No Blame Game

Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson had a good day in Alabama's Saturday scrimmage at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and it would have been outstanding with just a few more pass completions. Some usually sure-handed receivers came up short on opportunities that hurt Wilson's statistics, but he wasn't offering excuses.

John Parker Wilson completed 14 of 21 passes for 173 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in the 100-play scrimmage, and he had a couple of nice passes that would have added substantially to that total. "It felt good to connect with Keith, but I should have had at least one more – maybe two more – touchdowns," Wilson said.

Wilson's totals included touchdown passes of 25 and 34 yards to Keith Brown as the first offense worked primarily against the second defense. He had another excellent pass to Brown at the goalline that was broken up on a fine play by redshirt freshman cornerback Chris Rogers. And a sure touchdown went just off the hands of Will Oakley. D.J. Hall, who almost never misses a pass, dropped a long gainer.

"The offense was really good today, I thought," Wilson said. "It was very encouraging.

"We have two weeks left. I think we'll use that time wisely and that we'll be ready. We're on the right track."

Alabama opens the season Saturday, September 2, hosting Hawaii. Kickoff at Bryant-Denny Stadium will be at 6 p.m. CDT.

Although quick whistles to protect the quarterback kept Wilson from having big rushing yardage, he showed some scrambling ability, sometimes throwing and sometimes running. "That's something that can just happen," Wilson said. "It's not the protection breaking down. You just can't hold the defense off forever."

Head Coach Mike Shula: said, "I thought John Parker did some good things. He cut down on his errors. .

"All quarterbacks, but especially those who haven't played much, one of the most important things is not making critical errors We continue to preach this to him. He was real close to having a good day; he just didn't quite connect on a couple."

Quarterbacks Coach Dave Rader said, "When I was a teenager I had a 1967 Mustang straight six shift stick. When it was warm, it was good. When it was cold, it wasn't so good.

"When John Parker warms up, he's really good. And he's getting started a little quicker every practice. Once he gets going, he's on it.

"Both he and Marc (back-up quarterback Marc Guillon) need to connect, but they are seeing them. John Parker had a couple of long passes that we have been connecting on and we didn't today."

Rader said Wilson "was better today than he was Monday (in the first scrimmage of pre-seasonj camp). His efficiency was good except for one fumble."

One thing that pleased both Rader and Shula was the number of different receivers catching passes. "We had balls all over the place," Rader said.

Overall, Rader said, "The positives of today are that we had an opportunity to hit some deep balls. The negatives are that we didn't hit enough of them. We had one fumble that was critical, but I think our penalties were low today, which was good. We seem to get better as we warm up, but we can't do that, we have to be able to start faster. "

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