21 September 2010
The Alabama football team began preparations for Arkansas on Monday afternoon. The practice in shells is the first practice of the SEC season for the Tide.
Here's what you need to know:
Great news on the injury front.
Luther Davis is the only player that was limited in practice, and he's expected to be ready to go by Tuesday.
William Vlachos sat out the second half of the Duke game with an injury to his foot, but he's good to go at this point.
Courtney Upshaw has been limited for two weeks now, but appears to be close to 100% at this point. With the Arkansas game potentially hinging on how well Bama can pressure Ryan Mallett, getting one of the team's best pass rushers back is crucial.
Jerrell Harris was back working with the outside linebackers on Monday, with Nico Johnson working with the first unit at the will linebacker spot. Nico had a fantastic game against Duke, and the coaching staff seems to be responding to that.
The focus this weekend looks to be on ball control and keeping the Arkansas offense off of the field. With that in mind, the Tide running backs are getting a heavy dose. Mark Ingram showed the world just how healthy he was with a 100 yard first quarter against Duke, and Trent Richardson threw a 96 yard kickoff return in the mix just for good measure.
Obviously there is some concern over the fact that Eddie Lacy fumbled in the red zone for the second time, but don't expect him to disappear from the rotation. Also expect to see more of Jalston Fowler. More impressive than his running late in the game was his lead block on Lacy's touchdown run. The kid can play, and his brings a whole new dynamic to the position. We might not see much of him against the Hogs, but expect his role to continue to increase as the season goes on.
Sorry for the brevity of today's report - Monday was a hell of a day. We'll have more on Tuesday, including some observations from the Duke game. Though, really, when you beat a team that badly, there's really not much to say.
Bama will practice again on Tuesday, and we'll have our normal report.
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