TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Crimson Tide held the second scrimmage of the spring Saturday afternoon in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The scrimmage lasted just over two hours and started with one period of 7-on-7 before the team moved to 11-on-11 drills that included regular game situations, second and third down situations, red area, coming out and two-minute.
“I was really more pleased today,” said head coach Nick Saban. “I think we made a lot of improvement from last week to this week in terms of our ability to sustain the kind of effort, play with the kind of toughness, had a little bit better execution, a little more consistency, probably made less mental errors.”
The quarterbacks again performed well as A.J. McCarron completed 19-of-40 passes for 255 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Phillip Sims was 19-of-34 for 232 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“From a QB standpoint, I thought both guys played well and did good things today,” said Saban. “I think that statistically, it really doesn't matter much right now because we do so much situations between goal line, red zone. A guy might throw four touchdown passes but if you put the ball on the 18-yard line he can throw two of them then, which means he's throwing well, but doesn't necessarily mean they were big plays or whatever. I think the statistics are not indicative of the competition at the position. Both guys are doing a really good job and both guys will be helpful to helping us win.”
Darius Hanks led all receivers with 131 yards on six catches with three touchdowns, including a 68-yarder. Trent Richardson had six catches for 87 yards while DeAndrew White totaled five catches for 85 yards and a score. Marquis Maze added 73 yards on four receptions with one score.
“Trent Richardson really had a good day even though the run statistics don't really bear it out for him, in terms of 13 carries for 44 yards,” said Saban. “But he did a great job in terms of the passing game, was a real threat for us in so many different ways. I thought he played extremely well today.”
Richardson led the ground game with 44 yards on 13 carries. Dee Hart (13-41), Jalston Fowler (10-23, 2 TD) and Eddie Lacy (8-22, 1 TD) rounded out the rushing leaders.
“All in all, the toughness was better, the tackling was better,” said Saban. “We still threw the ball effectively. Thought we didn't run it quite as good. But we were playing against each other. That means the other team played a little bit better, and they're a part of our team, too.”
Dont'a Hightower paced the defense with a scrimmage-high 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss and a sack. Courtney Upshaw and C.J. Mosley each had seven stops with Upshaw contributing a tackle for loss and a sack and Mosley breaking up two passes. Will Lowery picked off a pass and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.
“Dont'a Hightower showed some leadership out there today,” said Saban. “Probably led the team in tackles. Thought we didn't have as many sacks today, but there were a lot of pressures. Probably did a better job of making them throw the ball on time. I thought all in all we played a little better.”
The Crimson Tide will return to the practice fields Tuesday afternoon and practice again Thursday before concluding spring drills with A-Day on Saturday.
ALABAMA FOOTBALL – SCRIMMAGE #2 (April 9, 2011)
*Stats include all 11-on-11, situational, red area, goalline, coming out, 2-minute
A.J. McCarron – 19 for 40, 255 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Phillip Sims – 19 for 34, 232 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Trent Richardson – 13 rush, 44 yards
Dee Hart – 13 rush, 41 yards
Jalston Fowler – 10 rush, 23 yards, 2 TD
Eddie Lacy – 8 rush, 22 yards, 1 TD
Darius Hanks – 6 rec., 131 yards, 3 TD
Trent Richardson – 6 rec., 87 yards
DeAndrew White – 5 rec. 85 yards, 1 TD
Marquis Maze – 5 rec., 73 yards, 2 TD
Brian Vogler – 4 rec., 36 yards
Corey Grant – 2 rec., 34 yards
Harrison Jones – 2 rec., 22 yards
Brad Smelley – 2 rec., 21 yards
Michael Williams – 3 rec., 17 yards
Cade Foster – Made: 50, 30; Missed: 48, 58
Jeremy Shelley – Made: 43, 25; Missed: 30
Dont'a Hightower – 10 total, 3 TFL, 1 sack
Courtney Upshaw – 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack
C.J. Mosley – 7 tackles, 2 PBU
Robert Lester – 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
Mark Barron – 4 total, 1 PBU, 1 sack
DeQuan Menzie – 4 tackles, 1 PBU
Trey Depriest – 4 total, 2 TFL
Ed Stinson – 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Dee Milliner – 4 tackles
Quinton Dial – 4 tackles, 1 sack
Maze 2-yard pass from McCarron – PAT Foster, good; Lowery 51-yard INT return; Shelley 43-yard FG; Foster 50-yard FG; Hanks 68-yard pass from Sims – Foster PAT, good; Hanks 18-yard pass from McCarron – No PAT attempted; Foster 30-yard FG; Hanks 7-yard pass from McCarron, No PAT attempted; White 18-yard from Sims – PAT Shelley, good; Lacy 3-yard run; Fowler 2-yard run; Fowler 1-yard run; Shelley 25-yard FG; Maze 36-yard pass from McCarron.