Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

White team takes the victory

On Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide made its first public spring appearance in the 2010 A-Day game, with the White team winning over the Crimson team 23-17 in front of a crowd of 91,312. The Crimson team featured the first string offense, while the White team featured first string defensive players.

“I was pleased with the overall performance with a limited offense and a limited defense, with how our players competed in the game, how they played in the game,” said head coach Nick Saban. “I think the most important thing now is we run an offense, we run a defense, and how we come together as a team.”

The Crimson team scored first with a 20-yard field goal from Jeremy Shelley, putting them up 3-0. Senior quarterback Greg McElroy’s 23-yard pass to Darius Hanks set up the field goal.

The White team took the first touchdown of the scrimmage, thanks to two big plays from running back Trent Richardson. Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed a sideline pass to Richardson that went for 27 yards. Then, on another sideline pass, tight end Brad Smelley took the snap, threw a screen to McCarron, who then threw it to Richardson. He scored on the 28-yard play, giving the White team a 7-3 edge.

In the second quarter with 11:30 left on the clock, the Crimson team took over the ball, still down 7-3. McElroy took the snap and handed it off to running back Eddie Lacy. Turning the play into a flea flicker, Lacy tossed it back to McElroy, who then threw it to wide receiver Marquis Maze for 39 yards and a touchdown, putting Crimson up 10-7, which was the score at halftime, both teams having missed field goal opportunities.

The White team lined up a 52-yard field goal, with Cade Foster making the attempt, but his kick was short. Then, with only five seconds left in the half, Shelley attempted a 47-yard field goal but was unable to convert the points.

The second half opened up big for the Crimson team when Mark Ingram broke out for a 60-yard run. Eddie Lacy followed that play up with a 5-yard run in for the first score of the second half, giving Crimson a 17-7 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the White team made a comeback with two touchdowns and a field goal, totaling 16 points in the final quarter.

The first touchdown was from a 25-yard pass from Star Jackson to running back Demetrius Goode to pull them to within three points. A 27-yard field goal from Foster tied the game at 17.

Ingram said he was pleased to see other players contribute positively.

“I’m glad other players are getting their chance to shine,” he said. “Marcell [Dareus] and Trent [Richardson] and Greg [McElroy] and A.J. [McCarron], everybody deserves their time. My main focus is getting better as a player and helping this team win games.”

With less than three minutes left in the game, both teams took turns at pulling together a game-winning drive, but time expired while White still had the ball and with the score tied at 17.

Rather than go into overtime, the game went into a sudden death, where the first team to score in four downs would win the game. White still had the ball. The very first play of sudden death, McCarron threw a 39-yard pass to wide receiver Brandon Gibson who caught it in the right corner of the end zone for six points and the victory.

“The last play I saw the safety inside, he was a little bit too far inside,” Gibson said. “Usually in those plays, the corners are used to us running outside. He got wide, and I just took it straight up the field.”

Gibson said catching the game-winning touchdown pass felt good.

“I’m not trying to get too bashful about it,” he said, “but I just want to do it during the season and try to make the best out of it.”

With that touchdown, White took the final score of 23-17, winning a steak dinner while the Crimson squad endured a meal of beans.

In the game, penalties were not an issue. The White team had two penalties for five yards, while the Crimson team didn’t have any penalties for the game.

Four quarterbacks saw playing time. While McElroy and McCarron started, Jackson came in just before the half and played the third quarter for the White team, and Phillip Sims came in during the third quarter for the Crimson team.

McElroy said he was very excited for some new guys to get playing time.

“I think they’re obviously in the same situation this year as we were last year as an offense,” he said. “It’s not because they haven’t been talented enough or they haven’t been ready to play. They were just younger than the great players in front of them. They are just waiting for their opportunity to step up and make plays.”

Gibson had the most receptions and yards in the game, leaving with eight receptions for 142 yards, with one touchdown and his long at 41 yards.

Ingram led the rushers with nine rushes and a net gain of 90 yards. He did not score a touchdown, but had a long run of 60 yards. He also had four receptions and carried those for a total of 31 yards.

Richardson had eight carries and three receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Dareus, playing for the White team, came away with one sack for 12 yards and 1.5 tackles for loss of 12 yards. Also on White, Courtney Upshaw had two sacks for a combines nine yards.

For the Crimson defense, Ed Stinton had 1.5 tackles for a loss of eight yards.

As always, Saban said there’s still more room for improvement.

“I thought the effort was good,” Saban said. “I thought there was a lot of toughness. I don’t think the execution was what we’d like for it to be in terms of crispness…There’s a tremendous amount of progress that has been made. We’re not satisfied with where we are, but we’re certainly not disappointed.”

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