Dye comment amuses Franchione

A report that Pat Dye said Georgia "is not man enough" to beat Alabama has provided nothing more than mild amusement for Alabama Head Football Coach Dennis Franchione. Dye, a former Georgia football player and Alabama assistant coach and retired Auburn head coach, made the remark earlier this week. It has been reported that the remark is being used as a rallying device for Georgia's football team.

Asked about the remark by reporters following Wednesday's Crimson Tide practice, Franchione said, "It doesn't matter. I don't know if he has that much respect for us or if he is trying to fire them up. I'm not much into that kind of stuff. I don't think Georgia needs that. They are undefeated, a top ten team, a good football team. If they needed that, they are playing the game for the wrong reason. They have a lot of motivation for the game, and don't need that. I'm sure (Georgia Coach) Mark Richt will have them ready."

Alabama hosts Georgia in a Southeastern Conference game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 4-1 and Georgia 4-0. Both teams are 1-0 in SEC play. The game will be televised by CBS.

With Category 4 Hurricane Lili headed for the Gulf Coast, there is a chance of bad weather in Tuscaloosa Saturday, although long range forecasts still call for less than a 50 per cent chance of rain. Temperatures will be in the high 80s.

Alabama's football team went into its indoor facility for Wednesday's practice, but not for the usual reason. Ordinarily the indoor facility is used when thunderstorms are in the area. It was a clear day in Tuscaloosa Wednesday, but also very, very hot. The practice in the indoor facility provided privacy and also provided protection from the heat, a prudent move in order to get much accomplished.

And Franchione said the Crimson Tide had a productive day. "We had a day of good work and shortened the practice a little," he said. The work was less than two hours.

The Tide coach said Bama had been "a little sluggish" in Tuesday's practice, the first tough work following last Saturday's 30-12 victory over Arkansas in Fayetteville. "We bounced back well," Franchione said.

Franchione said he couldn't predict how a rainy day would affect the game any more than he can predict how a game will go when it isn't raining. "I think it can have an effect for those teams that let it affect them" he said. "You have to find a way to compete. It's a part of the game and you can't worry about it, but you have to plan for it."

One of the positions of interest this week is center. Franchione said that back-up J.B. Closner "did fine. He performed well in the game (against Arkansas) and I'm pleased with how he has responded. He's had two good days of work."

Last Saturday starting center Alonzo Ephraim suffered a knee injury. Ephraim also practiced Wednesday and Franchione, who doesn't comment on injuries, said, "He looked good."

Franchione also noted that starting offensive tackle Evan Mathis came to Alabama as a center and could play that position.

Franchione had little to say about the kicking game situation insofar as injured punter and kickoff man Lane Bearden is concerned. Bearden was also injured against Arkansas. He did note that Alabama has worked very hard on kickoff coverage in practice this week and said that both Michael Ziifle, who replaced Bearden as punter and kickoff man last Saturday, and Bearden are capable of kicking into the end zone. He also said the back-up punter to Bearden is "probably" walk-on freshman Jeff Aul.

There is also interest in quarterback. Senior starter Tyler Watts suffered a foot injury in the opening moments of the Southern Miss game two Saturdays ago. Redshirt freshman Brodie Croyle replaced Watts in that game. Croyle got his first start and quarterbacked Alabama to victory at Arkansas. Prior to the Arkansas game Franchione said Watts would be available if needed.

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