Good Stopping Point

Thursday's 111-play scrimmage yielded a more respectable day numbers wise for first-string quarterback John Parker Wilson and a positive note on which to pause things with the squad takes a week off for spring break. Wilson was 17-of-23 passing Saturday for 154 yards, and he threw one touchdown and no interceptions.

Last week Wilson was 9 for 22 with two picks.

"I paid attention a little more to what the safeties were doing, and I think I kind of got away from that last week," Wilson said. "I'm more anxious to watch this tape than the other one. It's all about making good decisions. I took care of the ball better and hit some more passes."

Wilson hit four of his first five passes, including what was officially a 27-yard long to Matt Caddell on a first down play and an 18-yarder to Keith Brown on 3rd and 11.

Some of his best decisions were to scramble, as he did twice in the early going for short gains both times. Wilson's second incomplete pass was a ball he threw away because everyone was covered.

"He was decisive with the football and made better decisions when things didn't go exactly the way you draw it up on paper," Tide Head Coach Mike Shula said. "We had less negative plays with the first group than last scrimmage, especially early, and that's important."

Shula said last week, only half joking, that placekicker Jamie Christensen might have been the most valuable offensive player of the day after Bama's first scrimmage, and that wasn't far from true again on Thursday.

Christensen continued a splendid spring, hitting field goals of 25, 27 and 46 yards while coming up short on a try of 48 yards into the wind. Christensen last week was 3 of 3 with made field goals of 36, 40 and 44 yards and has been very consistent in practices.

Kenneth Darby started the scrimmage off with back-to-back runs of four and seven yards. His longest of the day was a 10-yard carry, and he averaged 3.5 per carry (42 yards on 12 rush attempts).

Jimmy Johns, who split time between the first- and second-team offense, finished with a dozen carries for 45 yards.

It was the unlikeliest of names for the only rushing touchdown today, but it was the case for walk-on fullback Will Denniston. Denniston plunged in from one yard out to cap the offense's first scoring drive of the day, led by third-team quarterback Jimmy Barnes. Barnes was 2-of-4 passing for 19 yards on the day.

On defense, Simeon Castille continued a nice spring with six tackles on the day, but he was also beaten by Hall on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Wilson.

Prince Hall had a total of six tackles, and had one series where he made the solo stop on both first and second downs and recovered a Roy Upchurch fumble on third down. Chris Rogers and Eric Gray each had five tackles, and Gray added three pass break-ups in one of his best days this spring. Rogers had one pass break-up and two tackles made right at the line of scrimmage. Tyrone King, Jr. had an interception of Guillon at the goal line.

The squad will resume practice on Tuesday, March 28, following a week off for spring break.

Scrimmage Stats
Passing (Comp-Att-Yds) : John Parker Wilson (17-23-154, TD); Marc Guillon (9-22-61, INT); Jimmy Barnes (2-4-19);

Rushing (Att-Yds) : Jimmy Johns (12-45); Kenneth Darby (12-42); Roy Upchurch (9-12, fumble); Tim Castille (2-5); Le'Ron McClain (1-5); Theo Townsend (6-20); Max Martin (1-12); Will Dennistion (2-3; TD)

Receiving (Rec-Yds) : Keith Brown (5-39); DJ Hall (3-48, TD); Matt Caddell (3-48); Tim Castille (3-18); Le'Ron McClain (3-14); Roy Upchurch (2-21); Will Denniston (2-7); Theo Townsend (1-6); Darwin Salaam (1-13); Nick Walker (1-7); Aaron McDaniel (1-5); Charles Hoke (1-3); Kenneth Darby (1-0)

Defensive Leaders:Juwan Simpson (8 tackles); Simeon Castille (6 tackles), Prince Hall (6 tackles, TFL, FR); Chris Rogers (5 tackles, PBU); Eric Gray (5 tackles, 3 PBU)

Sacks: Bobby Greenwood (2), Wallace Gilberry (2), Jeremy Clark, Zeke Knight, Chris Harris

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