Tag Archives: A-Day

Spring game plans

Alabama mascot Big Al waves an Alabama flag following a 45-10 win over Tennessee in an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama mascot Big Al waves an Alabama flag following a 45-10 win over Tennessee in an NCAA college football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

The Alabama football team’s A-Day spring football game will be 2 p.m. on April 19at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The event concludes the 15 practices of spring practice.

Admission will be free to the public. Alabama leads the nation in spring game attendance in the last seven years with a total of 594,851 fans and an average of 84,978 fans.

The largest A-Day crowd in school history came in 2011 (92,310). In Saban’s first year of 2007, the stadium was at full capacity prior to expansion (92,138).

A-Day 2013: Nick Saban Press Conference

A-Day 2013: Nick Perry starts hot, has career day

The Crimson team ended the first quarter rather evenly with the White team on the offensive end, statistically. The two teams were only separated by 42 seconds in time of possession and nine yards in total rushing.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And both Crimson possessions in the first quarter ended with interceptions by safety Nick Perry, including one on the goal line.

Perry ended the day with three tackles, one for a loss, and his two interceptions that he returned for 42 yards.

“I think my day went pretty well,” Perry said. “I had a couple of big plays in the first quarter but I’m kind of disappointed in myself. I slowed down the three quarters after that. I really don’t think the game should have been that close.”

Picking off two of the four passes the White team intercepted on A-Day will surely give Perry a boost in his stock as the potential replacement for Robert Lester as the starting safety.

“Yeah, I’m trying to get a little momentum going in the summer and fall camp,” Perry said. “This is my last go-round so I’m trying to make the most of it.”

Perry’s performance was also honored with a rare “job well done,” from head coach Nick Saban.

“Very seldom he says that. But when he does, it makes your day a lot better,” Perry said.

A-Day 2013: Final Stats

Passing

AJ McCarron (White): 19-30, 223, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions.
Alec Morris (Crimson): 10-18, 141 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Blake Sims (Crimson): 5-10, 52 yards, no TDs, 2 INTs
Luke Del Rio (Crimson): 2-3, 38 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Parker McLeod (White): 1-2, 19 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Phillip Ely (White): 2-4, 8 yards, no TDs, no INTs
Cooper Bateman (Crimson): 1-3, 3 yards, no TDs, 2 INTs

Rushing

T.J. Yeldon (White): 15 carries, 69 yards, 1 touchdown
Kenyan Drake (Crimson): 8 carries, 33 yards
Trey Roberts (White/Crimson): 6 carries, 23 yards
Blake Sims: 3 carries, 7 yards
AJ McCarron: 2 carries, 3 yards
Cooper Bateman: 1 carry, 2 yards
Dee Hart: 2 carries, -1 yard

Receiving

Kenny Bell: 3 catches, 71 yards, 1 touchdown
DeAndrew White: 3 catches, 62 yards
T.J. Yeldon: 7 catches, 60 yards
Christion Jones: 3 catches, 55 yards
Chris Black: 3 catches, 51 yards
Raheem Falkins: 3 catches, 43 yards
Trey Roberts: 1 catch, 31 yards
Brian Vogler: 4 catches, 24 yards
O.J. Howard: 3 catches, 22 yards
Amari Cooper: 4 catches, 21 yards
Kenyan Drake: 4 catches, 18 yards

Defensive

C.J. Mosley (Crimson): 9 tackles, 0.5 for a loss, 1 fumble recovery
Tana Patrick (Crimson): 8 tackles, 1 forced fumble
HaHa Clinton-Dix (Crimson): 6 tackles, 1 pass break-up, 1 fumble recovery returned for 55 yards
Landon Collins (White): 5 tackles, 1 interception returned for 28 yards
Ed Stinson (Crimson): 5 tackles
OTHER NOTABLES
Dillon Lee (White): 4 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 2 pass break-ups
Deion Belue (Crimson): 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 3 pass break-ups
Nick Perry (White): 3 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 interceptions returned for 42 yards, 1 pass break-up
Vinnie Sunseri (Crimson): 3 tackles, 0.5 for a loss, 1 interception returned for 86 yards and a touchdown
Dalvin Tomlinson (White): 2 tackles, 1 sack/tackle for loss

Kicking

Cade Foster
– Field Goal: 1-1, 29 yards
– Extra Points: 2-2
– Kickoffs: 4 for 260 yards (65 yards per kick), 1 touchback

Adam Griffith
– Field Goal: 0-0
– Extra Points: 2-2
– Kickoffs: 2 for 130 yards (65 yards per kick), 1 touchback

Punting

Cody Mandell: 7 punts, 236 yards (33.7 per punt), long of 62, 3 inside the 20
Worth Gregory: 1 punt for 26 yards

Scoring Plays

12:05, 1st Quarter, White Team: AJ McCarron to Kenny Bell for 40 yards. 7-0 White.
7:09, 1st Quarter, White Team: Cade Foster 29 yard field goal. 10-0 White.
0:00, 2nd Quarter, Crimson Team: Vinnie Sunseri returns an interception for 86 yards and a touchdown. 10-7, White.
2:01, 4th Quarter, Crimson Team: HaHa Clinton-Dix returned a recovered fumble for 55 yards and a touchdown. 14-10 Crimson.
1:04, 4th Quarter, White Team: T.J. Yeldon runs for 7 yards. 17-14 White.

Live Post: 2013 A-Day

Bryant-Denny Stadium while the players warmup for the 2013 A-Day game. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Bryant-Denny Stadium while the players warmup for the 2013 A-Day game. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Here is your home for 2013 A-Day updates, as this post will be updated constantly during the game.

**NOTE: The Live Post will end after the third quarter for on-field access. Photos and video from on-field time to come with postgame coverage here on Daily Bama Blog.

Third Quarter

The third quarter ends without a score. White 10, Crimson 7.

2:56. Not a good day to be a reserve quarterback. Parker McLeod comes in for first snap as the White team’s QB, fumbles the snap. He does recover it, however.

3:23.

6:32. Del Rio hits running back Trey Roberts for a 31-yard pass on a dump-off, puts the Crimson offense around the 50.

8:08. Luke Del Rio misses on his first pass attempt for the Crimson team. He’s the last of the four Crimson quarterbacks to enter the game (Bateman came in for one snap).

Halftime: White 10, Crimson 7

White Stats
– 30 plays, 157 yards
– T.J. Yeldon: 6 carries, 23 yards; 5 catches, 45 yards.
– Kenny Bell: 3 catches, 71 yards, 1 touchdown
– Amari Cooper: 3 catches, 17 yards
– AJ McCarron: 12-17, 136 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
– Phillip Ely: 2-4, 8 yards
– Time of Possession: 17:21

Crimson Stats
– 25 plays, 147 yards
– Kenyan Drake: 5 carries, 24 yards; 2 catches, 12 yards
– Raheem Falkins: 2 catches, 40 yards
– Chris Black: 2 catches, 15 yards
– Blake Sims: 4-6, 40 yards, no touchdowns, 2 interceptions
– Alec Morris: 4-7, 29 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions
– Time of Possession: 12:39

Second Quarter

0:00. Vinnie Sunseri catches a bobbled pass and returns 86 yards for a touchdown. HALFTIME: White 10, Crimson 7.

0:16. AJ McCarron leading a little bit of a last-second drive here, might get in field goal range with a another good play.

3:18. AJ McCarron overthrows Amari Cooper and has it intercepted by HaHa Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix returns it 50- or 60-something yards for a touchdown, but it’s called back by an offsides call on Ed Stinson.

Update on the man injured on the play:

3:33. Alec Morris throw to the sidelines is jumped and picked off by Landon Collins. Collins returned it for 28 yards, then was pushed out-of-bounds into a person on the sidelines. Pretty hard contact. The person is receiving medial attention, being taken off on a stretcher.

4:01. Bateman lasted just one play. False start called and Alec Morris came back in. His first play, completed a pass to freshman tight end O.J. Howard.

4:37. Things getting sloppy now. Kenny Bell catches a pass and tries to make more of it, has the ball poked out and recovered by C.J. Mosley. Cooper Bateman in at QB for Crimson team.

6:20. Well, there goes that. A not-so-great exchange from Morris to Kenyan Drake turns the ball over to the White team. Dillon Lee recovered the fumble on the 25-yard line.

6:54. Alec Morris continues his impressive first drive of action with a 36-yard completion to DeAndrew White. First down, Crimson.

9:35. Nice punt from Cody Mandell flips the field, announced as a 58-yarder. Alec Morris enters as the new QB for the Crimson team, Phillip Ely in for the White team.

First Quarter

White 10, Crimson 0

White Stats:
– 11 plays, 100 yards
– T.J. Yeldon: 4 carries, 20 yards
– Kenny Bell: 2 catches, 63 yards, 1 touchdown
– AJ McCarron: 5-6, 89 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions

Crimson Stats:
– 11 plays, 60 yards
– Kenyan Drake: 4 carries, 12 yards
– Raheem Falkins: 1 catch, 31 yards
– Blake Sims: 4-6, 40 yards, no touchdowns, 2 interceptions

2:40. Another Blake Sims interception right on the goal line to Nick Perry (again) sends the Bryant-Denny into silence. Probably don’t like what they see. White ball, inside the 1-yard line.

3:12. First Raheem Falkins sighting of the game with a easy drag route turned into a 31-yard play and a first down. First time the Crimson offense has been in White territory all game.

7:09. FIELD GOAL, WHITE. McCarron was sacked by Ed Stinson and forced a 29-yard field goal from Cade Foster. That will surely be good for his resume when making his case to be Jeremy Shelley’s replacement. White 10, Crimson 0.

9:34. Blake Sims under pressure, threw a highly questionable pass that was intercepted by Nick Perry and returned to the redzone. White team sitting pretty.

12:05. TOUCHDOWN, WHITE. Again, welcome back, Kenny Bell. Bell follows up his 23-yard catch by catching a 40-yard touchdown pass from McCarron. White 7, Crimson 0. Scoring drive only took 2:55.

12:48. Welcome back, Kenny Bell. Bell catches a 23-yard pass from McCarron for a first down.

The first play of the game was a AJ McCarron hand-off to T.J. Yeldon that would have gone for a first down, but was called back by a holding call on Christion Jones. We’re underway.

The JumboTron here in Bryant-Denny Stadium has spotted the following former players: D.J. Fluker, Julio Jones, Eddie Lacy and Mark Ingram.

Pregame

Running back Dee Hart is not wearing a noncontact black jersey for the first time this spring, fully dressed out in his white jersey. Hart is running drills with the rest of the running backs and looks good doing it.

The players that are in the noncontact black jerseys (other than all of the quarterbacks) are: linebacker C.J. Mosley (shoulder), cornerback John Fulton (toe) and running back Jalston Fowler (knee).

Wide receiver Kevin Norwood is walking around, off crutches, in windpants. The press box is way too high for me to see if he has a boot over his toe. Also not in pads is defensive lineman Wilson Love (concussion).

Alabama sets dates for A-Day, homecoming

The University of Alabama has determined the A-Day Game will be April 20, while homecoming for the 2013 football season will be Oct. 5.

ESPN2 will televise the A-Day Game. A-Day is the 15th and final practice of the spring with kickoff from Bryant-Denny Stadium scheduled for 2 p.m. Admission will be free. More information about additional activities, traffic and parking will be available later.

Alabama leads the nation in spring game attendance over the last six years with a total of 516,536 fans and an average of 86,089 during that period. The largest A-Day crowd in school history came in 2011 (92,310). In head coach Nick Saban’s first year of 2007, the stadium was at full capacity before expansion (92,138).

Homecoming will be Oct. 5 against Georgia State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. More information will be available later.

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Alabama wins A-Day, spring practice and Michigan didn’t learn too much

How about one more look back at A-Day and spring practice as a whole. Here’s today’s beat column as it appeared in that old-fashioned product delivered to front doors called a newspaper.

TUSCALOOSA — Kick off the cleats and slip on the sandals.

Sure it’s still mid-April, but on the football calendar final exams concluded Saturday. The 15-practice spring ended with a final showcase under the watchful eyes of a mostly-packed stadium and a detail-oriented commissioner.

Of course Alabama won A-Day. Coach Nick Saban confirmed it just moments after the scrimmage concluded.

“One thing that never happens in college football is no one ever has a bad spring and no one ever has a bad spring game,” he said. “We didn’t have one either.”

So what did the world learn in the last few weeks?

“Not much,” is what Saban’s preferred response. The first 14 workouts are as controlled as in-season practices. Only close friends of the program scale those walls. And when the curtain falls on A-Day, vanilla is the only flavor served.

“Well, you didn’t see anything new,” Saban promised. “Unless you want us to just email Michigan what we’re doing and anything new that we’re doing. So what do you think you saw that was new? Did you see anything new? If I would have seen anything new out there, I would have been upset.”

He did see a few new faces to big things.

T.J. Yeldon lived up to his five-star hype with an MVP performance and 179 all-purpose yards. Playing with the second-team offense against the No. 2 defense, Yeldon had easily the best spring debut of any freshman who graduated early to participate.

“I mean, the kid can play,” quarterback AJ McCarron said. “But it’s definitely different … you can play this ball, but it’s different when the lights turn on and you’re playing LSU.”

Click here for the full column.

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Photo gallery from A-Day locker rooms, sidelines

Trent Richardson and Nick Saban in pregame locker room.

And now, a few more looks behind the scenes at yesterday’s A-Day Game. See what we saw as media coaches for the spring scrimmage. It’s worth your time. I’m certain of it.

Behind the scenes: A-Day 2012

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Video of Richardson, Barron, Hightower putting hands, feet in concrete on quad

This was the scene nearly 24 hours ago at Denny Chimes. Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, and Dont’a Hightower made it official and joined (and rejoined) the ranks of permanent Alabama football captains. Watch until the very end when Hightower dares Barron to wipe concrete on Richardson’s face.

 

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My self-serving column from A-Day media coaching experience

Here it is. My column from the sidelines, locker rooms and interview rooms of A-Day is complete. Read it here and enjoy the only photo you’ll see of this 100-percent objective reporter in team gear. 

TUSCALOOSA — Nobody likes a bragger so prepare to hate me.

I win. We won. Winning is fun.

Photo by Marc Torrence

My college football coaching debut couldn’t have gone better Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Forget that “media coach” tag; it’s time to accept credit when credit is due. I have no doubt my sideline inspiration made the difference. Nobody gave our underdog White team a chance against the No. 1 offense.

Defense won the day, and T.J. Yeldon had a say. But it comes down to coaching. Always and especially when you win.

First, some background. Every April, Alabama allows a few media members a behind-the-scenes look on A-Day. We’re called coaches, and Alabama provides coaching shirts and hats. In three years covering Alabama, I coveted my neutrality. But, for a few hours, I embraced the coaching persona.

Watching Saban work

So, there we were, standing in the pregame locker room as commissioner Nick Saban addressed the team. We’re usually kept a few miles from a moment like this, so soak it in we did.

Saban greeted each of the six media coaches after the speech and reminded us to lay off the officials. I made no promises.

Then came the trash talking. Long snapper and all-around good guy Carson Tinker was first. He was wearing crimson. He was going down. Even the 6-foot-6, 335-pound lineman got the business. This was no exhibition. The White team plays to win.

Over in our separate locker room, the pregame meeting was intense. Don’t for a second think defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was there for a picnic. Quite the wordsmith at the dry-erase board, Smart explained the plan.

He lost me at “All right …”

After the dizzying strategy session, one thought stood out. Smart just knew the Crimson (first-team) offense was going deep on the first play. Oh, he scouted this match-up. Smart told us he’s 1-5 in A-Day games. Winning matters to him, too.

Click here or here for the full column as seen in today’s newspaper.

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Victory claimed in my coaching debut/finale as White team wins A-Day

Nick Saban gives post-game speech to players in locker room.

There’s nothing like winning. And, as one of the media coaches for the White team, I’m proud to announce I’m 1-0 in a leadership role

Tomorrow, you can read all about the behind-the-scenes access we got this afternoon. Our White team took care of Crimson 24-15 in front of 78,526 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Running back T.J. Yeldon was the star with 88 rushing yards and 91 receiving. Much more on that tomorrow. Gotta get writing. Back to being a journalist.

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A-Day Game will be replayed several times on CSS

The 2 p.m. A-Day Game will air live on CSS (Comcast Sports Southeast). If you’re one of the six million homes that gets the cable network, you can also catch a few replays. Here’s the list of air times:

Sunday, April 15 – 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 19 – 8 p.m.
Monday, April 23 – 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 – 9 p.m.

We’re headed to campus now. Stay tuned for live coverage throughout the day.

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Saban not changing A-Day anytime soon

It’s game day in Tuscaloosa. Expect regular-season coverage for today’s scrimmage. It starts with today’s print edition. Read all about it starting right here …

TUSCALOOSA — A few coaches across the country are toying with the idea of changing spring football games.

Bring in outside competition. Play it like an exhibition game, is the feeling.

Nick Saban and Alabama prefer it the way it is, though. When A-Day regularly draws north of 90,000 fans, why change it? Crowds could near last season’s record of 93,210 when the ball is kicked at 2 p.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The free admission isn’t changing. Neither is the format. The Crimson Tide’s first team offense will line up on the Crimson squad with the No. 1 defense wearing white.

“It’s probably the closest thing we get to a game that we have until the opening game,” Saban said. “So this is a real opportunity and we play it as close to a real game … You can play these games best against the rest, you can use a point system, you can run a draft and I’ve done it every way you can do it and we’ve settled on it here doing it this way.”

Both second teams will also face each other and fans can expect at glimpse at another quarterback. Second-team passer Phillip Sims has been limited by a throwing-shoulder injury all spring. That could mean increased action for third-teamer Phillip Ely who redshirted as a freshman last fall.

Click here for the complete story.

It’ll be a different look than most visitors are used to, but Saban prefers keeping the spring action in-house.

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A-Day video rewind: Revive memories of past spring games

It’s A-Day Eve in Tuscaloosa and traffic appeared heavier this afternoon. It’s almost like a Friday in the fall. Almost.

To get you ready for A-Day 2012, take a look back at video from the last few as captured by my camera. Enjoy. See you tomorrow.

2011

2010

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Roll call: Who is coming to Tuscaloosa for A-Day tomorrow?

A-Day 2012

The weather forecast looks perfect for Saturday in Tuscaloosa. Sunny with a high of 84. It’s shaping up to an ideal afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

So, will that bring you out to the scrimmage? Could it be a record crowd of 92,000-plus? We’ll see.

 

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