Will Practice Make Perfect?

Alabama Head Football Coach Mike Shula knows there are no guarantees, but like all coaches he is pleased when his team has good practices. And Alabama has had good practices this week.

"We had a better day today on both sides of the ball," he said following Bama's Thursday workout. "We've had three good days of practice, probably three of our best days now. I'm not sure what that means yet as far as results and how we play. We talk to our players about good preparation each week, and all that does is give you a chance. Now we have to go out and play on Saturday like we practiced."

Alabama will host Kentucky at 6:45 p.m. CDT Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium with national television coverage by ESPN. It will be the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

This marks the fourth time Alabama has opened its SEC schedule with Kentucky. Alabama has won all three previous meetings in SEC openers in 1972 (35-0), 1973 (28-14) and 1989 (15-3).

Last week was Bama's first to prepare for a game with just three days of work. Shula said this week the process has been "smoother for the players and for me, too. We're starting to get into a routine."

It is not yet known if freshman fullback Tim Castille, who suffered a knee injury in last week's game, will be able to play this week. It's still "wait-and-see," Shula said. He said that another freshman fullback, LéRon McClain, "is doing well. He's had a good week. He's starting to get into a comfort zone in practice. So far he's had only 24 snaps in games. He could could get some more this week."

Alabama will have a short walk-through in the indoor practice facility Friday.

Captains for Saturday's game will be Derrick Pope on defense, Dre Fulgham on offense, and Thurman Ward on special teams.


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