Williams said Jones was making one-handed catches during practice.

"He's going through practice just like everybody else," Williams said. "He's keeping it up there and not bringing the team down. ...I think he's making one-handed catches. That let's you know what type of player he is."

Jones is recovering from a fractured left hand, which required surgery including a plate and some screws.

Saban said Monday Jones would be cleared to play when he can tolerate the pain. Jones led the Tide last week with 8 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown earning offensive player of the week from the coaching staff.

Asked how many one-handed catches Jones made, Williams said,"He catches all of them."

Asked if he thought if Jones would come back from the Ole Miss game, Williams said, "Knowing Julio, I wouldn't doubt it. I wouldn't doubt it at all."

Fluker rode a stationary bicycle on the far side of the practice complex away from most of the team. He then moved to another bike closer to the offensive linemen using metal hand rails to pedal the bike planting his feet on the ground.

Fluker is coping with what Saban described as a severe groin injury, and is expected to miss a week and possibly more. Saban said he would likely be replaced by Alfred McCullough.

McCullough has relished the opportunity to start.

"I'm very excited about it," McCullough said of his first start. "I'm ready every week in case someone goes down as D.J. did. It's unfortunate, but I'm going to do my best."
Also of note, linebacker linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Chris Jordan also practiced. Upshaw, who started against South Carolina and made two tackles, had his right ankle taped. Jordan, who has played in five games before sitting out against the Gamecocks, is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Tide linebacker Nico Johnson said Jordan is "coming along strong" and "should be OK." He also said Upshaw is "getting there."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Battered Bama: Jones, Fluker, Upshaw and Jordan all coping with injuries Izzy Gould, Tuscaloosa Bureau

TUSCALOOSA - Alabama's best offensive weapon Saturday could miss this week's homecoming game against Ole Miss, and possibly more.

Crimson Tide wide receiver Julio Jones fractured his left hand Saturday during a 35-21 loss at South Carolina. The injury was surgically repaired with a plate and screws, coach Nick Saban said during his weekly Monday press conference.

And there was more.

Tide right tackle D.J. Fluker will miss at least a week, and possibly longer with a severe groin injury. Jack linebacker Courtney Upshaw will probably be slow for a day or two with an unspecified injury, and Chris Jordan continues to cope with a hamstring injury.

Jones is coming off the best game of the season with 8 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown. He also made the final catch of the game, a 26-yard reception from quarterback Greg McElroy.

Saban said the team will assess the star receiver's status again Wednesday.

"Nobody really knew it was broken," Saban said. "He did it in the first half, and played the entire game with it. When he was X-rayed on Saturday evening we decided the best thing to do was to plate it and screw it. ...The prognosis for it is as soon as he can tolerate using his hand, which will be the palm of his hand he's cleared to play. That may be three or four days, it may be a week. I don't know."

McElroy said he saw Jones in the training room Monday morning.

"He was still a little bit out of it after the surgery," McElroy said. "He's a warrior, he'll be back and is going to give his best effort to get back on the field as soon as possible."

Jones is the Tide's top receiver with twice as many receptions (32) and almost twice as many yards (440) than the next most productive receiver, Darius Hanks (16 catches, 285 yards, 2 touchdowns). Jones also leads the Tide with three touchdown receptions. He also had five punt returns for 44 yards, and a 36-yard kick return.

"It's tough (losing him)," McElroy said. "We've been really throwing the ball well together the last few games. He's made some big plays for us. ...In the South Carolina game he made a lot of great plays. ...Our timing's been good and we've been clicking really well so it's disappointing to lose him."

Saban said overall he was pleased with the play of the Tide's other receiving options including Preston Dial, Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks. In all, Tide receivers made 27 catches for 315 yards and two touchdowns against the Gamecocks. Maze has been productive in the punting game with four returns for 62 yards, and a kick return for 31 yards.

"We had some guys open we couldn't get them the ball at times because of pressure," Saban said. "We missed a few, but I thought those guys did a really good job. ...Those guys are playing extremely well."

Saban said Maze ran some of the plays typical run by Jones, and was productive doing it. He had four receptions for 41 yards, a punt returned 28 yards and a kick returned 31 yards.

"We have confidence in our other guys," Saban said. "We're pleased with that entire group."

Fluker will miss at least a week from what Saban called a "pretty severe" groin injury. Fluker started the game, and suffered the injury in the third quarter before leaving the game. He was spotted on crutches afterward before leaving Brice-Williams Stadium.

Saban said Alfred McCullough will move up as a starter. McCullough has played in 11 career games including four this season.

"He did a good job coming off the bench cold like that," Tide center William Vlachos said. "...They're blowing and going. I think he did a good job. He's a valuable guy to have if somebody goes down like that. I'm not sure what D.J.'s status is for next week, but Alfred did a really good job when he went in."

AL.COM- Monday (10.11.10) Press Conference Videos

Link to Videos on AL.COM

Nick Saban press conference
Greg McElroy press conference
Mark Ingram press conference
Marcell Dareus press conference
William Vlachos press conference

Monday, October 11, 2010

No. 19 South Carolina stuns top-ranked Alabama 35-21

AL.COM – Don Kausler Jr., Tuscaloosa Bureau

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The long streaks are over.

A 19-game winning streak overall. A 29-game regular-season winning streak. Greg McElroy's streak of never losing in 35 starts a starting quarterback in high school and college.

They all came crashing down Saturday as top-ranked Alabama (5-1, 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference) fell 35-21 to No. 19 South Carolina (4-1, 2-1) at Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Crimson Tide spotted the Gamecocks a 21-3 second-quarter lead, then closed within 28-21 early in the fourth quarter.

Alabama missed a field goal and a point-after-touchdown kick, and a fake 42-yard field-goal attempt also failed as a pass fell incomplete. That came after the Tide, trailing by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, reached South Carolina's 18-yard line, but McElroy was sacked for a 7-yard loss.

Alabama scored only one touchdown in four red-zone opportunities. McElroy, who was in the eighth grade when he last lost a game he started, threw an 8-yard TD pass to Julio Jones.

With the Tide trailing 28-21, McElroy later connected with Darius Hanks for a 51-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Alabama got the ball right back on an interception by Will Lowery, but South Carolina's defense stiffened after allowing a first down, and the Tide's fake-field-goal attempt failed.

South Carolina, the Southeastern Conference's leading red-zone offense, scored touchdowns on all four of its red-zone chances against the league's leading red-zone defense. Opponents previously had scored only two touchdowns in 14 red-zone opportunities against the Crimson Tide.

South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia threw a career-high three touchdown passes, two to star wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and star freshman running back Marcus Lattimore caught a touchdown pass and ran for two TDs.

Alabama outplayed by South Carolina in fateful upset

The Huntsville Times, Mark McCarter

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Steve Spurrier got mystic. Nick Saban got humbled. Greg McElroy channeled Tim Tebow. Mark Ingram reminded that players, not reputations, win football games.

All that on a seismic day that did a tidy little Etch-a-Sketch shake-up to the national championship picture, the SEC race and travel plans the most optimistic of Alabama fans had made for Glendale, Ariz., and a title game encore in January.

"You can't just show up and win just because you're Alabama," said Ingram after the top-ranked Tide fell 35-21 to South Carolina. "You've got to focus. You've got to play with a lot of intensity and play Alabama football."

As Alabama's tailback reminded, "Losing isn't acceptable in this program." But losing may have been inevitable.

"I think this game was meant to be," said Spurrier, the South Carolina coach.

He noted that South Carolina's basketball team knocked off No. 1 Kentucky last winter. And that the baseball team knocked off No. 1. Arizona State on the way to a College World Series title.

"Fellas, if fate means for us to win this game Saturday, then let's give it a chance. Let's give fate a chance to happen," Spurrier told his team.

Fate gets a helping hand when a quarterback like the Gamecocks' Stephen Garcia hits 17 of 20 passes and throws three touchdowns.

Fate gets a helping hand when defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, once in the employ of the University of Alabama, devises a sweet-revenge defense that holds Ingram to a mere 205 fewer yards than he gained a year ago against the Gamecocks.

Fate gets a helping hand when "we didn't necessarily bring our 'A' game," as Saban put it.

"We got out-coached today, too," he said.

He'll get no argument there. There was some vintage Ol' Ball Coach on Spurrier's part, just when it was getting convenient to write him off as past his prime.

Alabama had been the unbeatable combination of good and lucky. And even McElroy conceded, "We don't play well very often."

On Saturday, it was merely good. And had little luck.

"We didn't just lose," Saban said. "They out-executed us, they played better than we played, with more intensity."

Surely many in Tide Nation will roll out the dog-ate-my-homework business as it braces to see how far Alabama will plummet in the rankings today.

South Carolina, like so many Alabama opponents, had an open week to prepare. Alabama was drained in this three-week stretch of Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina. (Guess what, playoff advocates. There'll be three just as tough, or tougher, in a playoff scenario.)

Players offered no excuses. Just resolution. Like McElroy, who all but Xeroxed an impassioned Tebow speech from a Florida upset loss in 2008.

"This team is capable of amazing things," McElroy said "We can still do everything we want to do. Quite frankly we have to commit ourselves ... and believe in this team.

"I promise," McElroy continued, "I will do everything in my power to get these guys ready to go and put this loss in the rear view mirror and learn everything we possibly can from it. We're still going to be one heck of a team."

Down another hallway underneath the stands, Spurrier saw Garcia and gave him a hug. It was a quarterback who had already responded from adversity, from being yanked in the loss to Auburn, to brilliance.

"Best game you ever played," Spurrier said.

This, after Spurrier had proclaimed it "one of the best days for our university ever."
Spurrier earned a footnote in history. He's now the second-winningest coach ever in the SEC, behind Paul "Bear" Bryant.

"I gave myself a game ball," Spurrier cracked. "The players wanted to give fate a game ball. I said, 'I'm accepting for fate.'" No. 1 Alabama Falls to No. 19 South Carolina, 35-21

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Alabama's school record 29-game regular season win streak came to an end Saturday afternoon at Williams-Brice Stadium as the No. 19 South Carolina Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) took down the top-ranked Crimson Tide (5-1, 2-1 SEC). After only giving up a combined 35 points the entire season, the Tide defense surrendered 35 points at the hands of the Gamecock offense.

"If you're a great competitor you really don't like losing," head coach Nick Saban said. "This is a lesson for everybody in terms of what you have to do to prepare and what it takes to play with consistency in this league."

After Alabama scored a field goal on its opening drive, South Carolina answered with a touchdown and would go on to take a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Greg McElroy connected with junior Julio Jones on a 8-yard touchdown pass to take a 21-9 deficit into the half.

The Crimson Tide drew back within a touchdown quickly at the start of the second half after a South Carolina safety and an Alabama field goal, all coming within the first five minutes of the third quarter to narrow the Gamecocks advantage to 21-14. South Carolina answered with a 15-play touchdown drive eating up nearly eight minutes off the clock, stretching South Carolina's lead back out to 28-14.

Alabama pulled back within a touchdown quickly, when McElroy hit junior Darius Hanks with a 51-yard touchdown pass, the longest of Hanks' career. The Tide's comeback hopes looked bright as junior Will Lowery intercepted USC's Stephen Garcia on the following drive, giving Alabama the ball on the Gamecocks 38-yard line.

The Tide could not capitalize on the turnover though, as Alabama failed to convert a fake field goal attempt on 4th and 11 from the 25-yard line.

"I was proud of the way our players fought back at the end of the game," Saban added. "That shows a lot of character, but everybody has a lot to learn from this experience."

Quarterback Greg McElroy, who suffered his first loss as a starter since the eighth grade, posted respectable numbers through the air with two touchdowns on 315 yards in his 27-for-34 performance. However the success of the passing game wasn't enough to top South Carolina who held Alabama to 36 yards rushing and picked up seven quarterback sacks.

Alabama returns home for Homecoming next Saturday when the Mississippi Rebels visit Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Friday, October 8, 2010 Shaq Done For the Season

Two weeks ago, Gamecock fans were excited about the return of linebacker Shaq Wilson. Two weeks later, Wilson is done. Assistant Head Coach Ellis Johnson announced that the Gamecocks are shutting down the 2009 leading tackler for the remainder of the 2010 season and apply for a medical redshirt.

See Full Article from Here

AL.COM- Audio of Nick Saban Radio Show

The Nick Saban Radio Show, 10-7-10
Audio from AL.COM

Tuscaloosa News: Ex-UA players arrested for drugs

bilde TUSCALOOSA | Former University of Alabama football players DJ Hall and Darwin Salaam were arrested at a Tuscaloosa hotel Wednesday on drug charges.

Hall, who was a standout wide receiver, and Salaam, a walk-on receiver, were charged with first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. They were released Wednesday on $30,000 bail each.

The former players, both 24, were arrested at Value Place Hotel near Cracker Barrel.

Hall, whose full name is Martinez DaVinci Hall and has a Fort Walton, Fla., address, played on the team from 2004 to 2007. Salaam, who lives in Tuscaloosa, played as a walk-on until 2007.

Tuscaloosa police officers were called to the hotel after a complaint that guests were smoking marijuana in one of the hotel rooms. Officers searched the room and recovered a small bag of marijuana, three glass jars containing marijuana, digital scales, boxes of sandwich bags, burnt marijuana cigarettes, Adderall pills and a Kassnar Imports 9 millimeter handgun.

Hall set several Alabama receiving records, finishing with a school-record 2,923 career yards on 194 catches, another school record. A second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection as a junior, he is the only receiver in UA history to post two 1,000-yard seasons.

Hall was suspended from the Jan. 1, 2006, Cotton Bowl and from the 2006 season opener against Hawaii for violations of team rules, and served a half-game suspension against Louisiana-Monroe in 2007 as a senior. Despite his record-breaking UA career, he went undrafted by the National Football League.

Hall signed as a free agent with the New York Giants, but didn’t catch on with the team and landed on the practice squad for the Oakland Raiders in 2009. He signed in February with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, but is not currently listed on the team roster.

Salaam started his collegiate career at Stillman College before transferring to Alabama. According to his website, he has been playing semi-pro football in Alabama.



    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Game Preview: South Carolina Gamecocks

    South%20Carolina%20Gamecocks This weekend, the Crimson Tide travels to South Carolina for its second SEC road game of the season. The game will kick off Saturday from Williams-Brice Stadium at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be aired on CBS. The Gamecocks are coming off of their bye week hoping that the extra preparation will give them an edge over the visiting Tide. Alabama comes into the game currently 5-0 and will put their 19 game winning streak on the line against South Carolina. The game will be the 15th game in the series between the two schools. The Tide holds a 12-2 record against the Gamecocks with a 3-1 record on the road in Columbia. South Carolina’s head coach Steve Spurrier is 0-2 against Alabama while at South Carolina.

    With the Tide coming in, this will be the second time a number one ranked team will visit Columbia, and the Gamecocks are 0-4 in their other meetings with the nation’s top ranked team. While the numbers seem to be in Alabama’s favor this weekend, one man that wont tell you that is head coach Nick Saban who earlier in the week said, “This is probably the game that will define us more than any other game we play this year.” Last season, the Tide struggled when the Gamecocks came to town until Mark Ingram took the Tide on his back and led Alabama to the win. As with that game, some fans see the game in Columbia as the Tide's “trap game” and that if the Tide was to falter  it would be against South Carolina this weekend.

    Coming into the game on offense, the Gamecocks’ success will come from three players. First, is freshman standout Marcus Lattimore at running back. In his first season he has scored at least one touchdown in each game, and has scored 6 touchdowns this season through their first four games and leads the team in rushing with 366 yards on the ground. With the skills of Lattimore, the Tide defense will have their hands full, especially if they want to keep their 39 game streak of not allowing a rusher over 100 yards. The second player to watch will be Stephen Garcia, who had a career best 3 TD passes in his last outing against Auburn. In that game, he also had his second highest completion percentage of his career, completing 15 of 21 passes for 235 yards. For the year, he has completed 69.1% of his passes, putting him second in the SEC. He has a passing efficiency of 161.6 which put him 4th in the SEC and 16th in the nation. While he has put up some good numbers this season, he has continued to have his troubles which lead to him being replaced late in the game against Auburn. Alabama main goal this weekend on defense will be to keep the game in his hands and take away the play making ability of Lattimore, and Nick Saban should have some pretty good schemes to put pressure on Garcia throughout the game.

    If Garcia is to be successful in the passing game, he will need help from his star wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery has had over 100 yards receiving in three of his first four games. He leads the SEC and is third in the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 124.5 yards per game. He also leads the SEC in receptions per game this season with 6.8 per game. Overall on offense, with the success of Lattimore, the Gamecocks have lead the SEC in time of possession, keeping the ball an average of 31:37 per game. Also, the Carolina offense leads the league in red zone offense scoring 93.8% of the time. To be successful, the Tide defense will have to finish each series strong. The Gamecocks lead the SEC in third down conversions converting 26- 47 third down attempts this season.

    On defense, the Gamecocks have been equally consistent. In 2010, the Gamecock defense has allowed 73 points on defense and seven touchdowns. They are ranked 6th in the SEC in scoring defense, 7th in rushing defense, and 10th in passing and total defense. Their defense has had 12 sacks through its first four games giving them the third highest average in the conference. Against the ground attack, the rushing defense has held opposing running backs to 128.2 yards. This will be tested with both Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson on the field Saturday. Both are easily the best running backs the Gamecock from seven have had to defend against. With their success, Greg McElroy should have some good opportunities to pick on the secondary. The key to Alabama’s success on offense may depend on how fast it can come out this Saturday and put points on the board. The Carolina defense has only allowed 29 first half points and only two first half touchdowns. Also, the Tide will have to finish drives on offense, especially if they get into the South Carolina red zone. The Gamecock defense has only allowed opponents to score in 62.5% of their red zone trips. Players on this defense to watch are Devonte Holloman at strong safety and linebacker Shaq Wilson. Holloman has been all over the field racking up 26 tackles through the first four games of the season and forcing two turnovers. He ranks 19th in the SEC in tackles per game. Wilson, who missed the first three games of the season with an injury had a big game in the Gamecocks loss to Auburn, making 7 tackles and recovering two fumbles.

    For the Tide, the strategy should be fairly simple. On defense, limit Lattimore on the ground and force Garcia or his replacement Connor Shaw to beat you through the air. Garcia will get the start at home, but should he struggle like he did late in the Auburn game, we could see Shaw on the field as well. On offense, the Tide should just continue what they have done all season. Keep running the ball down opponents throats with Ingram and Richardson, opening the door for McElroy and Julio Jones to make some plays against the Carolina secondary. Even with Julio Jones not 100% healthy, the Tide receivers should have some good looks in the open field.

    Article first published as Alabama vs. South Carolina Game Preview on Blogcritics.

    Former Bama players arrested on drug charges

    Tuscaloosa News- Former University of Alabama football standout DJ Hall and former walk-on Darwin Salaam were arrested at a Tuscaloosa hotel Wednesday on drug charges.

    Hall and Salaam, both 24, were charged with first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. They were released Wednesday on $30,000 bail each.

    The former players, both wide receivers, were arrested at Value Place Hotel near Cracker Barrel.

    Hall played on the team from 2004 to 2007. Salaam played as a walk-on until 2007. Authorities are expected to release more information later today.

    AL.COM-McElroy sustained head injury against Florida

    TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban revealed Wednesday that quarterback Greg McElroy sustained a head injury in the second quarter of Saturday's 31-6 win against Florida.

    "He's actually so poised and so good, he got hurt really in the second quarter and nobody knew it," Saban said. "He got hit in the head when he scrambled once, he got hit on the sidelines and it really affected him in the game, I think. We didn't know it until the fourth quarter when he called the play wrong on the formation wrong, then tried to run the play that we signaled."

    McElroy has suffered his share of injuries, from a pair of broken ribs in the national-championship win against Texas to more minor issues this season.
    Against the Gators, McElroy was 11-for-17 passing for 84 yards and rushed seven times for 33 yards while taking some unnecessary hits, including a pair from Florida linebacker Duke Lemmens.

    McElroy said Monday he needs to consider sliding at the end of plays.

    Teammates showed little surprise that McElroy toughed it out.

    "If your opponent sees you're down, it's like smelling blood in the water," Alabama center William Vlachos said. "That's the mentality that people on our team take. If somebody's hurting, you have to put the nail in the coffin. If Greg can walk and his arm is able to throw a football, he's going to be out there doing all he can to lead our team."

    Jones on track to play: Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones was running routes and making catches Wednesday afternoon during practice.

    On Monday, Saban said Jones was suffering from a bruised knee and underwent an MRI. Jones has been practicing with his workload increasing as the week goes on, Saban said.

    "Julio did practice today," Saban said on Wednesday. "He didn't seem to have a lot of issues. You always have to see how he responds to that in terms of what happens next. If he gets better tomorrow, I think he'll be fine."

    Jones leads Alabama with 24 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns.

    "He hasn't had any setbacks," Saban said during a Wednesday morning teleconference. "It's not a long-term injury."

    Jordan progressing: Crimson Tide linebacker Chris Jordan practiced Wednesday and is recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered against Florida.
    "(He's) probably a little bit more limited and we'll have to evaluate him day-to-day," Saban said.

    Spurrier recalls being the hunted: There was a time when Steve Spurrier's team would run out of an opposing tunnel to some of fiercest anger directed toward one man.

    His Florida Gators of the 1990s were hated, he was hated and the entire college football universe wanted nothing more to club the grin off his face.

    Spurrier, now South Carolina's coach, guided his Gators to dominance in the SEC during the 1990s with six conference titles and the 1996 national championship. Spurrier's Gators finished among the nation's top 15 teams in each of his 12 seasons, which included nine top-10 finishes and five in the top five.

    "We all hope to be there some day," Spurrier said of being No. 1 in the nation. "We hope when we travel around, everybody fills the ballpark. It did happen for us quite a bit in the '90s. ... We seemed to fill most of the stadiums where we went. That's a compliment and that's what's happening here. We'll have our first complete sellout this week of the season, and it's definitely because Alabama's coming to town."

    What a Nutt: Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt was asked about having an open date preceding the Rebels' game against top-ranked Alabama next week in Bryant-Denny Stadium. It marks a string of six games where the Tide's opponent has a bye week before the game. They also are all SEC opponents.

    "First of all, everybody should have an open date against Alabama, because they're so good," Nutt said. "It hasn't helped too many people, it doesn't look like. ... We'll just have to wait and see. All I know is we desperately needed it."


    Written by Izzy Gould,

    Crimson Tide Continues to Prepare for South Carolina

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama football team held its third practice of the week Wednesday afternoon at the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields. The Crimson Tide practiced for two hours in full pads as preparations for Saturday's game at No. 19/20 South Carolina continue.

    With this week’s game the third straight against a top-20 opponent, two of which have been ranked in the top-10, head coach Nick Saban believes it will serve as the greatest test for his team to date and expects nothing to come easy against the Gamecocks.

    "All my life somebody has been looking for an easier way to do everything, but to do this, there is no easy way to do it,” Saban said after Wednesday’s practice. “It takes a lot of hard work, it’s very challenging and everybody has to challenge themselves to be their best to be able to do it.  They’ve got a very good team, it will be a very difficult place for us play and it will take a lot of poise on our part to be able to compete the way we need to compete every play in the game to do the things we need to do to have success.”

    Junior receiver Julio Jones (knee) practiced on Wednesday and didn’t seem to have a lot of issues according to Saban. 

    “Like always, you always have to see how he responds to that in terms of what happens next, and if he gets better tomorrow, I think he’ll be fine,” Saban said.

    Alabama will practice once more on Thursday before traveling to Columbia on Friday afternoon. Saturday's game is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. (CDT) at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., and will be televised nationally by CBS. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson will call the action from the booth and Tracy Wolfson from the sideline.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    AL.COM- Nick Saban’s SEC Teleconference

    Audio: Nick Saban on the SEC teleconference, 10-6-10

    LSU DE Sam Montgomery out for Season

    Associated Press

    BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU coach Les Miles says starting defensive end Sam Montgomery will miss the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his right knee.

    Miles said Wednesday that the team is scheduling reconstructive surgery and that Montgomery would not play again until next fall.

    Montgomery was injured during the first quarter of No. 12 LSU's 16-14 victory over Tennessee last Saturday while attempting to rush the quarterback from the right end.

    Montgomery had 18 total tackles, with six tackles for losses including two sacks.

    LSU (5-0, 3-0 SEC) plays at No. 14 Florida on Saturday.

    Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

    Update on Julio Jones Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked about receiver Julio Jones during Wednesday's Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference.
    Saban said Monday that Jones was suffering from a bruised knee and underwent an MRI.

    Jones has been practicing this week, his work load increasing as the week goes on.

    "He hasn't had any setbacks," Saban said. "...Today will give us a good feel for where he is. ...It's not a long-term injury."

    Jones leads top-ranked Alabama with 20 receptions for 303 yards and two touchdowns, and 16 of his receptions have gone for first downs.

    The Crimson Tide will practice this afternoon, and Saban is expected to provide an additional update afterward

    AL.COM- Monday’s Press Conference

    Nick Saban press conference 10-4-10 Part 1
    Nick Saban press conference 10-4-10 Part 2
    Mark Ingram 10-4-10
    Greg McElroy 10-4-10
    Josh Chapman 10-4-10
    Robert Lester 10-4-10
    Chance Warmack 10-4-10

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Mark Barron Named Lott Trophy Impact Player of the Week

    Alabama_Logo2 Safety Mark Barron was selected today as the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week for his stellar performance Saturday in the Crimson Tide’s victory over the University of Florida. The Lott Trophy is awarded to the top Defensive Player in the nation.

    For his selection, the University of Alabama will receive $1,000 for its general scholarship fund and a new HP laptop for the athletic department’s academic services.

    Barron recorded 11 tackles, 9 of them solo tackles. He also had a sack and two pass break ups against the Gators. He leads the team with 31 tackles and has two sacks in five games this season. He has also had one interception, four pass break ups, and forced a fumble.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Week 6 SEC Schedule

    Saturday- October 9th:

    Tennessee @ Georgia – 12:21 PM  ESPN3

    Arkansas (#11) @ Texas A&M – 3:30 PM  ABC/ ESPN3

    Alabama (#1) @ South Carolina (#19) – 3:30 PM

    E. Michigan @ Vanderbilt – 7:00 PM  ESPNU

    LSU (#12) @ Florida (#14) – 7:30 PM  ESPN/ ESPN3

    Auburn (#8) @ Kentucky – 7:30 PM  ESPN2/ ESPN3

    Mississippi State @ Houston – 8:00 PM

    BYE- Mississippi 

    All Times are EST

    Tide Players Earn SEC Player of the Week

    8935464-standard Following Saturday’s game against Florida, two Crimson Tide players have earned SEC honors following their outstanding performance in the game.

    Linebacker Courtney Upshaw earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week. He finished Saturday’s game with 7 tackles, 4 of which were behind the line of scrimmage. He added to that a recovered fumble and 2 pass deflections.

    Offensive Guard Chance Warmack earned the SEC Offensive Line Player of the Week. Chance did not allow any sacks of pressures in the game, and had key blocks in big plays including Mark Ingram’s two touchdown rushes.

    “Gameday” Headed to Columbia

    college-gameday-logopng-00b946753f1f1fe7_small ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be in Columbia South Carolina on Saturday when Alabama goes on the road to play the South Carolina Gamecocks at William-Brice Stadium

    Alabama vs Florida Highlights

    Courtesy of MrUAFootball

    Pat Forde’s Postgame Interview with Nick Saban

    AL.COM- Postgame Press Conference and Player Interviews

    Alabama head coach Nick Saban postgame press conference after Florida game
    Alabama RB Mark Ingram, Florida postgame
    Alabama RB Trent Richardson, Florida postgame
    Alabama QB Greg McElroy, Florida postgame
    Alabama DE Marcell Dareus, Florida postgame
    Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower, Florida postgame
    Alabama DB Mark Barron, Florida postgame
    Alabama LB Nico Johnson, Florida postgame
    Alabama WR Darius Hanks, Florida postgame
    Here is a link to the article from