Shula's first victory, photo report

With No. 1 ranked Oklahoma up next, Mike Shula won't have long to celebrate. But Saturday's convincing performance against South Florida goes in the record books as Shula's first victory as a head coach.

(Above left) Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle (12) looks toward the clock after failing to lead Alabama to a first down early in the first quarter against the South Florida in Birmingham, Ala., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003. Next to Croyle is first-year coach Mike Shula. To Shula's left is assistant coach Charlie Harbison. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Giving a nod to tradition (that rival SEC schools are sure to hate), Alabama's players run onto Legion Field for the start of Saturday's opening game against South Florida between an impressive row of flags, commemorating Alabama's conference and national titles.


Alabama coach Mike Shula looks on from the sidelines at the beginning of the game. Shula is in his first year as head coach at Alabama, and as much as he has tried to deflect attention to his players and coaches, the media spotlight has shown on him all month, leading up to Saturday's game. (AP Photo/Jay Sailors)


Tide players Earnest Nance (#57) and Allen Long (#46) hold their helmets high behind their head coach, as the teams prepare to kickoff in Saturday's game. Alabama was rusty early, but roared back just before intermission to tie the game. In the second half, Alabama dominated on its way to a 40-17 victory. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Alabama's Charles Jones (#20, right) and Roman Harper (left) haul down South Florida tight end Casey Cobb (#89) during the first quarter in Birmingham. Bama held the Bulls scoreless in the second half. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle looks to pass. After a slow start, Croyle led a balanced Alabama attack that scored 33 unanswered points. (Barry Fikes photo)


Defensive tackle Anthony Bryant (#97) rushes the USF quarterback. Bryant had four tackles during the game. (Barry Fikes photo)


Derrick Pope (#6) tracks down South Florida quarterback Ronnie Banks in the first-quarter. Alabama's Jeremy Clark (#99) is on the ground. Pope was a physical presence on the field all game, totaling three tackles and a quarterback hurry. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


Backup strong safety Carlos Andrews (#10) gives a thumbs up to his team's effort following the game. The Tide defense held South Florida to only 69 yards of offense in the second half.


Tide Head Coach Mike Shula didn't allow himself much time to savor his first victory. After going home to put his daughter to bed, Shula said he'd take "about 10 hours" before turning his full attention to Oklahoma. The Sooners are ranked No. 1 in the nation. NOTE: Shula doesn't sweat that much. The Tide players doused him with Gatorade after the game.



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