TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team scrimmaged for the first time on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a two-hour session that consisted of roughly 150 plays.
“It was good to get the first scrimmage behind us,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said following Saturday’s scrimmage. “It was good to see guys go out there in competitive situations, and see who could step their game up. Obviously, those guys who have a little more experience, have more playing time behind them and a little more confidence usually have a better opportunity to be successful.”
Junior quarterback Greg McElroy completed 17-of-29 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown on a 34-yard strike to sophomore wide receiver Julio Jones.
“I was really pleased with the way the first offense executed,” Saban said. “They moved the ball effectively and went down and missed a field goal on the first drive. The second drive we went down a scored a touchdown. From a quarterback standpoint, Greg McElroy clearly showed poise out there and moved the team effectively.”
Jones led the Tide with six receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown. Freshman Kevin Norwood followed Jones in terms of receiving yards with 60 on three receptions, including a 44-yard touchdown from quarterback Thomas Darrah.
“Julio had some big plays out there. I thought we ran the ball effectively even though statistically it probably won’t look like any runner was outstanding. We had a lot of efficiency when we did run the ball, which I think was a good sign. The biggest thing from this scrimmage is that our first two units executed very well.
Sophomore Mark Ingram scored the first touchdown of the scrimmage on a 2-yard run and finished with 55 yards on 17 carries and three total scores. Four other Crimson Tide running backs, Terry Grant, Roy Upchurch, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy, had at least 17 yards apiece on the ground.
Linebackers Rolando McClain and Dont’a Hightower led the Alabama defense in terms of total tackles. McClain paced the squad with eight tackles while Hightower recorded seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a pass breakup.
“I thought the first team defense played pretty well after they got settled down,” Saban said. “The defense was pretty good on third down, I don’t think they allowed many (conversions) in that situation.”
Marcell Dareus and Eryk Anders led the Tide pass rushers. Anders notched four total tackles and three sacks while Dareus finished with five tackles and two sacks.
Alabama will take Sunday off to meet and review the scrimmage before returning to the practice fields for a two-a-day practice session Monday.
STATISTICAL LEADERS FROM SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE
Greg McElroy – 17 for 29, 188 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int.; Thomas Darrah – 5 for 11, 109 yards, 2 TDs, 0 Int.; Star Jackson – 5 for 13, 40 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int.; A.J. McCarron – 6 for 14, 21 yards, 0 TD, 1 Int.
Mark Ingram – 17 rush, 55 yards, 3 TDs; Eddie Lacy – 3 rush, 21 yards, 0 TDs; Terry Grant – 8 rush, 18 yards, 1 TD; Trent Richardson – 5 rush, 18 yards, 1 TD; Roy Upchurch – 4 rush, 17 yards, 0 TDs.
Julio Jones – 6 rec. 100 yards, 1 TD; Darius Hanks – 4 rec., 37 yards, 0 TD; Kevin Norwood – 3 rec., 60 yards, 1 TD; Earl Alexander – 3 rec., 46 yards, 0 TD; Mike McCoy – 3 rec., 29 yards, 0 TD; Preston Dial – 3 rec., 20 yards, 0 TD; Brandon Gibson – 1 rec., 14 yards, 1 TD.
Rolando McClain (LB) – 8 tackles
Dont’a Hightower (LB) – 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU
Marcell Dareus (DL) – 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFL
Justin Woodall (DB) – 5 tackles, 1 TFL
Robby Green (DB) – 5 tackles
Mark Barron (DB) – 4 tackles
Javier Arenas (DB) – 4 tackles
Eryk Anders (LB) – 4 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 TFL
Chris Jordan (LB) – 4 tackles, 1 FF
Ali Sharrief (DB) – 4 tackles, 1 INT