Alabama loses Croyle for season

Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle stepped into the spotlight during his first career start against Arkansas in 2002, guiding the Crimson Tide to a 30-12 win in place of injured senior Tyler Watts.

Sophomore quarterback Marc Guillon will get the same opportunity.

Alabama got off to a 3-0 start after its 52-0 win against Division I-AA Western Carolina on Saturday, but paid a hefty price when it lost Croyle for the year with a torn anterior cruicate ligament. That leaves Guillon, who transferred from Miami (Fla.) after the 2002 season, in line to start his first game at Alabama next Saturday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

"Marc is going be the guy and everyone's excited about him having the opportunity," Alabama coach Mike Shula said Sunday. "We've got to get him ready as soon as we can and each guy's going to have to do his job just a little bit better."

Croyle, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns against Western Carolina, went down in the third quarter on a short running play with Alabama leading 31-0. Guillon stepped on the field and led the Crimson Tide to two scoring drives and finished 5 of 7 for 71 yards and a touchdown.

"We're not sitting around the table (Sunday) thinking we're all very, very excited that Brodie Croyle got hurt," said Arkansas coach Houston Nutt. "All that does, a lot of times, is bring a team closer together. It makes them play harder."

The Crimson Tide never missed a beat without Watts in 2002. Then a redshirt-freshman, Croyle completed 12 of 24 passes for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns.

But the latest injury derails a strong start for Croyle, who had offseason surgery to correct a dislocated (non-throwing) shoulder. The junior completed 44 of 66 passes for 534 yards and 6 touchdowns without an interception. Croyle also was second in the Southeastern Conference and 10th in the nation in passing efficiency.

"It's a difficult thing to swallow," Shula said. "Our heart goes out to him and his family. Our football team is really losing a great player. We also realize we've got an opportunity to get some things done."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories