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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2006
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Alabama Report

Saturday night at Death Valley

Legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant is quoted in the LSU football media guide.

"Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world to be a visiting team," Bryant said. "It's like being inside a drum."

Oddly enough, coming into the game, Alabama had quite the record at "Death Valley."

The Crimson Tide owned a 15-2-1 record at the sixth largest stadium (capacity of 92,400) in the country.

Sections 225 and 226 were empty for most of the game. Despite the obvious fan omissions, the stadium was as loud as ever, forcing quarterback John Parker Wilson to use a timeout in the first quarter, and Mike Shula to use one in the second quarter with time running down on the play clock.

Wilson climbing Tide lists

Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson is now in elite company.

In just his sophomore season, Wilson has thrown for more than 2,000 yards. He is just the seventh Alabama player to do so. For a frame of reference, last season Brodie Croyle threw for 2,499 yards.

Crimson jerseys on the road

Alabama wore its Crimson jerseys on the road Saturday. LSU is one of the few schools that wears its light tops at home, which allowed the Crimson Tide to wear its home jerseys.

Still, with a crowd of 92,400, most of them LSU fans, the matchup was anything but a home game for the Crimson Tide.

Brown starts, gets hurt again

Injured since the Oct. 14 game against Ole Miss, receiver Keith Brown made his first start in almost a month against LSU.

Brown sprained his left knee against Ole Miss diving for a pass in the end zone against the Rebels. He was used sparingly against Mississippi State last week.

This week, Brown looked like his old self, running around the field and providing another target to diversify the Crimson Tide offense.

However, he got hurt again near the end of the first half.

Jimmy Johns OK to play

Hobbled by an ankle injury, and kept out of practice earlier in the week with light-headedness — possibly stemming from a hard hit he took on special teams against MSU the previous week — running back Jimmy Johns was back in action.

Johns had a 14-yard run in the second quarter. On that same drive, he was flagged for a block in the back.

KD in the end zone

Alabama running back Kenneth Darby finally scored a touchdown — his first of the season — but not the way he probably expected it to happen.

John Parker Wilson found Darby streaking down the left side of the field after a play fake to Darby for a 29-yard touchdown reception. It was Darby's first touchdown since he scored with 48 seconds left in Alabama's 35-3 romp against Utah State at homecoming in 2005.

In that game, Darby took the ball and ran it 38 yards. That came in the eighth game of last season and was Darby's third touchdown of the 2005 season.

Capps starts, Tatum plays

Chris Capps started at right offensive tackle for the Crimson Tide. But in the first quarter, Capps went down and backup Kyle Tatum came in to relieve Capps. Tatum seemed to end the Tide's protection woes on that side for at least the time being.

Also not playing on the offensive line was B.J. Stabler. Stabler, who has been out since the Florida International game with a knee injury, once again was replaced by Marlon Davis at right tackle.

Overall, Alabama's protection of quarterback John Parker Wilson was better than the previous game. Wilson also appeared to have better luck finding receivers and picking his spots to run.

LSU dedicates new press box

LSU dedicated its press box to longtime sports information director Paul Manasseh on Saturday.

The new work area is worth the wait after two years of renovation.

While the weather was cold, it was a good idea to keep the windows open to give reporters a good feeling of the deafening shrills of LSU fans at Tiger Stadium.

Hall on special teams briefly

With Rashad Johnson out, nursing a bad knee and ankle, receiver DJ Hall was back on special teams on the opening kickoff.

Hall was pulled after the first kickoff and replaced by receiver Matt Caddell.

ESPN again for Tide

Alabama is making its first appearance on ESPN since 2004.

The opponent? LSU. The location? Tiger Stadium. The outcome? A 26-10 victory by LSU.

— Josh Cooper, DAILY Sports Writer

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