Good Practice

Although Alabama Coach Mike Shula said that the Crimson Tide's practice was "another good one" Wednesday, the pleasant arrival of Tyrone Prothro at the workout didn't prevent the receiving corps from having a few drops.

Tyrone Prothro spent a short time at Alabama's Wednesday practice after having been released from DCH Regional Medical Center earlier in the day. Prothro, who was having an all-star season as a wide receiver, is recovering from a compound fracture of his left leg suffered in the October 2 Florida game. He had surgery and has had to battle an infection.

After saying, "I thought we had another good practice," Shula added that he thought Tuesday's work had been sharper than Wednesday's practice. "We had a few dropped balls today," he said after the two-hour workout in helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. "When the ball is on the ground, you don't look sharp."

Alabama is 7-0 and ranked fifth in the nation in all polls, as well as being fifth in the Bowl Championship Series compilation. The Tide is 5-0 and leading the Southeastern Conference Western Division. Bama steps out of conference play this week for the final time in regular season play. It is homecoming with the Utah State Aggies providing the opposition at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday. Utah State is 2-5. Kickoff Saturday will be at 2 p.m. CDT with the only television coverage Pay-Per-View.

Shula said, "We talked to our guys about finding ways to get our football team better."

Shula said that Utah State's offense revolves around their athletic quarterbackm Leon Jackson III.

"Their offense revolves around their quarterback," Shula added. "He is athletic. They run quarterback draws with him. They run quarterback powers. They run the option with him. He throws it deep a bunch off of drop back, play-action and misdirection. He makes quick decisions."

In six games, Jackson has completed 90 of 150 passes for 998 yards, with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. He is also the Aggies leading rusher with 230 yards (2.2 avg) on 103 carries and one TD this season.

Shula also said the Tide had to be aware of the Aggies' return game with Tony Pennyman and Kevin Robinson.

"They put up some points. They have a good receiver and return man, named Pennyman, that is ranked third in the country in returns."

Pennyman has seven kickoff returns for 237 yards (33.9 avg), including a 92-yard return for a TD. Robinson has 18 kickoff returns for 411 yards (22.8) this season. Robinson also leads the Aggies with 15 punt returns for 175 yards (11.7).

Shula said that Bama defensive tackle Dominic Lee, who suffered a sprained ankle against Tennessee last week, "should be ready to go."

He also said Alabama had worked on its running game Wednesday and that "It looked better."

The Tide coach said, "We've got to be more consistent. The last few weeks we've had something going offensively, and then had a drive-stopper, a third down play not working or something. Hopefully, this week we will have some things we can take advantage of."

Here are some notes from Alabama's Media Relations Office:

*With back-to-back game winning field goals against Ole Miss (October 15) and Tennessee (October 22), Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Georgia) is the first UA kicker to win two games in the same season since Haywood "Sandy" Sanford beat Tulane (November 6) and Vanderbilt (November 25) in 1937. In the modern era (since 1933) of Alabama football, Alabama has had 12-game winning field goals.

*Alabama's 6-3 win over Tennessee last weekend marked the 10th time in the modern era (since 1933) of Crimson Tide football that Alabama had won a game without scoring a touchdowns. The last time came in a 12-9 win at Vanderbilt in 2001 as Neal Thomas booted four field goals in the win. The 10 wins without scoring a touchdown came against Tulane (1938), Houston (1959), Auburn (1960), Florida State (1974), LSU (1979), Penn State (1984), Penn State (1988), Tennessee (1990), Vanderbilt (2001) and Tennessee (2005).


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