Days Winding Down to Bowl Game

With two days of preparation remaining for Alabama's Music City Bowl appearance against Minnesota, the Alabama football team worked out for two hours in shorts and shoulder pads.

"I thought practice was okay," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said. "Again, our execution has got to be a little bit better."

"Injury wise I think it's pretty much the same," Shula said. "Wesley Britt practiced again today, he was fine. He's going to be sore but he'll play. He'll start. Bo Freelend looks good."

Shula said that Kenneth Darby again took about 30 per cent of the practice reps, but Shula said, "I think he's gotten a little better. He's not 100 per cent, so it's just something that we're going to have to continue to look at and see how he's feeling. In the meantime he's getting a few reps and we're not trying to give him too much."

Shula said that he felt better about the tight end position than he did in the last few regular season games when David Cavan was out with a broken vertebrate.

"I think David's going to be fine," Shula said. "I feel a lot better than I felt the last few weeks when he wasn't playing. The combination of him, Trent Davidson and Greg McLain, we're healthier there than we've been."

With the time off for each team, Shula said the staff must be conscious of preparing for things not seen on film as well as preparing surprises of their own.

"There's going to be some unknowns, I think on both sides," he said, "stuff that we'll have in and stuff that they'll have in. As a player, you have to concentrate on your assignment and know that what you're being coached to do is going to handle 90 per cent of the looks.

"And then if we have to make adjustments if they're doing something different then we make adjustments. That's every week but especially like the opening of the season when you see a lot of tape from the year before on somebody but you're not quite sure it's going to be the same."

Jeff Rutledge, Lemanski Hall, Antwan Odom attended portions of today's practice, as did Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnston.

The Music City Bowl is hosting a welcome party Tuesday night for both teams at Wildhorse Saloon on second avenue. The event includes a rib-eating and trivia contest.

The tentative lineup for Alabama's rib-eating team is DeMeco Ryans, David Brown, Kyle Tatum and Evan Mathis, and for the trivia team, Brian Bostick, Roman Harper and Charlie Peprah.

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