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First Look: Alabama

The Georgia Bulldogs venture to Tuscaloosa for their 5th test of 2002 on October 5th. The Crimson Tide of HC Dennis Franchione will present a formidable challenge, as they will feature the SEC's best running attack.

The Georgia Bulldogs venture to Tuscaloosa for their 5th test of 2002 on October 5th. The Crimson Tide of HC Dennis Franchione will present a formidable challenge, as they will feature the SEC's best running attack.

Our fortunes versus the Tide have been less than positive, for we have never won at Bryant-Denny (0-6) nor do we have a stellar record, 22-35-4, all time. To further add salt to the wound, the last meeting was here in Athens, a 31-0 trouncing, which came on the back of a loss the year prior at BD, 29-28. Though the players for both teams were Junior High students in 1995, they recognize the significance of tradition and history.

The Tide went 7-5 last year, falling to the better passing teams, something that must be fixed if greater success is expected. The "Us vs. The World" mentality is the mantra for 2002 and if bonding is a measure of potential, the Crimson Tide will be full of it. With graduation losses this season, Alabama will begin feeling the effects of the penalties of scholarships, and more importantly numbers come the '03 campaign, but even more so in the years that follow.

But this is 2002, and this Bama team is one to not take lightly! Offensively, the Tide will be led by 5th Year Senior Tyler Watts, behind an OL that returns intact and is led by All-SEC C Alonzo Ephraim, that has the deepest Rushing Corps in the SEC, if not the Nation, but must develop a new WR threat. The Defense is stout up front with 3 returning starters, has R-Fr Freddie Roach at MLB, and three senior starters in the Defensive backfield.

Offensively, the Tide should be fine, as Watts will have many additional options to utilize the vast amount of backfield talent, both running and passing. The combination of Ahmaad Galloway and Santonio Beard is the best one-two punch in the SEC, and behind them are two more potential stars, the fastest Ray Hudson and Texas Tech transfer Shaud Williams. With Donnie Lowe paving the way behind that massive OL, the Tide shouldn't have much problem improving upon their SEC leading rushing stats. Two seniors, Sam Collins and Antonio Carter will try and fill the shoes of the graduated Freddie Milons at the WR spots, another Senior; Theo Sanders will be the TE.

On the Defensive side, Sr's Jarrett Johnson, Kenny King,  Kindal Moorehead lead one of the best DL's in the SEC. Heralded R-Fr. Freddie Roach moves into the MLB spot and Jr. Cornelius Wortham mans the SLB. The 2nd leading tackler Brooks Daniel returns at Rover. The DB will return two senior CB's in Hirchel Bolden and Gerald Dixon, Sr. SS Waine Bacon and Jr. Charles Jones who started in 5 games last year.

Statistically, the Tide Offense ranked 5th in the SEC (1st Rushing, 10th Passing) and 5th in Defense (4th vs. the Run, 9th vs. the Pass), and averaged 27.6 ppg, surrendered 19.9 ppg.

With 17 starters back, 14 who are seniors, the 2002 Crimson Tide will field the most veteran team in the SEC and if improvement in the Passing department, both with it and against it can be had, the Tide could decide who wins the SECW, and the SECE as well. 


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