Practice Could Have Been Better

After two very good days of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, Alabama Head Football Coach Dennis Franchione had hoped for better from his Crimson Tide on Thursday. "It was pretty good," he said, "but I wanted it to be better. I wanted it to be sharper. It wasn't any worse than any other Thursday practice we have had, but after the good days Tuesday and Wednesday I wanted it to be better."

Alabama, with no squad limit restrictions, will take a squad of 95 to Birmingham's Legion Field for Saturday's non-conference game against Texas-El Paso. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. and there will be no telecast other than pay-per-view. Both teams have 2-2 records.

The Birmingham Police Department seciurity precautions include no electronic devices being allowed in the stadium. That includes radios and television sets. As in other stadiums, fans will not be allowed to have cameras, camera cases, binocular cases, backpacks, coolers, or oversized purses, and fans are subject to search.

Franchione confirmed that Charles Jones will start ahead of Reggie Myles at safety. The coach said the decision was partly the result of Jones' performance and partly because Myles did not have a good game against South Carolina. As of now, all other starters from last week are scheduled to open against UTEP. However, Franchione said there was a possibility he would make a change at cornerback. Gerald Dixon and Hirchel Bolden are still listed as first team, but the Tide coach said he is still thinking about Thurman Ward and/or Roberto McBride being in the starting lineup.

Last week Bama had three first-time starters in fullback Donnie Lowe, offensive tackle Evan Mathis, and linebacker Cornelius Wortham.

Bama was out for about two hours in shorts Thursday. It may not be shorts weather Saturday. The forecast calls for temperatures in the high 60s with a chance of rain. (And umbrellas are never allowed at Alabama home games.)

Alabama will have its normal Friday workout in Tuscaloosa Friday afternoon. The team will then bus to Legion Field just to walk through the dressing room and around the field, then head to the team hotel.

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