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The Jumbo Package | 10.01.14

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Your daily dose of Crimson Tide news and notes.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama practice report: Blake Sims watch continues |

There weren't many opportunities to do it, but Blake Sims didn't throw a pass while reporters were watching. The quarterbacks started on the far field and worked on fumble drills and went through a handful of agility drills before there was even a chance to throw a pass.

The final two drills involved passing. Sims engaged in some mental reps by mimicking the movements of a drop-back and going through his progressions while the other quarterbacks threw passes. When the drill involved just one quarterback throwing at a time, Jacob Coker was first in line.

Here's what Amari Cooper said about Sims during a pre-practice interview: "He's been practicing, so we'll be all right. He's getting better every day."

Also, a reminder of what Nick Saban said Monday: "Blake was able to throw the ball at the end of the week last week. We had him on kind of a pitch count. He feels a lot better now, so we feel like's OK and will be ready to practice and be ready to go."

Blake Sims (then a RB) had a memorable night in Alabama's last Ole Miss trip |

The Rebels came to Tuscaloosa the last two seasons so the Crimson Tide will make its first visit to Oxford since 2011 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

A few of the big names from the 2014 team, however, benefitted from the 52-7 rout three years ago. The bench emptied in the fourth quarter as the future got a crack at SEC game action. One of those players was Blake Sims, the redshirt freshman running back. Now the starting quarterback, Sims had a memorable final series in a mostly-empty stadium.

Sims ran five times in the closing moments and gained 74 yards — by far the most of his season. A 9-yard run was followed by gains of 10, six and four.

His final run was notable. Tight end Brian Vogler, also a redshirt freshman at the time, hasn't forgotten. "I remember Blake getting chased down by some guy when he had like a 15-yard lead on him," he said with a laugh.

Amari Cooper 'banged up' after Florida win, not listening to Heisman talk |

As of Tuesday afternoon, Cooper said he hasn't seen much film of the corners he'll face, but knows they are "track guys," with speed and athleticism.

Getting No. 2 receiver DeAndrew White healthy will be important for keeping the secondary honest Saturday.  Limited with a foot injury, Alabama expects to have White back in practice at the end of the week.

"When teams try to double-team me or anything like that it'll open up the run game, it'll open up opportunities for other receivers to get open," Cooper said. "It'll just be to the other team's disadvantage."

Alabama kicker Adam Griffith has the right mindset for tough road test, Nick Saban says |

"One of the things I see happening a lot with kickers and punters is it's never good enough, kind of like golfers," Saban said. "If you're hitting it 280, you want to hit it 300. You see these guys who are No. 1 in the world and they go and change their golf swing. I don't get that. But that's what they do.

"Well, that's the mindset of being a perfectionist and always wanting to strive to be better and I think when it comes to specialists, punters and kickers, sometimes good enough is good enough. If you're punting it 45 yards with good hang time, that's what we need. We don't need to tinker around to try to make it 50 ... You're hitting the ball consistently, you're not going to make every one, but this is what we need. Griff seems to be able to stay in that place."

SEC Power Poll, Week 6: Alabama Tightens Its Hold on the Top Spot; SEC West Tightens Its Grip on Everything - Team Speed Kills

Let's see how Junior does against a salty Ole Miss defense.--Get the Picture

I have a feeling by year's end we'll all be wondering "what happened to that Coker guy?"--College and Magnolia

Beating Ole Miss would finally put the Tide on the national radar.--Rock M Nation

Saturday Marks College Gameday's First Visit to Oxford - Team Speed Kills

The school has history, great history I might add, but the recent success has hindered the overall brand and Hugh Freeze has re-ignited that. Freeze has energized this program, this school with players that the school hasn't seen in years such as Laquon Treadwell, Robert Nkemdiche, and Laremy Tunsil (all No. 1 players at their position coming out of high school). And Freeze has studied the history, even imposing the retro, powder blue helmets last week against Memphis.

"Chucky (Mullins) would have been proud of the helmets and particularly, how the defense played," said Freeze. He would have loved that. We’ll continue to honor his character traits: his selflessness and his attitude about life and against adversity."

So what should you expect come Saturday at The Grove? Well, just like they say in Oxford, "We might not win every game, but we never lose a party." So expect that, expect the booze, expect the women, but don't expect the win.

SEC West has Week 6's biggest games - ESPN

Alabama at Ole Miss Matchup to Watch: Amari Cooper vs Ole Miss pass defense Amari Cooper is averaging an FBS-high 163.8 receiving yards per game and has the longest active streak of 100-yard receiving games in the nation (six). Ole Miss, on the other hand, is allowing 133.5 passing yards per game and has not allowed a receiver to crack the 100-yard mark this season.

Cooper has accounted for 49 percent of Alabama’s receiving yards and has 41 more targets than any other Alabama receiver. He has more yards after the catch (320) and receptions of 20 yards or longer (10) than Ole Miss has allowed in four games this year.

The Rebels must limit Cooper downfield, after the catch and on third down. Blake Sims is 9-of-10 with seven first downs when targeting Cooper on third down, which is a big reason Sims leads the nation in third-down QBR.

Ole Miss leads the SEC in most major passing categories on defense and has eight more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed, the highest margin in the country. To continue this success, the Rebels must contain Cooper, who statistically has been the best wide receiver in the nation this season.

Michigan president latest to apologize for handling of Morris injury -

University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel has become the latest Wolverines official to apologize for the football program's handling of quarterback Shane Morris after he suffered what athletic director Dave Brandon termed a "probable, mild concussion" against Minnesota on Saturday.

"Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday," Schlissel said in a statement.

"We did not get this right and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates and the entire Michigan family. It is a critical lesson to us about how vigilant and disciplined we must always be to ensure student-athlete safety."



Tuesday practice footage (linebackers, defensive backs)

Denzel Devall (linebacker) interview

Amari Cooper (wide receiver) interview

Brian Vogler (tight end) interview