Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson didn't have anywhere to go but down in Monday's scrimmage. He didn't go down. And, indeed, he certainly solidified his spot as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback. The 6-2, 210-pound Wilson had excellent statistics, but as is usually the case in judging a quarterback, it was about more than just the numbers.
Wilson ran an efficient offense, mixing runs and passes effectively and getting his team to the end zone.
"I thought it was pretty good," Wilson said. "We didn't turn it over much and we moved the ball pretty well."
He said, "We still have a lot of work to do, but this was good. We got a lot of reps today that we really needed."
And, he said, "I thought we showed some pretty good effort."
Wilson completed 19 of 28 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. He did have one interception on a nice play by cornerback Lionel Mitchell.
Wilson said, "The big thing was our offensive line. I don't think they had a sack on me. The offensive line is going to be a strength of the team." Wilson was actually sacked once in the game, but officials were using a quick whistle to prevent contact on the quarterbacks.
Wilson said, "I threw a pick. I have to learn from that. I tried to force it in there when it wasn't there."
Alabama Coach Mike Shula doesn't downplay a quarterback throwing an interception, but noted, "He made that one bad throw, but he didn't worry about it. He put that aside and he came back and made some good plays after that. The interception was a really good play by Lionel. John Parker made a good read, but he's got to get the ball out faster."
Wilson had two touchdown passes to Matt Caddell, an 11-yarder early in the scrimmage and a 33-yarder shortly after the interception. His final touchdown pass was a 28-yard throw to D.J. Hall, who had been Wilson's favorite target in the spring A-Day Game.
Shula said, "John Parker Wilson had a pretty good day. Mentally, I thought he was better. He has impressed me the last few days. This scrimmage is what he needs. This is what our football team needs."
The coach said that Wilson is a leader. "They guys like him and they respect him," Shula said.
Shula said, "The offensive line is protecting better."
Alabama has excellent runners and the thought has been that Bama will be a running team this year. Wilson said, "I think we're going to try to stay balanced. We have good receivers and a good offensive line."