Wilson Readying to Make First Hostile Start

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson hasn't been fazed by anything since taking over the first string quarterback duties from Brodie Croyle after the Cotton Bowl, but he will have his biggest test yet when the Crimson Tide plays its first Southeastern Conference road game Saturday against Arkansas at 2:30 p.m.

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula has tried to simulate the environs of a hostile SEC stadium in practice over the past two days, and said Wednesday he thought his team "did okay" with the crowd noise.

Shula said that Wilson, who is 3-0 as a Crimson Tide starter, encountered some times in practice where he needs to be louder in the huddle to help the offense deal with the crowd noise.

"We've talked to them about doing the little things better, communicating better than they have," Shula said. I thought practice was good today and good yesterday. I thought we did okay with the crowd noise."

Linebacker Terrence Jones didn't practice Tuesday or Wednesday, "but we're not ruling him out," Shula said. Jones injured his left shoulder last Saturday against Lousiana-Monroe on Jeffrey Dukes interception of ULM quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster.

"We're going to see if he can practice tomorrow," Shula said. "If not we've got Zach Schreiber, Demarcus Waldrop and Marcel Stamps who can go."

Shula figured placekicker Jamie Christensen, who injured his groin in the first scrimmage of the fall, would be available to kick off on Saturday, but a game time decision as far as kicking field goals and extra points.

Team tackling, a sore spot for Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines after last week's game, has looked better in practice this week, Shula said.

"We practiced a little more against ourselves, meaning first offense against first defense. Arkansas' offense is a little more like ours, so we can do that. The tackling has looked better in practice and hopefully it will be better this week."

The team will visit Reynolds Stadium on Friday, but won't do much.

"We'll get all of our stuff done here, but just go to let the kids see the stadium, and maybe break a sweat," Shula said.


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