Weather Sends Tide To Indoors Practice

ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Alabama football team practiced inside the Nicholson Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Central Florida on Monday afternoon due to high winds and wind chills in the low 30s.

"We decided because of the wind to go inside," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said. "We probably got better work. It took a little more time than we like getting over there and getting back and all that."

The Crimson Tide worked for two hours in full pads as they continued preparations for their showdown with the Michigan State Spartans in the Capital One Bowl on January 1 at the Citrus Bowl.

"Practice today was real good," Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus said. "We didn't have any distractions. It was a lot better today. People had their minds right today. Moving indoors allowed us to focus on the work and not worry about the weather."

The Alabama defense will be a key for the Tide as they face a dangerous Michigan State offense led by quarterback Kirk Cousins. A young UA defense matured over the season and ranks fifth nationally is scoring defense entering the Capital One Bowl.

"I think we made some progress," Saban said. "We didn't play well enough in the big games, gave up too many big plays in the games that we lost and gave up too many points. Other than that, I think they made progress, and they made improvement, played well at times. Probably in some of those big games, gave up a few too many big plays to be able to play the kind of defense you need to play to beat really good teams."

Alabama will return to meetings Tuesday morning before an 11 a.m. workout that is expected to be held outside.

The Capital One Bowl is set for a 12 p.m. (CST) kickoff and will be carried by ESPN with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe calling the action.

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