April 12, 2008

Crimson squad wins 24-14

The Crimson squad will eat steak - the spoils for the winning A-Day squad - on Tuesday night after beating the White team 24-14 in Alabama's final scrimmage of the spring. The White team will eat hot dogs and beans.

One of coach Nick Saban's key points in post-game remarks, however, was that the younger players can cut their teeth on either one.

"One of the things most evident is the opportunity some of the young people might have to come in and get an opportunity to play early relative to the depth we have on the team," Saban said. "We have representative starting units both ways, but have some areas of weakness and certainly don't have enough depth on our team which is evident by how you watch and what you look at when the twos are out there."

In other words, the two-deep depth chart still has a 'Help Wanted' sign hanging on it.

Second-team players who impressed Saturday included defensive end Alfred McCullough, who posted six solo tackles, a sack and two pass deflections. Other reserves who posted solid days: running back Roy Upchurch (11 carries, 49 yards), walk-on quarterback Thomas Darrah (8 of 14, 110 yards, TD), and receiver Darius Hanks (four catches, 102 yards).

"I was just trying to get the younger offensive linemen to get a better intensity and make the game progress," said Upchurch. "I just went behind them and got what I could, and they did a real good job."

Indeed, there are a few members of UA's second wave that are playing at a higher level. But without question, Saban's call for help across the board among UA's reserves will make for plenty of offseason motivation.

"That's something we need to improve dramatically between now and next season," Saban said. "Hopefully some of the players we recruited will be able to add some depth to our team as well."

In other words, returning players should keep their rear-view mirrors handy.

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