Four Good Quarters

Alabama Coach Mike Shula said that Alabama has had games where the Tide started well and games where Bama finished well. But, he said, "We still haven't played four quarters the way we can. That's what we're looking for this week."

Alabama hosts Florida International at 2 p.m. CDT Saturday. It is homecoming at Alabama. The only telecast will be on a Pay Per View basis. The Crimson Tide is 5-3 overall and coming off a 16-13 loss to Tennessee in Knoxville. Florida International is 0-7. The Golden Panthers had an open date last week after a 35-0 loss to Miami, a game in which a brawl resulted in 18 Florida International players (four offensive starters and five defensive starters) being suspended for this game.

Alabama is 2-3 in Southeastern Conference games. This is the final non-conference game of the year for Bama. The Tide closes out with home games against Mississippi State (November 4) and Auburn (November 18) around a road game at LSU (November 11). Bama is 2-0 in SEC home games (and 5-0 in all games at Bryant-Denny Stadium) and 0-3 in road games, all against SEC opponents.

Alabama was out in a drizzle Thursday, working for a couple of hours. Shula said, "We had a good day today. We keep talking to our guys about doing the job better."

Shula said that wide receiver Keith Brown, who missed last week's game with a knee sprain, continued to get some work. He said that halfback Jimmy Johns, who was limited last week with an ankle injury, "was moving around."

The Tide coach noted that "at this time of year I don't think anyone's 100 per cent."

Alabama's captains Saturday will be end Chris Harris on defense, fullback Tim Castille on offense, and Le'Ron McClain, a fullback who plays on punt, kickoff return, and field goal and extra point units, on special teams.

Alabama is 71-13-1 all-time in homecoming games and has a four-game winning streak. This will be the first meeting with Florida International and marks the 122nd opponent in Crimson Tide history. Bama is 89-30-2 all-time against first time opponents. Florida International is a member of the Sun Belt Conference and the Tide is 14-0 against teams from that league, including a 41-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe earlier this year.

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