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

Alabama football team eager for Saturday test


Alabama is eager to start its season and finally play its first game against Wisconsin on Saturday.

“I think everybody is a little tired of practicing against each other,” coach Nick Saban said. “I think it’s about time to find out where we are. We’ll go compete, play and see what’s up.”

ABC National Television and ESPN College Game Day will be airing the game from Arlington. Saban said this goes to show the kind of respect that both programs – Alabama and Wisconsin – have.

It’s been a good week of preparation during practices, Saban said. On Wednesday, the team practiced indoors in order to get out of the heat and also because, come Saturday, it will be performing indoors as well. From here on out, Alabama’s big thing will be 
mental practice.

“When you talk about what you want to accomplish, what are you willing to do to do it, well part of that is your preparation,” Saban said. “So when you get to the game, everybody is going to want to win, but did you do all those things you need to do to win before you get to the game?”

Alabama will be watching more film in these last few days before the game.

Wisconsin is a conventional punt team, Saban said. With cornerback Cyrus Jones now listed in the depth chart as the first string punt returner, he hopes that the team is able to get more returnable balls with Wisconsin’s punter in order to get more production. Jones is a very good returner, he said.

“We have all the faith, trust and confidence in Cyrus [Jones],” Saban said. “He has made big plays in the limited exposure he has had in the last couple of years.”

Jones makes good judgment as a punt returner, Saban said. He has good hands and judges the ball well.

“Hopefully if we get returnable balls, we’ll get more production,” Saban said.

Jones has also been working with the offense. He’s been taking reps and trying different things at wide receiver. Although he is a strong part of the defense, Saban said he might use Jones in the offense at some point in the season.

With defense, Saban said the team is fortunate to have guys like Geno Smith and Eddie Jackson. They are two big, physical guys that play the run well and have good cover ability. Smith and Jackson both have played cornerback at Alabama before and now are at safety.

“Having more athletic safeties has a benefit,” Saban said.

Saban is confident in Smith’s physical abilities with tackling and said Jackson is getting used to being a safety since he hasn’t been at it as long as Smith.

Wide receiver Cam Sims has been cleared by the medical staff and has been practicing out of a non-contact black jersey. As for playing in Saturday’s game, Saban said he wants to make that decision 
with Sims.

Add that to the list of decisions that need to be made since the starting quarterback position is still up in the air.

“We’re just going to do what we think is best for our team,” 
Saban said.

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