Scrimmage solidifies lineup

There is still plenty of work to be done, but things are beginning to come into better focus for the Tide. <br><br>Saturday's scrimmage was a good indicator of who has--and who has not--gained a a foothold up the depth chart.

(Above left) Strongside linebacker Cornelius Wortham walks off the practice field, following Saturday's scrimmage wearing an elbow brace. Wortham is expected to recover without surgery, but he may miss the season-opener versus South Florida.

Demeco Ryans kneels on the sideline watching practice. One of only two true freshmen to play last season, Ryans is the favorite to earn the starting job at weakside linebacker.

After passing for 298 yards and four touchdowns in Saturday's scrimmage, Brodie Croyle fielded questions from the media. Head Coach Mike Shula has been careful not to praise his sophomore quarterback too much, but clearly this is Croyle's team. Croyle was 19-of-30 passing Saturday, with a long completion of 48 yards to Zach Fletcher (for a TD).

Starting safeties Charles Jones (#20) and Roman Harper (#41) watch special teams drills. Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines has consistently praised the two, calling the Tide safeties a team strength. Saturday Jones had an interception that he returned for a touchdown.

Saturday's scrimmage focused more on passing than running, but there is no question that tailback Shaud Williams will be an integral part of the Tide offense. Shula has said he's given extra time figuring out different ways to get the football in Williams' talented hands. Saturday Williams again led all rushers, gaining 79 yards on 10 attempts. He scored two touchdowns and had a long run of 25 yards. Williams also caught three passes for 15 yards.

The placekicking competition continues unabated, but according to Shula junior Brian Bostick (#22) may have edged slightly ahead. Bostick held the job for part of last season, and is also being worked at kickoffs. Saturday Bostick was 1-of-2 on field goal attempts, making a 30-yarder.

Both have missed some time this fall with injuries, but the Tide coaches are counting on senior receiver Antonio Carter (#2) and junior defensive end Antwan Odom (#98) to answer the bell come kickoff time versus South Florida. Carter caught just one pass Saturday, but it went for 15 yards and a touchdown. Odom was his normal terrorizing self, totaling two quarterback sacks.

Probably surprising everyone but himself, senior wideout Brandon Greer led all receivers Saturday. When fans talk about Bama's senior wide receivers, Greer's name is often left out. But Saturday he was the star, catching four passes for 88 yards.

BamaMag Top Stories