FIU Preparation Different

With a suspension-ridden Florida International coming to Tuscaloosa Saturday for Homecoming, the Alabama football team worked out for approximately two ours in shorts and shoulder pads Wednesday.

Saturday's homecoming contest between Alabama (5-3) and FIU (0-7) is scheduled to begin at 2:07 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It will be televised on a pay-per-view basis.

"We had two really good practices and guys are moving around good," Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula said. "I don't know if it is the cooler weather but the guys have been real good."

Shula said the team spent more time this week with first unit offense against the first unit defense, doubling up on the amount of time for ones on ones situations this week.

"I think it is important to keep that speed up," he said. "There is a little bit of unknown with FIU so we decided to practice a little more against ourselves and get the good speed. We just need to continue with film work on those guys to get used to their schemes. They will have some new guys out there so you don't know how they are going to play."

Wednesday is the day Alabama normally conducts the two-minute drill at the end of practice, and today cheers went up over the fence when the first offense went down the field and scored against the first defense.

Shula said receiver Keith Brown, who strained his knee against Ole Miss, was limited in practice Wednesday, only participating in individual drills. Linebacker Terrence Jones returned to the practice field on Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday with cold symptoms.

The Crimson Tide will face Florida International for the first time in school history Saturday – the second first-time opponent this season for Alabama (Louisiana-Monroe was the other). FIU has 18 players suspended from its on-field brawl with Miami two weeks ago.

"They've got some new guys out there so we're not sure how they're going to play," Shula said.

Shula noted that Eryk Anders, who had two tackles against Tennessee, had more playing time there last week spelling Jimmy Johns (who was limited with a turned ankle) and might see more playing time this week.

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