Grant Kicks Alabama's Running Game Into High Gear

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Alabama needs a little more work on its passing offense with John Parker Wilson. Thanks to Terry Grant, running the ball doesn't seem to be a problem for the Crimson Tide.

Grant ran for 173 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns in helping Alabama roll over Vanderbilt 24-to-10 yesterday in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener.

Grant says through two games, the team is "doing pretty good as an offensive unit," adding: "I don't doubt our running back system."

That would be tough. The redshirt freshman now has 307 yards and five touchdowns in the Tide's first two games, and Alabama finished rushing 48 times for 221 yards against Vanderbilt (1-1). Glen Coffee spelled Grant for a bit with 11 carries for 48 yards.

Alabama coach Nick Saban liked what he saw.

Saban says Grant did his best running the second half, and didn't really run that well in the first half.

Now the challenge is for Wilson and the offense to improve through the air. Wilson was 14-of-28 for 150 yards and one interception. But he was hit repeatedly and sacked once.

Saban says the team really needs to work on the passing game for a more balanced attack, saying: "We've just got to throw it better, and that means all facets - blocking, catching and throwing - from everyone. It should be a strength of our team."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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