Tide Football Goes Back To Practice

Alabama's football team has not had practice for a few weeks, although there has been some work since the end of regular season play. There has also been time away from football as the team completed final examinations over the past week. That academic situation is high on the list of concerns as Bama looks towards Colorado in Independence Bowl.



Alabama's football team will have the final game of its 2007 season in two weeks, and the Crimson Tide is scheduled to get back to practice Sunday afternoon. There will be no report on that first workout since the end of regular season play. Bama Coach Nick Saban and players will meet with the media Monday.

The Tide will go back to practice this week, but actual game preparation won't take all of the allotted practice time. Coach Saban explained earlier that he doesn't want to over-prepare for Colorado, which will be Bama's opponent in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport on Sunday, December 30. Kickoff for the game, which will be televised by ESPN, is at 7 p.m. Both Alabama and Colorado were 6-6 in regular season play.

This will be Alabama's national record 55th bowl game. The Crimson Tide also has a national record 30 bowl victories. Bama and Colorado have split two previous bowl games. This will be Alabama's third appearance in the Independence Bowl. Alabama won in Shreveport at the end of the 2001 season, but lost in last year's game to Oklahoma State.

Some of the 12 practices will be used much as a pre-season camp in August before a game plan is installed. That practice time is on fundamentals, particularly valuable for those players who have seen little or no action during the season.

Alabama will practice in Tuscaloosa through December 22, then take a couple of days off before reassembling in Shreveport for a late afternoon workout on Christmas Day.

One area of interest is how Alabama players performed in the classroom this year. A player must pass at least six hours to be eligible to participate in a bowl game. Over the years the Tide has had players who did not make that standard. This has been a season in which there have been a number of absences of Tide players from games for various reasons.

Alabama is also hopeful of having some players who were hampered by injuries back for the bowl game. Starting left guard Justin Britt, tailback Terry Grant, and kick return specialist Javier Arenas are among those who have been out of action with injuries.

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