That didn't stop Mike Shula from being his normal subdued (with the media) self after Thursday afternoon's short practice, however. Fifth-ranked Alabama (6-0) football team worked for just over an hour in helmets and shorts for Saturday's Southeastern Conference game with No. 17 Tennessee (3-2, 2-2 SEC) at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
"We had another good practice." Shula said. "It was a spirited practice, I thought. Our guys are looking forward to this weekend and we know we are going to have to be at our best. It's important for all of our guys to get some rest, look over their stuff, cover last minute details in the walk through tomorrow and use full advantage of all of our time right up until kickoff. Everybody seems pretty healthy. We have to go out there and prove ourselves again."
Shula said that sophomore D.J. Hall (Ft Walton Beach) looked good in practice this week and will be ready for Saturday's game at wide receiver and on special teams after missing most of the Ole Miss game last week with a lower back injury.
Shula said that freshman special teams player and backup cornerback Lionel Mitchell will not play.
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice will host Brittish Foreign Minister Jack Straw at the game as a part of a diplomatic tour of Rice's home state.
New York Times writer and author of the book Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer Warren St. John is in Tuscaloosa this week for a feature story on Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle expected to run Friday in the Times.
USA Today's Kelly Whiteside was in town on Wednesday for a piece on the Crimson Tide's Family Night Supper which is also expected to run Friday.
The Tuscaloosa County chapter of the National Alumni Association will sponsor at Beat Tennessee pep rally Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Gorgas Library. The pep rally will feature former All-American and Super Bowl XI winning quarterback Kenny Stabler, along with The Million Dollar Band, UA cheerleaders and Big Al.