Second scrimmage good and bad

While there could be a temptation to suggest that Alabama's football scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium was a rehearsal for the spring game next week, in truth it was probably nothing like the A-Day Game will be, nothing like next season will be. The Crimson Tide had 102 plays from scrimmage plus full kicking in the 2nd scrimmage of the spring. Afterwards, Tide Head Coach Dennis Franchione said, "I thought there was good and bad. I am not discouraged, even though it was inconsistent at times."

Alabama will have its 13th practice of the spring Tuesday. On Wednesday, members of the Leadership Council will "draft" Crimson and White teams. Spring practice concludes next Saturday with the annual A-Day Game at 2:30 p.m. CDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Franchione said the practice was used to work on a number of things and said the Tide "did some things we might not do in a game." For example, even though both tailbacks, Santonio Beard and Ahmaad Galloway, had good days, they were not overly-utilized.

While Bama seemed to want to get something done in the passing game, Franchione said the play of the defense was responsible for a spotty performance. "We made some plays offensively and we made some plays defensively," the coach said. "I thought it was a good, physical practice. And we had only three penalties and only two turnovers and one of those turnovers was in the kicking game."

He added, "These guys are enthusiastic, having fun. I'm pleased with their work ethic and with the way they practice."

While Alabama showed all facets of the kicking game for the first time this year, Franchione said, "We may have forced the kicking game. We were not ready to be clean. We had a blocked punt, a dropped punt, and pretty good returns. We'll look at the films and learn something."

He said, "I'm not concerned with our lack of a downfield passing game yet. We had some drops, but that was partly the result of mixing in a lot of players. I'm a little concerned about the receiving. We had some coverage sacks today where our protection was pretty good, but the quarterbacks had to hold on to the ball."

Franchione said, "The quarterbacks were up and down. Their stats weren't too bad. We put them in some situations where we were looking at different things. They all did some good things. And the play of a quarterback often depends on how those around him play."

The Tide coach said he liked the play of defensive lineman Anthony Bryant and Antwan Odom and linebacker Freddie Roach. He added that tackle Kenny King "is having a great spring" and said that Gerard Clark "made some plays, and also showed some mental toughness to come back and play like he did today after being injured Wednesday." He said, "The corners were pretty sound all day and Charles Jones had a good day at safety."

Offensively he named tailbacks Beard and Galloway and A-Backs Shaud Williams and Ray Hudson.

Beard led the Tide in rushing with 10 carries for 74 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown burst. Hudson had nine carries for 50 yards and a touchdown, Galloway eight carries for 44 yards, Williams four carries for 30 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Watts and walk-on tailback John Caldwell had the other rushing touchdowns.

Watts completed 12 of 20 passes for 109 yards, Brodie Croyle seven of 17 for 66, and Spencer Pennington one of two for 16 yards. There were no passing touchdowns, but no interceptions.

Dre Fulgham was the only receiver with more than two receptions, pulling in three for 26 yards. Galloway, Williams, Theo Sanders, Joel Babb, Antonio Carter, Tarry Givens, and Josh Smith all had two receptions.

Brandon Brooks had six punt returns for 67 yards, Carter two kickoff returns for 82 yards.

Defensively, Charles Jones had seven tackles and a fumble recovery. Marvin Brown had six tackles, including a sack. Chris James and Mark Anderson had six tackles each, Cornelius Wortham and Freddie Roach five tackles each. Roach also caused a fumble and had two tackles for losses. Kenny King had two sacks. Gerard Clark had three sacks and a pass break-up. Antwan Odom had a sack for a safety.

Roberto McBride did not have a good day. He mishandled two punts, then, late in the day, suffered what appeared to be a badly sprained ankle.

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