That was not the case Monday, as Saban praised the 8-3 UTC Mocs, coach Russ Huesman and Huesman's son during his weekly news conference in Tuscaloosa. "I think Russ does a really good job of finding ways to get the most out of his players in terms of what they can do," Saban said. "His son, Jacob, is a really good quarterback whether he's running it or throwing it. They have a lot of quarterback runs and do a lot of multiples of things. "They are very good defensively in terms of what they've been able to accomplish statistically this year."
A lot of coach-speak going on this week, and really, what else would you expect. People may point to the Mocs' 8-3 record and try to overstate the threat that the Chattanooga team poses, but this game will be on pay-per-view for a reason. Roll dang yard work, y'all.
Now, entering his final home game at 1:05 p.m. Saturday against Chattanooga, Mandell owns one of the nation's top legs. Though he doesn't have enough attempts to qualify for national rankings, his 47.3-yard average would put him right behind leader Austin Renkow of Idaho (47.7). In the team rankings, Alabama's second with a net average of 42.03 that trails just Purdue's 42.41. Mandell's four punts Saturday averaged 55 yards and included a career-long 63-yarder and a 61-yard attempt downed at the Mississippi State 2.
We've been giving him a lot of love on this site, but you can't overlook another opportunity to praise Mandell. He was an inconsistent presence early in his career, and is now one of the best of the country at what he does. Good on you, Cody.
Tight end Brian Vogler was doing more stretching and mobility tests with head trainer Jeff Allen after spraining his ankle Saturday. He was doing the absolute basics during Monday's media viewing period, but progressed to a 3-point stance during Tuesday's short observation window. Running back T.J. Yeldon was mostly watching the individual drills after spraining his ankle Saturday as well. He was again in a regular white jersey (Vogler was in black again) but walked past the drills instead of participating.
Not great to hear that Yeldon is a bit gimpy. Maybe we could just let Drake/Hart/Tenpenny/Henry handle the work load this week and rest up T.J. for the Iron Bowl of the century.
Hand has cited Alabama's civil engineering program as one of the key reasons he decided to choose the Crimson Tide and Dede said those who know Hand best are not surprised.
"Da'Shawn actually isn't even zoned to go to Woodbridge High School. He was accepted to a special civil engineering program at our school that is very tough to get into," Dede said. "He worked very hard to be a part of that program and being a civil engineer is his lifelong dream. Alabama really did a great job of emphasizing some of the things they offer with their civil engineering program and I think the dean of the engineering school getting personally involved with Da'Shawn's recruitment was really a big difference-maker. When it came to football, Hand cited Alabama's "honest" approach during his recruitment, something that Dede said appealed to Hand's personality.
The more I hear about this kid, the more he is becoming my favorite player of this upcoming signing class. Hand looks to be the rare breed that is a beast on the field out of high school, but has his head on straight with serious academic ambitions. Can't wait for him to get to Tuscaloosa.
Another interesting development comes in the requirements for a case to be re-opened. To this point, it was believed that media inquiries from TMZ and the Tampa Bay Times triggered the review. However, the Tallahassee Democrat reports that media inquiries alone cannot re-open a case, meaning some new piece of information must have been discovered. "Someone integrally involved has (to have) given us a new piece of information," a Tallahassee Police Department spokesman told the Democrat. "It has to be someone involved in the case (who) provides a lead to reactivate it."
So, we haven't really been talking about this topic much since the story broke, but in my mind, this is a very interesting development. This report details how the case came to be closed back in February (the girl went quiet and stopped taking the police department's phone calls), as well as how it came to be reopened. In my mind, the inclusion (or even existence) of "new information" regarding the allegations comes across as damning. Perhaps those that are better schooled in the law enforcement process than I could correct me if that is an errant assumption, but the longer this goes on, the less certain I am becoming about the outcome.
Practice Footage of Injured Players