Former Tide All-America Barry Krauss ('76-'78), one of the heroes of the famous Goalline Stand and also the MVP of Bama's bowl victory over UCLA in 1976, delivers the game ball during pre-game festivities. Krauss' daughter is now enrolled at The University, and more than one press-box observer commented that the former linebacker looked like the could suit it up tomorrow.
To the roar of the crowd, the Tide players run onto the field from the tunnel. There were two minor changes to the team's regular routine, a 'BAMA' canopy now covers the tunnel entrance and some artificial smoke has been added as well.
Tide game captains Victor Ellis (#9), Shontua Ray (#33), Jason McAddley (#80) and Dante Ellington (#65) represent Alabama at midfield for the coin toss. This year the team will select weekly game captains from its previously elected Leadership Council, and permanent team captains will be elected prior to the Auburn game.
Alabama's defense lines up to stop the Bruin 'O'. Any hopes that Bama had of catching UCLA flat-footed were likely foiled by the betting line (Bama was favored by 2 1/2) and the numerous media pundits that selected the Tide to win. The game itself was hard-fought, with UCLA making fewer mistakes and coming out on top.
Tide Head Coach Dennis Franchione yells instructions to his offense. Veteran game observers couldn't help but note that Alabama's new head coach was definitely informed and in charge of everything that happened during the game.
Reserve offensive guard Dennis Alexander exhorts the partisan crowd. Coach Franchione has said time and again that he expects every single player to be involved from start to finish--even the subs on the sideline. "Find a way to help your team," is the mantra, and the players are obviously listening.
It was definitely an animated crowd for much of the night, but in typical Bryant-Denny fashion there were long periods of relative calm--especially during timeouts. And while Coach Franchione had called for a hostile environment to hopefully provide his team with an edge, for much of the third quarter when UCLA gained its advantage the crowd was not really a factor.
Defensive Line Coach Stan Eggen (in the black shirt) instructs the Tide linebackers. Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush directed the Tide defense from the press box, relaying the instructions via headphones to Eggen who signaled in the plays during the game.
Clearly showing the effects of the hard-fought contest, a battered but unbowed Jarret Johnson stands on the sidelines in the fourth quarter. On the night, the Bama 'D' held an extremely talented Bruin offense to a total of 291 yards.