HZT Daily Crimson Tide Wrap 9-17-2013 PLUS Practice Report


Practice Report 9-17-2013 (Al.com)

  • The two injured players were back on exercise bikes. Receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback Deion Belue were doing heavy intervals with the strength coaches during the media viewing period.
  • Right guard Anthony Steen was in a regular white jersey with the offensive line, but Kellen Williams was taking his first-team snaps when the starters lined up against the scout team. Williams replaced Steen after going down late in the Texas A&M game. Nick Saban listed him as the sixth starter who could fill in at nearly any offensive line position if needed.
  • The secondary was mixing different combinations at cornerback. Bradley Sylvetook a few snaps with Cyrus Jones and the rest of the first team. (I’d caution reading too much into that since we only saw a snap shot of the practice.
  •  The running back rotation started with T.J. Yeldon, then Dee HartKenyon Drake and Jalston Fowler. Hart didn’t see any action Saturday against Texas A&M at running back.

‘People misunderstood the first game,’ Cyrus Kouandjio says after Alabama O-line excels vs. Aggies (AL.com)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Cyrus Kouandjio’s Monday in the media room was just a little different in the days after Alabama’s 49-42 win at Texas A&M than it was following the Crimson Tide’s season opener against Virginia Tech.

Instead of fielding questions about an offensive line that struggled to do anything consistently against the Hokies, Kouandjio was asked to discuss all that went right against the Aggies and how the unit can keep it going Saturday against Colorado State.

“People misunderstood the first game,” Kouandjio said. “We came out there and did what we were supposed to do.”It feels good. Everything you worked for all week. You practice really hard and it’s starting to work, it’s starting to come true on the field. It’s good to have success in that.”

One game removed from rushing for less than 100 yards and allowing four sacks, Alabama amassed 234 yards on the ground and didn’t allow a single sack. Though he was frequently blitzed, quarterback AJ McCarron was barely touched.

Kouandjio credited the improvement to efficient communication, which he said was “10 times better” than it was against Virginia Tech.

“We practiced so hard on communication that was probably one of the easier parts,” he said. “But, yeah, that was really loud. It gets really loud. Their fans are really into the game, as you could tell, especially on the sideline against us. But it was an experience.

“Communication was on point. Eyes were identifying blitz and stunts and stuff before they happened. It was good.”

Not even the loss of senior right guard Anthony Steen slowed down the Crimson Tide offensive line. Fifth-year senior Kellen Williams filled the void seamlessly as Alabama motored down the field on its way to its final touchdown.

“It’s good because you have to have that guy,” Kouandjio said. “You have to have the sixth man that’s ready for whatever. Kellen can play all five positions. Since he’s been here he’s played center, guard, tackle, left tackle, right tackle.

“He’s extremely useful to this offense.”

 Alabama One of Four Teams to Host 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off (RollTide.com)


The Alabama men’s basketball team was selected as the No. 3 seed and will serve as one of four host teams for the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off, which was formally announced Tuesday afternoon by the NCAA.

Joining the Crimson Tide as Regional host will be top-seeded Arizona (West Region), No. 2 seed Duke (East Region) and No. 4 seed Rutgers (North Region).

The South Region, which will be played in Coleman Coliseum on the University of Alabama campus, features Georgia State, McNeese State and Stillman College.

The event begins on Monday, Nov. 18 with Georgia State taking on McNeese State at 4:30 p.m. CT, followed by the Tide squaring off against Stillman at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN3. The losing teams of the first day will square off on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m. CT, with the winners from day one meeting at 7 p.m. CT (ESPN3). The winner from that contest will then earn a trip to the semifinal round, which will be held in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 27. The consolation and championship games will be played Nov. 29.

The 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off will be carried by the ESPN family of networks, televising games on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. All game broadcasts will also be available on WatchESPN.

The 29th annual tournament will also feature number five-seed Rhode Island (Atlantic 10), six-seed Elon (Southern), seven-seed East Carolina (Conference USA) and eight-seed Drexel (Colonial). Canisius (Metro Atlantic), Fairleigh Dickinson (Northeast), Metro State (RMAC), Norfolk State (MEAC) and UNC-Asheville (Big South) complete the field.

The remaining teams don’t advance to New York will play third and fourth-round doubleheaders Nov. 25 and 26 on the campuses of the three highest remaining seeds. Participating teams will not play any team twice and the third and fourth-rounds will be assigned to the most geographically compatible site possible.

Houndztooth Blog Links

TideTV Videos

Join The Houndztooth for all of your Alabama Sports and Recruiting News. Best of all, it’s free.