School's Out, Practice Is In

Some went east, some went west, others went home to get some rest. Alabama football practice finished early on Thursday after being moved up from its normal time thanks to a new thing known as fall break, which lets University students out of class on Thursday and Friday this week.

Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines went out the gate for a late afternoon jog through campus on the dreary rainy afternoon in Tuscaloosa. Despite the rain, which at times was enough to be called a downpour, the team practiced outdoors for most of the practice.

"We just finished up," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said standing on the covered porch area where the players leave the field to enter the locker rooms. "Guys did a good job. They are focused. They have had good work - probably one of our best weeks."

"I don't know what that means. I wish I did," Shula said, "but I think it's a really good sign. Guys are into it. They know what this games means. They know with the team we're going to be playing what it's going to take. Now we've got to transfer it from the practice field to the game."

The team will have a short walk through on Friday before leaving for Knoxville at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday's game against Tennessee is scheduled to begin at 2:34 p.m. Central Time, and it will be nationally televised by CBS.

There wasn't much in the way of an update on three players who were questionable for Saturday's game earlier in the week, halfback Jimmy Johns and receivers DJ Hall and Keith Brown, but Shula said on Wednesday he expected all three to play.

"We tried to rest most of them," Shula said. "The guys that were nicked up, we just try to give them the most they can take and we'll see what happens on Saturday."

Captains for the Tennessee game are Juwan Simpson, Rashad Johnson and Le'Ron McClain, Shula said. None of the players had team meetings after the practice, and Shula left the field joking "What do we do now?"

He said the break from class comes at a good time for his team.

"The get off their feet physically and get some rest," he said. "Mentally, they have the opportunity to spend a few hours without being in a football meeting, being in study hall, being in class or traveling."

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