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August 11, 2012

Saban talks scrimmage

TUSCALOOSA | Call the University of Alabama's first football scrimmage of fall camp something of an open tryout. The team scrimmaged at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday, exactly three weeks before opening the season against Michigan, and UA coach Nick Saban indicated the primary goal was to provide opportunities for as many players as possible.

Saban praised both the first offense and the first defense for its efforts, but described the establishment of quality depth "the most critical thing."

"How would they go out there and compete, which is a combination of ability to sustain effort, play with mental and physical toughness," Saban said. "... Obviously with the young players, they'll be a little behind in that regard. But if they do the other things, they're definitely worth continuing to try to develop and coach."

Saban said the plan for running back Eddie Lacy, who is recovering nicely from toe surgery, called for no more than 10 carries. Lacy finished with eight carries for 57 yards. Jalston Fowler picked up 34 yards on seven carries with a touchdown.

Quarterback AJ McCarron was credited with 222 yards on 19-of-22 passing without an interception.

Freshman receiver Amari Cooper scored a touchdown on three catches (52 yards), while Kevin Norwood led the team in receiving yards with 61 on two receptions.

Defensively, Trey DePriest made an interception to go with five tackles, while safety Nick Perry broke up two passes and added four tackles.

Safety Vinnie Sunseri blocked a field goal returned for a score.

Williams out
Defensive back Jarrick Williams has been lost for the season to an ACL injury to his knee, an injury that occurred in practice Friday morning. Saban called Williams one of the team's core special teams players.

"(He was) probably doing as good a job because he has a really good understanding now of being able to execute better in the secondary," Saban said.

Saban named incoming freshmen Landon Collins and Geno Smith as defensive backs who may earn playing roles this fall.

Quotable
"Phillip Ely probably showed he has a little more knowledge and experience, and managed the game a little bit better, executed a little better." - Saban on the competition among the reserve quarterbacks. Ely is a redshirt freshman.

Tidebits
Saban said punter Cody Mandell did "a really good job" in the scrimmage, and noted that UA's three placekickers -- Cody Foster, Jeremy Shelley and Adam Griffith -- all got opportunities on field goals. ... Sophomore outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard sprained an elbow in the scrimmage, but Saban described the injury as non-serious. ... The team will take its first day off since camp began Sunday, then return to the practice field Monday for another double practice session.

SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
As released by UA

RUSHING
Eddie Lacy - 8 rushes, 57 yards
Jalston Fowler - 7 rushes, 34 yards, 1 TD
Kenyan Drake- 10 rushes, 33 yards, 1 TD
T.J. Yeldon - 13 rushes, 24 yards, 2 TD

PASSING
A.J. McCarron - 19 for 29, 222 yards, 1 TD

RECEIVING
Kevin Norwood - 2 rec., 61 yards
Amari Cooper - 3 rec., 52 yards, 1 TD
Jaslton Fowler- 3 rec., 40 yards
Michael Williams - 3 rec., 31 yards
Kenny Bell - 2 rec., 31 yards
Eddie Lacy - 5 rec., 25 yards

SCORING
Passing Touchdowns (2): A.J. McCarron - 1 (6 yards); Phillip Ely 1 (4 yards)
Rushing Touchdowns (4): T.J. Yeldon 2 (3 yards, 1 yard); Jalston Fowler - 1 (7 yards); Kenyan Drake - 1 (3 yards)
Defensive Touchdowns (1): Vinnie Sunseri (68-yard blocked FG return)

DEFENSE
Trey DePriest - 5 tackles, 1 INT
Xzavier Dickson - 5 tackles
Robert Lester - 4 tackles
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - 4 tackles
Nick Perry - 4 tackles, 2 PBU
Vinnie Sunseri - 3 tackles, 1 blocked FG



Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.


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