Alabama/NIU photo report

Afterwards, Tide Head Coach praised Northern Illinois and its coaches. He also said he was proud that his team fought the entire game. But clearly Shula and the Bama players were disappointed and bitterly frustrated with the result.

(Above left) Brodie Croyle (#12) drops back to pass, with left tackle Wesley Britt (#70) setting up to block. Croyle's passing numbers (22-of-39 for 276 yards) were good, but the Tide managed just one touchdown through the air.

Team captains meet at midfield for the pre-game coin toss. Alabama was represented by Atlas Herrion (#75), Nautyn McKay-Loescher (#90) and Freddie Roach (#8). For the first time this season Alabama won the toss and deferred their decision to the second half.

Quarterback Brodie Croyle pulls the ball down and looks for yardage on the ground. Not counting sacks, Croyle rushed five times for 18 yards. (Barry Fikes photo)

Defensive end Antwan Odom sacks the NIU quarterback. Double-teamed for most of the game, Odom finished with four tackles, including two sacks for a total loss of 17 yards. (Barry Fikes photo)

Zach Fletcher climbs the ladder to haul in a touchdown pass in the first quarter. The play went for 28 yards and gave Bama the early lead. (Barry Fikes photo)

Tide Head Coach Mike Shula looks on from the sideline. The loss dropped his overall record to 2-2. As Editor Kirk McNair said in his game story, the 19-16 defeat was Shula's second loss as a head coach but first failure. (Barry Fikes photo)

Senior receiver Triandos Luke drives for yardage after the catch. Luke had three catches for 57 yards, including a long of 28. (Barry Fikes photo)

Tide linebacker Derrick Pope (#6) moves to make the tackle of NIU's Michael Turner. A darkhorse Heisman candidate, Turner carried the football 27 times for 156 yards. Pope finished with 10 tackles. (Barry Fikes photo)

Tailback Shaud Williams leaps forward for extra yardage. Williams' 54-yard touchdown dash in the fourth quarter gave Bama a chance to come back, but the effort fell short. Williams gained 96 yards on just 13 carries, averaging 7.4 yards per carry. (Barry Fikes photo)

Tight end Clint Johnston walks off after the game. Bama's players were clearly frustrated, angry that they had not given their best effort in losing the game.

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