Tide concludes tough week of practice

Alabama's football team was out in helmets and shorts Thursday, the so-called "clean-up" day of practice. Afterwards Head Coach Dennis Franchione said, "It was good today. We shortened things up a little bit today. I thought we had a good tough week of practice."

Alabama has completed preparations for Saturday's game against Tennessee in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff will be shortly after 2:30 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS. For only the fourth time in the storied series, both teams come into the game following a loss. Alabama lost last week to Ole Miss in Oxford, while Tennessee was beaten by Georgia in Knoxville two weeks ago.

Previous years in which both teams suffered a loss prior to the game were 1933, 1985, and 1988. Tennessee was idle last week. Bama is now 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference games. Tennessee, ranked 11th in the nation, is 3-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC games.

Franchione said his team was aware that Alabama has a current six-game losing streak to Tennessee. But, he said, "That's not something we dwell on. We know how our fans feel about it. But we've got to play this game, and when it kicks off those other games will have no bearing on this one."

In answer to a question about Tennessee's talented defensive line, Franchione said, "When we prepare a game plan, we have to be aware of their defensive front. They have an outstanding defensive line and we have to give some thought to what we want to try to do. One problem we had in working on a goalline defense is that not many teams have made it down to the goalline against Tennessee."

Franchione said that Alabama would work out in Bryant-Denny Stadium Friday. "We're going to the stadium because it's been a long time since we were there," Franchione said. Bama has not had a Tuscaloosa game since defeating Arkansas on September 22.

There have been a number of practice visitors this week, including former Athletics Director Glen Tuckett, former Offensive Coordinator Homer Smith, and former players including Tommy Wilcox and Bobby Humphrey, both of whom addressed the team.

Alabama announced that the same safety measures that have been in place for previous games since the September 11 terrorist attacks would be in place this weekend. That means no cameras, camera cases, binocular cases, backpacks, or large purses are allowed and patrons are subject to search.


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