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September 12, 2012

Notebook: Fluker well-scouted by WKU

TUSCALOOSA | If Western Kentucky gleaned any advantage against the University of Alabama Saturday based on the stance of right tackle D.J. Fluker, as was recently reported, it wasn't very evident from the 35-0 score.

But just the same, you can bet the Crimson Tide will be mindful of any possible tells entering Saturday's Southeastern Conference opener at Arkansas. According to sbnation.com, which gained access to WKU's preparation for Alabama last week, at least one Hilltoppers assistant believed Fluker would accidentally tip run or pass to the defense based on his pre-snap stance.

"If you're subtly looking at it, you won't see it. But if you go back and look, run-pass, run-pass, run-pass, there is a difference," WKU defensive line coach Eric Mathies told the web site. "... When it's run, he'll get down in his three point stance because he's coming off. When it's pass, he's got that right foot back."

Fluker is a third-year starter at right tackle for the Crimson Tide.

Asked Wednesday if he was aware of the report, UA coach Nick Saban said he was not, but that there was some communication between the coaching staffs.

"We actually asked some of the coaches on their staff if they had any clues on us," Saban said, "and they said they didn't."

Saban asked about the report, however, and seemed to appreciate the tip.

"They were bird and rabbit off of him?," Saban said. "Good to know."

Davis on rebound
After missing all of last season with an injury, Arkansas running back is averaging 3.9 yards per carry for the Razorbacks through two games this year (34 for 132).

Saban said he sees a healthy back in the early 2012 film available of Davis.

"I certainly think he's playing extremely well right now," Saban said. "He hasn't had maybe quite as many opportunities, but when he has had the ball, he looks very effective, healthy, fast, quick, strong."

Davis rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2010.

Dareus family tragedy
The younger brother of former UA defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, 19-year-old Simeon Gilmore, was a victim in a triple homocide in Pelham, Ala. According to reports, police have charged Jon Ingram Staggs with capital murder and burglary.

Dareus, now with the NFL's Buffalo Bills, has returned to the Birmingham area to be with his family. The former Huffman High star played three seasons at Alabama before becoming a first-round NFL Draft choice of the Bills.

"They show things a little bit, but you have to pick up on it. Tackles read the safeties and guards read the linebackers. They have a lot of blitzes we have to pick up." - UA tackle D.J. Fluker on preparing for Arkansas' defense.

Saban indicated that backup quarterbacks Phillip Ely and Blake Sims are the primary competitors for the No. 2 quarterback role, noting that he still pleased with the development of true freshman Alec Morris. Both Ely and Sims have received brief playing time in one game each this season. ... Alabama running back Jalston Fowler will undergo surgery to repair a knee injury on Thursday. Fowler is not expected to return this season. Saban said there are no other injuries of significance entering the Arkansas game. UA withheld cornerback Dee Milliner and nose guard Jesse Williams against Western Kentucky, but both returned to practice this week. ... The Crimson Tide practiced in full pads Wednesday.

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

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