Permanent Captains Named

Three juniors and two seniors have been selected as Alabama's permanent captains for 2001. While the game captains each week were selected from the Leadership Council, the permanent captains were elected from the Leadership Council by the players.

The permanent captains on offense are senior tight end Terry Jones, senior quarterback Andrew Zow, and junior quarterback Tyler Watts. The defensive captains are junior linebacker Saleem Rasheed and junior tackle Jarret Johnson.

The players finished up their preparation for Auburn with what Head Coach Dennis Franchione called an excellent practice Thursday. The team will have a short Friday walk-through on its practice field Friday before busing to Montgomery to spend Friday night.

Alabama (4-5 overall and 3-4 in Southeastern Conference play) will be at Auburn (7-2, 5-1) Saturday with kickoff shortly after 2:30 p.m. CST and television coverage by CBS.

Alabama worked outdoors except for a few minutes of the 90-minute workout Thursday, but even in the outdoors work had the presence of a sound system providing loud crowd noise as part of the preparation. The Tide was in helmets and shorts and the emphasis was on the kicking game.

Franchione said, "It was good. Excellent. They players wee very focused and had a good purpose."

Each day Franchione has been asked about the importance of the Auburn game and how this week has been different. For the most part he has noted that the primary change has been the demand for his time from the media. He pointed out, "We try to prepare as intensely as we can every week. We respect every game."

But he did say, "This is a game where the player showed up on Sunday thinking about the next game with more intensity and focus sooner than in other weeks. Most Sundays there is still some thought about the previous game. They were very intent on learning the game plan and the focus was right."

While there could be a suspicion that Franchione doesn't consider the game as big as the fans and media do, he said, "Oh, it's big. This kind of game is why I coach. I have a great respect for the traditions of college football. And, hopefully, we'll have a fulfilling game Saturday."

Franchione once again pointed out that Auburn has a very fine team. On offense, he said, they have an excellent offensive line, good skill players, a fine running back, and good balance. "They have no weakness," he said. Defensively, he has praised the defensive front seven, noting that the Auburn defensive line is very effective and that Auburn has good team speed and plays a very physical game.

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