(Above left) Josh Smith (#38) blocks for quarterback Brodie Croyle (#12). The junior walk-on tailback has made a habit of playing well on A-Day. Saturday he gained 39 yards on four carries, including two touchdowns. Croyle played just three quarters, but his 260 yards and three touchdowns earned him Most Valuable Player honors.
Coach Price had hoped for a record-setting crowd Saturday, but extremely cool temperatures, threatening rain and a cold wind kept the numbers down. However, the crowd was still estimated at 34,000 fans. (NOTE: this is a bad attempt at a panoramic view, with two photos pasted together, meeting at the 50-yardline. Also note that most of the rest of our photos were taken from in front of the crowd, looking across toward the empty side of the stadium.)
Senior receiver Lance Taylor runs out as he is introduced to the crowd. When Coach Price announced that they would only introduce 22 or so players, most assumed he would honor the starters. But instead he chose to highlight athletes that had not had a chance to be introduced to the Bryant-Denny crowd before, yet had worked especially hard during spring practice. Playing against the first-team defense, Taylor turned in three catches for 14 yards.
The Crimson Tide cheerleaders lead the team onto the field to begin the A-Day game.
With Antwan Odom (#98) applying pressure, Spencer Pennington (#13) throws to teammate Kenneth Darby (#33). Completing only 6-of-10 passes for 14 yards, it was a tough day for Pennington. But Head Coach Mike Price commented afterwards that he was satisfied with the sophomore QB's spring work.
Running behind the second-string line and against the first-string defense, Darby's day was just as tough. He finished with only eight net yards on nine rushing attempts. He also had two pass receptions.
Senior receiver Zach Fletcher (#80) lines up versus cornerback Roberto McBride (#19). As expected the starting wideouts were impressive. Fletcher caught three passes for 90 yards and one TD, including a long of 56. McBride was credited with one pass break-up.
Coach Mike Price talks to Croyle on the sideline between plays. (That's Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines on the right.) Coach Price said beforehand that he wanted A-Day to be as much like a real game as possible. Offensive assistants watched from the press box, communicating with Price on the sideline who then called the plays and passed them along to the quarterbacks.
Antwan Odom (#98) looks into the stands following the game. Odom was credited with four solo stops, including two for a total loss of 12 yards. But numbers don't do his day justice, as the junior defensive end was a disruptive force all game long. For his efforts Odom was voted the Dwight Stephenson Most Valuable Lineman.
NOTE: BamaMag.com will post more scrimmage photos tomorrow.