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The Jumbo Package | 10.19.11

It's that puke, inside of a pumpkin orange, and I don't like pumpkins.

Alabama notebook: Tide's success doesn't all hinge on defensive side | The Montgomery Advertiser

All the talk of Alabama's defensive superiority is fine, linebacker Dont'a Hightower said. Just don't forget the offense, he cautioned, because they certainly play a part in the success of his unit. "They are helping us out and giving us breathers having 86-yard drives or getting three or four first downs before we maybe punt," Hightower said. "The offense is playing really well, maybe the best it's played in a couple years."

Keys to the Game: Tennessee at Alabama -

TENNESSEE WILL WIN IF: Matt Simms finds and takes the Captain America serum sometime this week. Which is another way to say: it's very, very hard to construct a scenario in which the Volunteers emerge from Tuscaloosa with a victory. But it'll do Tennessee's cause an enormous amount of good if their beleaguered running game can take another step forward after last week's breakthrough vs. LSU.

The Idiot Optimist's Guide to Beating Alabama - Rocky Top Talk

Who's their quarterback, A.J. McSophomore? Son, Matt Simms got the best education in the world from Chavis last week. 6 for 20 against Chavis is like 26 for 30 against anybody else. And did you hear, he's the secret weapon in our running game! Tyler Bray don't know nothin' but passing and tattoos. Matt Simms, you put him in the huddle, and our running backs get faster and our linemen get bigger. And that Trent Richardson kid? Peaked too soon. That little run he put on Ole Miss last week was cute, but I guarantee you this: he comes to a complete stop against a Tennessee defense, Janzen Jackson Herman Lathers somebody is gonna knock him unconscious. Then he'll be out of the Heisman race, which is a shame, because I really enjoy when people ask Nick Saban about that.

Tide looking to overcome slow starts | The Crimson White

Every Heisman campaign has its signature moment, and Richardson had his on Saturday. In the middle of the third quarter, Richardson broke off a 76-yard touchdown run that included a broken tackle, speed down the field, and an ankle-breaking move on a freshman defensive back. "I really was amazed with not only the ability to make the run, but the tenacity and toughness that Trent played with the entire game," Saban said of the play. "He made a great individual effort to make people miss, and that’s what great players do. They make plays above and beyond."

Team keeps up energy before bye week | The Crimson White

"It’s been really good," he said. "It’s been really spirited. This time of the year, you kind of have to make a conscious effort to make sure it is like that because it gets a little monotonous in this time of the year, when you’ve been practicing for a while, and everybody’s a little nicked up, but I think the energy level has been exceptional. We’ve got to continue that until Saturday."

Tennessee-Alabama Preview - Oct. 18, 2011 - NCAA Football -

"It's his best team," said Dooley, who coached under Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins. "Probably as physically a dominating defense as I've seen in the modern era of football and I know that is a strong statement, but I believe it. Incredible talent at every position, great coaching and just a relentless, physical dominating style of play. "It's a great football team. Like I told the team you only get 12 days to compete, 13 if go to a bowl game. We have to relish the opportunity to play against this type of football team."

AJ McCarron's play continues to satisfy Alabama and Nick Saban |

"The players have confidence in him," Saban said. "We're executing better as a group, and he's certainly doing his part. We'll have to continue to be able to do that by not turning the ball over, making good choices and decisions, having balance on offense, which is certainly something important to us being successful. He's done a really good job." - HURT: Tide-Vols must stay

It is possible that Saturday's game could be another classic, a multiple-overtime thriller like the one that broke Alabama's hearts in 2003, or a last-second cliffhanger like the Volunteers' last visit. Or perhaps it won't. It might have more resemblance to the lopsided games in the series, like UT's 41-14 win in 1995, or Alabama routs in 1980 and '86, or even last season, when UT's plan seemed to call for covering Julio Jones when the mood struck the Vols, not necessarily on every play. But every one of those games, in its own way,is a memory - which is exactly what the series never, ever needs to become.

Top four teams in BCS all have flaws (Matt Hayes) |

The Tide has been hiding sophomore QB AJ McCarron with safe, short throws, screen passes and an overpowering running game. That's all fine and dandy--until the Tide plays a defense that can stop the run (hello, LSU). When McCarron has to throw the ball downfield to keep the LSU safeties from creeping up in run support, it is here where we'll see why Alabama isn't as bulletproof as we think.

Alabama's Trent Richardson making his move in the Heisman running |

"Luck has the advantage over Wilson and Jones and Griffin," Huston said. "Griffin has the incredible numbers, but in the end, people might be reluctant to vote for a guy from Baylor. I don't think Landry Jones is really wowing anybody, even though he plays for Oklahoma. A lot of people are excited about Wilson, but with the Wisconsin system, I wonder if he's going to be able to keep up those same numbers. "So in the end, I really think it's going to come down to Luck and Richardson."

Even Billy Neighbors, star of '61 Alabama defense, says the 2011 is Tide's best |

"This may be the best defense to ever play college football," Billy Neighbors said of the 2011 Alabama defense as he spoke to the Huntsville Quarterback Club Tuesday night. "They've probably got the best secondary that's ever been there. Or ever been anywhere," Neighbors continued. "They've got three great linebackers and they've got four down guys that can play, too. It's unbelievable, really. I was shocked how good they are."

Shane Lyons hired as deputy director of athletics at Alabama |

Lyons had been with the ACC since 2001. His job focused on conference compliance and providing academic initiatives while providing assistance to conference presidents, chancellors and athletic directors in handling NCAA regulatory matters, according to the release. He also served as human resources manager responsible for administration, negotiation and mediation of the employee benefits program managing the conference's organizational policies and procedures, according to the release. "Over the past decade, Shane has been a trusted and loyal colleague that has made valuable contributions to the ACC," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in the release. "This is an excellent opportunity for Shane and I'm extremely pleased for him and his family. He will do a terrific job for Alabama."

LeGrand stays focused on future - College Football News | FOX Sports on MSN

Many would give up. Many would simply fall into despair. In rehab, LeGrand made two friends who he said did just that. One died after, Eric believes, not having the support he had. The other committed suicide. "I knew I wasn’t going to do that," he said. "I felt so sad for them." For Eric, the facts are these: On Oct. 16, 2010, the 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive player collided with an opponent while trying to make a tackle on a kickoff return against Army. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of him. He could only move his head. He had fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae. He was told he’d be on a ventilator for the rest of his life, and that his paralysis would mean he would not move anything beneath his neck ever again. For Eric, the truth behind the facts is this: He said he would walk, believed it, meant it. Five weeks later he came off the ventilator. This past summer he moved his arms. His therapy progresses. Soon he’ll be on a treadmill that will simulate walking. He has already beaten so many odds that he has no doubt he will beat the rest of them. While he waits to walk again — and when he can, he will go out to the Meadowlands and lay where the accident happened and then stand and run off the field — he has taken up broadcasting spots during Rutgers game.