Another Good Day

Temperatures began falling in Tuscaloosa Thursday afternoon, and that seemed to have a positive effect on Alabama's football practice. Coach Mike Shula said "The big guys like it better" and credited the chill for guys "moving running around."

It's not expected to be unusully cool Saturday when Alabama hosts Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The forecast calls for a high of 78 after a low of 49 Saturday morning.

Kickoff Saturday will be at 2:30 p.m. CDT with television coverage by CBS. Alabama is 4-2 overall and 1-2 in SEC games. The Rebels are also 1-2 in conference play, but only 2-4 overall.

Jeffrey Dukes, an Oxford, Mississippi, native who starts at strong safety for Alabama, will serve as captain of special teams against his hometown university. Linebacker Juwan Simpson will captain the defense and halfback Kenneth Darby the offense.

Following the two-hour workout in shorts Thursday when the temperature fell into the mid-60s, Shula said, "We finished our third day. It was a good day. The guys were running around. It was cooler and he big guys like it better.

"We still have things to do. We have to go over it and over it and over it and give ourselves the best chance to win."

One prominent Mississippian on Alabama's roster is back-up halfback Jimmy Johns. The sophomore was a high school quarterback and there have been plays the last couple of years with Johns under center. Shula was asked how that plan was going this week. The Tide coach said, "We've lined him up at quarterback twice this year and we've had two penalties. That's not too successful."

On Thursday afternoon, beat writers received an e-mail from Marc Guillon, the senior quarterback who quit the team earlier this week. He wrote:

To all media personnel:

I feel issuing this one general statement is the best way to handle this situation right now. Here it is: First and foremost I specifically want my teammates to know that I am very sorry for leaving. I am still behind them and do not want this situation to affect their focus and preparation. I thought long and very hard about the circumstances of the situation which put me at a breaking point. This crossroad forced me to make a tough decision in the interest of self-preservation based on numerous false impressions the coaches gave me. Lastly, I want to express a great deal of gratituide towards all 'Bama fans. I truly appreciate all the tireless support they give, and am confident in saying they are the best fans in college football.

Shula did not fall into the trap of commenting. "I'll talk about the players on our team," he said when asked if he had comment on Guillon's statement. "Marc has made his decision and moved on and we wish him well."

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