Crimson Tide Extra by Marq_Burnett
A source for full coverage of Alabama athletics.
Aug 05, 2013 | 82407 views |  0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Alabama remains No. 1 in AP poll, USA Today coaches poll
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 29, 2013 | 724 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama received 59 of a 62 possible first place votes to remain in the top spot of the USA Today coaches poll

Top-ranked Crimson Tide used a strong defensive effort to shutout Ole Miss 25-0 on Saturday. The Rebels fell out of the poll. 

Oregon (2), Ohio State, Clemson (1) and Stanford round out the top 5. 

The Crimson Tide also received 55 first place votes to remain atop the Associated Press poll. Oregon (5), Clemson, Ohio State and Stanford round out the top 5. Ole Miss fell from No. 21 to No. 24 following the loss in Tuscaloosa. 

Nick Saban's news conference following 25-0 victory over Ole Miss
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 28, 2013 | 1714 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA-- Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke highly of the Crimson Tide's performance following its 25-0 victory over No. 21 Ole Miss. 

The top-ranked Tide held the high powered Rebels to 205 yards of 
total offense, including just 46 rushing yards.

Alabama's offense gained 434 yards of total offense, including 254 rushing yards.  

Watch Nick Saban's full press conference (via 247Sports)


Pregame notes: No. 21 Ole Miss at No. 1 Alabama
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 28, 2013 | 657 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- We're just minutes away from kickoff in Bryant-Denny Stadium. No. 1 Alabama and No. 21 Ole Miss are set to battle on ESPN. 

The Crimson Tide is trying to silence all the critics and show everyone it is still the class of the Southeastern Conference and the nation.

The Rebels are out to prove they belong among the SEC elite and have a chance to vault themselves into the national title conversation.

Here are some pregame notes:

-- Quarterback AJ McCarron, linebacker C.J. Mosley and wide receiver Kevin Norwood are Alabama's captains. 

-- Deion Belue and true freshman Eddie Jackson were named the cornerback starters in Alabama's pregame video. Jarrick Williams was named the starter at the "Star" position, Alabama's fifth defensive back in nickel and dime packages. Williams is playing with a shield on his helmet. Williams missed last week's game with an eye injury. 

-- Both Jalston Fowler and T.J. Yeldon were named starters at running back. 

-- Wide receivers Amari Cooper and Kevin Norwood both participated in warmups after not playing last week against Colorado State. Cooper worked with the kick returners. 

-- During his pregame show, Tide coach Nick Saban said Cooper may not start, but should play (h/t @LivingCrimson). Cooper was named a starter in the pregame video. 

-- Right guard Anthony Steen warmed up with the first offensive line group after not playing last week. 

-- Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche was not listed as a starter in the pre game video. 

-- The pregame video named five wide receivers, a tight end and two running backs as starters. Not sure if that's legal, but if any coach can get away with it, it's Saban. 

-- Former Tide standout Barrett Jones is at the game.  

Check back at halftime for more notes and stats. 

Breakdown of No. 21 Ole Miss (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0, 1-0)
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 28, 2013 | 595 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
When: 5:30 p.m., today

Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium

Line: Alabama by 14.5


Radio: 95.5 FM

Four-down territory

1. Run to pass:
 It sounds simple, but Alabama’s running game has to be better to take pressure off its passing game. The Tide ran the ball only 21 times against Colorado State. Expect that number to exceed 30 this week. Running the ball well will make Ole Miss’ safeties have to creep up and, AJ McCarron and his receivers will have opportunities to make big plays. The Tide is currently the worst rushing team in the SEC, while Ole Miss’ run defense is third in the league.

2. One dimensional: Ole Miss’s offense has been incredibly balanced so far this season, averaging 490 yards with 240 coming through the air and 250 on the ground. Alabama has to take away or at least slow one of those areas down. Alabama’s defense allows 250.3 passing and 122.7 rushing yards a game.

3. Third-down conversions: Alabama was 2 of 10 on third-down conversions against Colorado State and didn’t convert the two until its final drive of the game. That stat has to improve against a quality SEC opponent. 

4. Catch your breath: Ole Miss’ offense averages a play every 21.1 seconds, which is good for 17th fastest in the nation. Alabama’s defense won’t have much time to rest or get its calls in. The Tide has prepared all offseason for the uptempo offenses and the early season game against Texas A&M should help with adjusting to game speed.

Key matchup

Alabama’s secondary vs. Ole Miss’ wide receivers:
 But not for the obvious reason of being able to stop the Rebel’s passing attack. Ole Miss’ running game is built around perimeter runs with running back Jeff Scott. Ole Miss’ wide receivers are big, talented and physical blockers. If Alabama’s cornerbacks and safeties aren’t able to get off blocks, Scott could break a few big outside runs.


This could be a statement game for Alabama. Through three games, the Tide hasn’t looked like a complete team and what better way to silence critics than against a conference opponent on national television. It will be close early, but Alabama will find away to pull away late. ... Alabama 31, Ole Miss 20.

Five questions with an Ole Miss beat writer
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 27, 2013 | 1111 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- In order to breakdown Alabama's opponents, each week we're reaching out to beat writers who cover the opposing teams. Hugh Kellenberger covers Ole Miss for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. 

Q. Ole Miss is off to its first 3-0 start in a long time. Are the Rebels for real or is the hot start because of weak competition? 
A. Weak competition? Ole Miss went to Vanderbilt on a Thursday night to start the season, and played in front of 100,000 at Texas. Southeast Missouri is Southeast Missouri, but every school plays an FCS team. No, this start is very much for real -- how many teams have won twice on the road already? The Rebels are doing everything they want to do as a program: play fast on offense, have a 50/50 run/pass percentage and limit big plays on defense. 
Q. Who is Ole Miss' most important player not named Bo Wallace? 
A. Right now I would say Jeff Scott. The senior running back has not been a dependable player up to this point in the career, even if he did lead the team in rushing as a sophomore and junior. But he made key lifestyle changes in the offseason, and has been his best ever since. He's fifth in the league in rushing, and first in yards per carry. And it was 75-yard run that beat Vanderbilt and punt return touchdown that broke Texas' comeback hopes. 

Q. Has Bo Wallace improved enough since last year's game to beat Alabama on the road? Has Ole Miss' offense improved enough? 
A. Whether or not he actually does, I think he's in much better position to do so. A year ago Wallace had just shown up at Ole Miss from East Mississippi Community College, having never played major college football. Games like Texas and Alabama overwhelmed him. He's been through it before, and feels much more comfortable this year. Also, post-shoulder surgery, he's improved his throwing mechanics and is overall making better decisions. That's the best thing to happen to this offense: he threw 17 interceptions a year ago, and has zero through three games. 
Q. Give Alabama fans an offensive and defensive player that could surprise the Crimson Tide. 
A. On offense, Evan Engram. The freshman tight end is 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds soaking wet, but Ole Miss uses him in the slot and he's an eager blocker on the edge (and a capable one, with his long arms). And he's also caught 11-of-13 passes thrown at him this season. 
On defense, Mike Hilton. The sophomore moved from husky (Ole Miss' hybrid/safety linebacker position) to cornerback three weeks ago, and had a good game against Texas. He's not very big (5-8), but was able to play husky because he is so aggressive and willing to attack the guy he is covering. 
Q. Who wins, why and what's the score? 
A. I do think Alabama wins, but Ole Miss covers. The Rebels are an improving program and deserving of their ranking, but don't know if they're there yet. Alabama 35, Ole Miss 28

Alabama safety Nick Perry out for season, will return as fifth-year senior
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 26, 2013 | 849 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama safety Nick Perry will miss the remainder of the 2013 season after having shoulder surgery, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said during his weekly radio show on Thursday. 

Saban also said Perry qualifies for a medical redshirt and will return as a fifth-year senior in 2014. 

"Nick has been a really good player for us in a lot of ways," Saban said. "We'll miss his leadership and experience."

Perry, a Prattville native, played in the first two games as a reserve safety and saw time at the "Money" position, Alabama's sixth defensive back in nickel and dime packages.

Saban on canceling Michigan State series

Saban was asked about the Tide electing to cancel its home-and-home series with Michigan State. Saban reiterated what Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said earlier on Thursday. 

"What are we going to do with all of these neutral-site games that we have gotten into playing one every year, which continues to be an option for us in the future," Saban said. "We play West Virginia next year in Atlanta and Wisconsin the next year in Dallas. And those games our kids really enjoy."

The last home-and-home the Tide played was with Penn State in 2010 and 2010. 

"So, even though emotionally, in my heart and for all the good relationships and friends we have at Michigan State," Saban said, "We'd love to play that series, it just probably doesn't make much business sense to hang on to it right now relative to some of the other options and question marks that we have relative to the future." 

Alabama cancels home-and-home series with Michigan State
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 26, 2013 | 676 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama has canceled its home-and-home series with Michigan State. 

The Crimson Tide and Spartans were scheduled to meet in Tuscaloosa in 2016 and East Lansing in 2017. 

Alabama athletic director Bill Battle confirmed the news in a prepared statement. 

"Michigan State graciously granted our request to cancel the games previously scheduled for the 2016 and 2017 seasons," Battle wrote. "We made the request due to the uncertainty of the conference football schedule in those years. We are very appreciative of Michigan State’s willingness to grant that request." 

The Detroit Free Press was the first to report the news.  

Alabama coach Nick Saban's Wednesday news conference discussing Ole Miss
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 25, 2013 | 2315 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama coach Nick Saban took the podium for his Wednesday news conference following the Crimson Tide's practice. 

Saban opened with saying everyone in the organization needs to have positive energy. He said everyone has become overwhelmed with expectations. 

Among other things, he discussed player leadership, Ole Miss' physical wide receivers and the Tide's communication issues. 

Watch Nick Saban's Wednesday news conference (via 247Sports)


Alabama returns outside to continue Ole Miss preparations
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 25, 2013 | 595 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama returned outside as the weather improved on a warm Wednesday afternoon. 

Here are some takeaways: 

--  For some reason, safety Nick Perry is still at practice. Tide coach Nick Saban said Perry will likely have shoulder surgery, but it has not been scheduled. Perry wore a black, non-contact jersey and watched most of the drills. 

-- Tight end Brian Vogler practiced with heavy wrapping around his right quad. This is the first time Vogler has been seen with any wrapping. It may just be precautionary. Vogler participated in all of the drills, but did appear to be limping at times. 

-- Wide receiver Amari Cooper, cornerback Deion Belue and right guard Anthony Steen all participated in every drill. 

-- Scouts from the New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams were spotted at practice.

Up next: Saban and selected players will be speaking to reporters following today's practice. 

Watch Alabama's tight ends work on power blocking 


Alabama safety Nick Perry out against Ole Miss, will likely need shoulder surgery
by Marq_Burnett
Sep 25, 2013 | 876 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama senior safety Nick Perry will miss the Ole Miss game and will likely need shoulder surgery, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban announced on Wednesday. 

"Nick is out for this game," Saban said during the SEC teleconference. "I think the decision has been made that he'll probably need surgery. I don't think we've scheduled a time for that yet."  

Perry, a senior, injured his shoulder during practice last week and missed the Tide's last game against Colorado State. Perry has practiced this week, but has dressed in a black, non-contact jersey.

Perry saw most of his time on special teams in the first two games. He also came in as a reserve safety and lined up at the "Money" position, Alabama's sixth defensive back in dime packages.

Perry, a Prattville native, played in all 13 games last season, started four and had 37 tackles. 

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