Category Archives: North Texas

Sneak peek at Sunday’s story

Before I head out of Tuscaloosa, here’s a tease of what you can expect in Sunday’s paper.

By Michael Casagrande
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA ― For two weeks, the style points were missing from early-season Alabama wins.

Both counted. Neither was pretty.

But, as if on cue, the sun poked out from behind rain clouds as just before game time late Saturday morning. And what followed on the soggy Bryant-Denny Stadium turf gave Alabama reason to believe it was resolved its issue with starting slow.

The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide scored on seven of its first eight possessions as it pounded out-manned North Texas 53-7 on the Saturday. Timing was opportune coming a week before opening the Southeastern Conference season with Arkansas.

Having such a complete victory reassured Alabama coach Nick Saban.

“I feel like until today, I wondered: Was this team really going to fulfill its full potential?” Saban said. “Are they going to be responsible for their potential? I just wasn’t pleased with the lack of consistency we played with in the first two games. We played really well at times, and at other times, we didn’t, but I feel like we were much more solid today and we made some improvement. I know we have much bigger challenges coming up; the competition is going to get better.”

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Tide dominates

There was never any doubt this Saturday. I’m sure you already know this, but Alabama breezed to a 53-7 win over North Texas where few complaints could be made.

Quarterback Greg McElroy completed 13 of 15 pass attempts in what amounted to one half of play. The defense was equally dominant.

Read more tomorrow. It’s time to focus on the print product.

A few pregame notes

The flip card roster revealed a few interesting tidbits.

  • Jerrell Harris not only won’t play Saturday, he isn’t even on the depth chart. The sophomore linebacker had been on the depth chart for the previous two games, now only Dont’a Hightower and true freshman Tana Patrick appear under Will linebacker. Harris has yet to be ruled eligible by the NCAA following an undisclosed rules violation.
  • Julio Jones is listed atop the wide receiver depth chart. Whether or not he plays remains to be seen.
  • At running back, Mark Ingram tops the list followed by Terry Grant or Roy Upchurch. Trent Richardson is fourth.

On a side note, the rain stopped and the sun actually peeked out for a few minutes. I am interested to see how many fans show up today with the game on T.V. and a non-conference opponent in town.

Welcome to Bryant-Denny Stadium

Good morning from a soggy Bryant-Denny Stadium. I normally have a picture to go with this post, but since I can’t find my camera, that will have to wait for next week. Just imagine a wet stadium without many people in it.

There isn’t anything major to report other than the lousy weather. Traffic flowed right into the stadium with ease since tailgating is taking a hit today.

We’re now two hours from kickoff with North Texas. Check back later with any breaking updates.

Wednesday practice update

I know, this is getting repetitive at this point.

Julio Jones, Roy Upchurch and Kenny Bell continued to work on strength and conditioning at Wednesday afternoon’s outdoor practice. That hasn’t changed since Monday’s workout.

Check back later for anything special coming out of Nick Saban’s final press briefing before Saturday’s game. Read Thursday’s paper for more about the connection between Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and North Texas coach Todd Dodge.

Also, are you guys still up for Friday’s chat at noon. Let me know how you feel with an e-mail at michael.casagrande@gmail.com

A few notes for a Tuesday morning

Just working on a few different stories for the week thinking it was time for a morning briefing. So here you go.

  • In a change of pace, why not a basketball note. It turns out Anthony Grant lost one of his targets in Ralston Turner of Muscle Shoals. Instead of the Tide, he committed to LSU on Monday. Read more here.
  • While working on a story about Greg McElroy and the Saturday showdown with former high school coach Todd Dodge, I did some hunting for a Sports Illustrated story I remembered reading about Southlake Carroll High School. Here’s what I found. Notice the cover boy on that edition.