Tide Back at Work with Good Day

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula was positively upbeat Sunday evening after a cooler two-hour practice Sunday evening following the only Saturday off for the Crimson Tide team.

After razzing two local television reporters who inadvertently cracked security and entered the gates to begin filming the closed practice session before being shown out, Shula said, "I thought we had a really good practice. Guys were moving around well. I don't know it was the cooler weather or not."

Sixth-ranked Alabama's kickoff in Oxford, Miss. against Ole Miss has been scheduled for 11 a.m. The game will be the first in a CBS double-header . Jefferson Pilot does not have a Southeastern Conference football broadcast Saturday.

"It's going to be an early kickoff… We've got to have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday practice like we did today," Shula said. "We better be ready to play more than we were two years ago. We've got to make sure we're ready. Two years ago when we came out there we weren't very good."

Shula said Sunday that injured Tide receiver Tyrone Prothro was still in the hospital after having surgery to put a steel rod in his leg last Saturday night. Shula countered concerns that Prothro had any setback in his care, and rumors that he had undergone a second surgery. Shula said he spoke with team doctor Les Fowler Sunday and that everything was fine.

"They are keeping him in the hospital to make sure he's okay before releasing him," Shula said.

Prothro's release had previously been anticipated on Thursday or Friday of last week. "They're keeping him there just to make sure," Shula said. "There's no sense to hurry him getting out of the hospital, but he's in good spirits."

Asked about a rumor that Prothro had undergone a second surgery, Shula said, "No. That's false. Don't ask me to respond to every rumor, though."

Alabama got a jump start on preparation for Mississippi last week during the off week, and his coaches also were on the road recruiting last Thursday and Friday. Shula was also on the road this weekend. Shula joked that the response he's gotten from Alabama's win over Florida was "a lot better than if we hadn't won. As Joe Kines always says, the best way to recruit is to win."

Shula said the team will practice on its turn field, which is similar to Mississippi's playing surface, Tuesday and possibly all week. Monday is the team's off-day.

Most of the squad dispersed to their hometowns during the week off and one player, Moreno Valley product Prince Hall, got an extension on his return to Tuscaloosa. Hall had an excused absence from Sunday evening's practice. "We've got one on the way back," Shula said. "He'll be back (at practice) on Tuesday."

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