Twelve is a significant number in Alabama football. A number of Crimson Tide greats have worn the number 12. It's the number of national football championships won by Bama squads. And for the next 12 Saturdays, Alabama has a football game scheduled as the 2006 season gets underway Saturday.

Alabama Coach Mike Shula said following the Tide's two-hour full gear Sunday afternoon practice that, "We won't know until we see it, but I think we've accomplished goals."

The first of those 12 consecutive Saturday games has Bama hosting Hawaii at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The only telecast of the sold-out game in Bryant-Denny Stadium is on a pay-per-view basis.

Shula said, "I thought today was a good day and it was a good start to the week. The kids were bouncing around a little better today, so I think the day (Saturday) off really helped them. We just continued our preparation from last Wednesday and Thursday. We had a good mock game on Friday and covered a lot of things there. We have had some extra days of preparation and we will kind of repeat everything this Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday."

Alabama is now in game week preparation, meaning Monday is a day off.

He said it appeared to him that the players "realize it's game week. We're zeroed in. We're going to be playing on Saturday for 12 straight weeks."

Shula thinks that the Tide is going to be in good shape from an injury standpoint for Saturday's game. He said that defensive tackle J.P. Adams returned to practice Sunday and that a handful of others probably could have participated. He said it was decided to hold out placekicker Jamie Christensen and guards B.J. Stabler and Marlon Davis until Tuesday.

The Tide coach said he wasn't sure who would be the starter at right guard, where Stabler is the returning starter and Davis the returning back-up. The coach said, "If B.J. can go, he's the one who started out number one. If he can't we'll look at Marlon. And Michael Johnson has gotten a lot of good work there."

Shula said that Alabama's offensive line appears to be improved, in part because numbers are better ("although we may redshirt some of them"), in part because there is more experience, and in part because the players are getting bigger and stronger.

Shula said that remodeled and expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium, with seating for 92,138, "is going to be a great atmosphere. It's got a chance to be a lot louder. We have to make sure we give them a reason to be loud"


The Alabama ticket office announced Saturday that individual game tickets remain on sale for only one of the Crimson Tide's eight 2006 home games. Fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for the Louisiana-Monroe game on September 16.

Tickets are available online at, or by phone at 1-877 TIDE TIX and (205) 348-BAMA (2262). Fans are encouraged to purchase online to save on handling fees. The Crimson Tide Athletic Ticket Office opens Monday at 9 a.m. CDT to resume sales.

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