Shula Wants Squad Rested and Ready

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula wants his football team as rested and as healed as possible for Saturday's 75th meeting between Tennessee and Alabama. The game in Knoxvilee is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 Eastern Time (2:30 Central) and will be televised by CBS.

Shula said his squad has had two pretty good days of practice this week. Speakers were set up on Wednesday and the tunes of "Rocky Top" could be heard outside the practice field.

"We handled it better than we did going into the Arkansas game," Shula said. "It was good for Spencer (Pennington), too. You've got to get used to that, calling the plays and getting in and out of the huddle, to the line of scrimmage."

One of many Alabama players still not healed is second-string quarterback Marc Guillon. Guillon was not at practice on Wednesday, but Shula said that Guillon will practice tomorrow. When asked if he expected Guillon to be ready to go Saturday, Shula said, "I do." Shula said that Adam Thrash had been taking "a few" repetitions at quarterback.

"Mentally, (Marc will lose) a little bit, but physically, not really," Shula said. "He'll be ready to go."

Shula said the Juwan Garth has looked healthy in two straight days of practice, and is anticipating playing Saturday, but that Freddie Roach would still see work at the weak side linebacker position in addition to his middle linebacker spot.

"He's got to be ready to do both, for sure," Shula said. "That's what's unique about Freddie, and one of the many good things about him, is that he'll be able to prepare to play well at both. We'll probably have some kind of combination of the two (Garth and Roach). I don't think Juwan could play every snap. Then you mix in Waldrop who played better last week."

Shula also said that Justin Britt was limited in practice today. "I still would list him as questionable for the game," Shula said.

"I think it's important for our guys to get off their feet and get their rest," Shula said, "make sure they're feeling as fresh as they can for this game. Friday's going to be here before we know it."

Shula said he was pleased to see his squad showing a high intensity level during the week of the rivalry game.

"This time of year, for everybody, teams are a little more beat up," he said, "and that's what's good to see when you're guys are moving around good, and today was a hot day compared to the last five or six practices."

Among the other injuries on the list are freshmen special teams contributors Travis Robinson and Eric Gray.

"Travis Robinson, his injury is significant and he might be out for the rest of the year," Shula said. "It's a back injury. It looks like it might be a stress fracture."

"Eric Gray, he's got a little bit of a hamstring. He's probably questionable for the game at best. Actually, he was moving around a little better today than we thought."

The squad will have a light workout on Thursday and will travel to Knoxville during the day on Friday. The team will have a light walk-through practice at Neyland Stadium.


BamaMag Top Stories