27 October 2008
The Red Wolves of Arkansas State are coming to town this Saturday to face the Tide at 2:00 PM. It's Homecoming at the Capstone, and the Alabama football team will be looking to reverse a disturbing trend of horrible play in November.
Bama has lost its last nine games played in November, with the last win coming November 5 of 2005 at Mississippi State. In fact Bama is 3-14 in the month of November over the course of the last five years. There is not a single player on this team who has a winning November in their collegiate career.
This past Saturday we saw Bama finish a game the way that the coaches would like for the first time this season, whipping Tennessee in the second half. This week the focus turns towards finishing the season. There can't be a successful November without a win on Saturday.
is considered doubtful for this Saturday as well, though he appears to be making progress in his rehabilitation of a sprained MCL, though. Last week he spent all of his time during the media viewing period on an exercise bike. Today he was up and moving around, working on individual drills.
In what seems to be a Monday tradition Earl Alexander
was also in a black no contact jersey. His ankle injury just doesn't seem to be healing, and it looks as though Mondays are a particularly tough day for him. As the weather begins to turn cold in Tuscaloosa this week injuries like this will take longer and longer to heal.
Coach Saban said that the team was a little beaten up after playing in a physical game on Saturday, but other than the two guys mentioned above, everyone else was ready to go in practice today. The team always practices in shells on Monday, and this week it appears to be giving the guys an extra day to recover from the game on Saturday. Something tells me that this by design, further proof that this coaching staff knows what they are doing.
, Lorenzo Washington
and Marcel Dareus
combined to hold down the middle Saturday and hold Tennessee to just 36 yards rushing. That will be important on this coming Saturday as the Red Wolves come to town with the nation's #12 rushing offense (225.14). Coach Saban has indicated that Dareus might see his role increase as the rest of this season goes on.
The Bama passing attack is getting a work out again this week, with the Arkansas State secondary being their weak point. John Parker Wilson is coming off of his best game of the season, and is looking to build on that performance. The Red Wolves have no answer for Julio Jones, who is coming off of being the SEC Freshman of the Week.
Focus is the big issue of the week. With all of us talking about BCS Standings and how a Tide win in Baton Rouge in two weeks will wrap up the SEC West, these guys have a game to win. As Coach Stallings used to always say, "If you don't think this is a big game, just go out and lose it." After the Louisiana-Monroe disaster last season, you can pretty much bank on this being an extremely intense week of practice.
The Tide will be back in full pads tomorrow and we'll have a report.