Marc Guillon, 6-3, 212, has a hill to climb. Last August he emerged as the back-up quarterback to Brodie Croyle and got a couple of starts after Croyle was lost for the season with a knee injury. But Guillon suffered a back injury that dropped him back behind Spencer Pennington, and Guillon, a California native who transferred from Miami, did not play after Alabama's fifth game of the year.
Pennington left the team prior to spring practice and Croyle is not participating in contact work this spring. But Guillon didn't move back to number one when drills started. He was behind John Parker Wilson, a true freshman whose total college work prior to this spring had been some time in eight practices as Alabama prepared for the Music City Bowl.
On Saturday, Wilson did not have a good day. Head Coach Mike Shula said, "John Parker Wilson did not have as good a day as he has been having. We still think he's going to be a good quarterback. He needs a lot of experience."
Guillon agreed that his experience was important to his Saturday performance. Guillon completed 12 of 21 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns with one pass intercepted.
"It felt good," Guillon said. "I felt real comfortable with my receivers and my offensive line. That's what experience does."
Shula said, "Marc did a nice job. He's had a good week. He's making good decisions and getting the ball out. He needs to make better throws. But he's still not 100 per cent, which is encouraging. He's going to get better."
Dave Rader, who coaches Bama's quarterbacks, said, "Marc had a nice day. I'm really proud of him. He did a lot of nice things. There are still things he needs to correct, areas in which he needs to improve, but today he was a lot better than he has been in a long, long time."
Guillon said, "There's still some rust, but that's what spring practice is all about. It's only March. There's still a long time to go until the season. But I'm making progress. That's what Coach Shula talks about, being a little better each day."