Alabama Closer To ‘Game Week'

Another change is coming to the Alabama practice schedule. Fall camp is he time for the Tide to work on itself, the fundamentals of football and the basics of offense, defense and special teams. The time is near to begin working to play a football game.

Alabama had a scrimmage Saturday, and then players had two days off, returning to the practice field for two hours work in full gear on Tuesday. The practice was to work on fundamentals. A similar practice is scheduled Wednesday.

Coach Nick Saban said the Tide would begin work Thursday on the game plan for the season-opening game against Virginia Tech. Alabama, ranked fifth in the nation in the pre-season Associated Press poll, and Virginia Tech, ranked seventh, will play in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta a week from Saturday on September 5. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. central time) with national television coverage by ABC.

"I think it was really important to get two days rest," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said after Tuesday's practice. "I think what the players do everyday sort of shows where they are in their maturity.

"The older, more experienced guys can come back today and not skip a beat and have the same focus when they get there, and the same intensity and sense of urgency to go execute and do things. The younger players sort of lose some of that and have to kind of play their way back into it.

"It's important that we get the rest, but I think it's important that we get back into it and get everybody back into it."

The coach said, "We had some very positive things in the scrimmage, We made some big plays offensively. We moved the ball. When we weren't efficient in what we were doing, it was certainly because of some mental error or missed technique or missed assignment.

"Defensively, I thought we played pretty well and when we gave up plays, it was the same thing. We made a mental error or had a missed assignment. Those things can be corrected.

"These two days, that is really what the emphasis is all about. The emphasis for today and tomorrow is to practice a lot of fundamentals and a lot on trying to do the things from a position standpoint that we need to do. It's to take some of the young players we feel we need to make improvements with and really work on the fundamentals and the basics with them. We get back and make sure they have the core of what we need to do."

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