Tide finishes with business-like practice

Alabama Head Football Coach Dennis Franchione isn't talking about who will quarterback Alabama and isn't concerned about who will quarterback Tennessee. Both Bama and the Vols have had starting quarterbacks injured this year, senior Tyler Watts for Alabama (foot) and junior Casey Clausen for Tennessee (shoulder).

While neither side is giving specific information, both Watts and Clausen are expected to play Saturday when Bama goes to Knoxville to take on Tennessee in a game that will be nationally telecast by ESPN.

Kickoff will be about 7:45 p.m. EDT (6:45 p.m. CDT). Tennessee with a 4-2 record, including a 1-2 mark in Southeastern Conference games, is ranked 16th in this week's Associated Press poll, while Alabama, with a 5-2 record including 2-1 SEC mark, is ranked 19th.

Franchione said that he believes the majority of Tennessee's offense can be run by any of the Volunteers' quarterbacks­Clausen or back-ups freshman James Banks or junior C.J. Leak, just as Bama's offense can be run by either Watts or redshirt freshman Brodie Croyle, who has started two games and played the majority of two others. The Tide coach said there are aspects of an offense that will suit one quarterback more than another and both sides have to be aware of the various strengths of different quarterbacks.

Franchione also noted that Tennessee has had an extra week to prepare and slant the offense towards the quarterback expected to play.

Franchione is also not concerned with another issue that has been raised this week: bulletin board material. It seems there have been some remarks made that some have taken as offering incentive to the other side. Franchione has always downplayed the importance of such motivation.

"I don't think anyone plays the game for that," he said. Franchione said that while such material may play a small role in motivation during preparation, that once the game begins the bulletin board items become immaterial.

The Tide head coach devotes his thoughts to preparation and he feels good about Alabama's this week. He said that Thursday was another good practice and that it has been a good week with the players having "good concentration, focus and attention to detail."

Thursday was another day in which the Tide worked in the indoor facility with recorded crowd noise to work on communication devices.

Bama will have a short workout in Tuscaloosa Friday, then fly to Knoxville. The team will go to Neyland Stadium to walk around, but not practice.


BamaMag Top Stories