Alabama, ranked 25th in the nation, will open the season hosting 15th-rated UCLA at 6:45 p.m. CDT Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium, a game that will be nationally-telecast by ESPN.
A couple of the ESPN broadcast crew, including play-by-play man Ron Franklin, attended Thursday's practice and met with Franchione and selected players and assistant coaches following the workout.
ESPN will also broadcast its popular "Gameday" program from the Southwest corner of the Quad on The University campus. Franchione will make an appearance on the show about 10 a.m. CDT Saturday.
Franchione said the hour and 45-minute Thursday workout "went well." He described the Thursday practice as one in which the Tide reviews various situations, including all aspects of the kicking game, the two-minute drill, third downs, short yardage, red zone, and goalline situations.
Friday the Tide will have a final tune-up for Saturday's game. After UCLA works out at Bryant-Denny Stadium early in the afternoon, Bama will go to the stadium for a "loosening up" type practice. Franchione said the Tide would do some specialty work, including kicking game, and work on its organizational plan and "just break a little sweat."
The last time Alabama opened its season in Tuscaloosa was September 5, 1998, when the Tide outlasted BYU, 38-31. Bama has an all-time record of 182-28-3, a winning percentage of 86.2, in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Game captains, selected from the 16-man leadership council, will be linebacker Victor Ellis and strong safety Shontua Ray on defense and wide receiver Jason McAddley and tackle Dante Ellington on offense.