Tide looking toward conference slate

Notes from Tide Head Coach Dennis Franchione's Sunday afternoon teleconference.

Senior tailback Ahmaad Galloway tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral in his knee versus Southern Miss. The injuries will end his season, and since Galloway is a fifth-year senior his Alabama playing career is finished.

Franchione named Shaud Williams, Santonio Beard and Ray Hudson as prime candidates to assume Galloway's carries in the Tide offense. He went on to note that Alabama will need a fourth tailback, but that role will not necessarily be filled by a true freshman. At this point it's considered likely that both Kenneth Darby and Nic Luke will redshirt this season.

Senior tailback Ahmaad Galloway tore ligaments in his knee Saturday and is lost for the season.

The injury to Tyler Watts is not season-ending, so Franchione had no comment on his quarterback's status. If his foot is merely sprained, then Watts could return soon. If there is damage to one of the bones in his foot, then he could miss several weeks, depending on the severity of the problem.

Franchione praised the way back-up quarterback Brodie Croyle assumed control of the team. He noted that while Croyle's fumble that turned into a touchdown for Southern Miss was an unfortunate play, the very high humidity made playing conditions difficult. With Croyle at quarterback, the Tide staff will tweak the offense to suit his strengths, including some bootlegs.

Saturday's game was called the "best defensive performance" by any team since Franchione took over as head coach at Alabama. Franchione noted that from studying the film Alabama had missed only four tackles the entire game. He also pointed to Bama's domination in time of possession and holding the Golden Eagles to only eight first downs.

Alabama rushed for more than 350 yards versus a very good Southern Miss defense. The Tide also had touchdown drives of 11 plays (89 yards) and 12 plays (79 yards), as well as a drive of 61 yards that resulted in a field goal.

The Tide forced five turnovers, which was good. But three turnovers by the Bama offense made it hard for Franchione to be too pleased.

Punter Lane Bearden had another good day.

Bama normally practices Sunday afternoons, but in an attempt to keep his team fresh the players watched film and had team meetings only yesterday. Mondays are always off, and practice will resume on Tuesday.

Franchione noted that Bama had no significantly bad plays in the kicking game. The kickoff coverage team was some better. He had special praise for Lane Bearden who had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including one at the two. Bearden also ran for a key first down.

Franchione was pleased with Brian Bostick's success kicking field goals, but he's "hasn't given up" on sophomore Michael Ziifel.

Franchione listed the Players of the Week:

  • Defensive line: Brooks Daniels and Kenny King
  • Defensive backs: Charlie Peprah
  • Special teams: Waine Bacon, Chris James and Lane Bearden
  • Offensive line: Marico Portis
  • Offensive back: Shaud Williams
  • Offensive scouts: Nick Morgan, Josh Smith, Grant Dickey and Boone Stutz
  • Defensive scouts: Ramsey Robinson, Eric Moore, Matt Grice and Matt McMullen

Alabama's offensive line totaled 104 knockdown blocks versus Southern Miss.

The Tide wound up with nine "explosives" on offense.

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