News from the Tennessee Valley Sports



Alabama's Wallace Gilberry is quite the shape shifter. According to the senior defensive end, when he steps onto the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium, he becomes Megatron, the destructive villainous robot from the movie Transformers.

"When I'm on this field," Gilberry said, "I feel kind of threatened."

With any mention of the Crimson Tide defensive line being perceived as a weakness for the season, Gilberry's status of feeling threatened goes further than just his movie alter ego.

According to Gilberry, when he hears talk about how front seven is thin, especially from the Crimson Tide coaching staff, he takes the words to heart.

"They can only tell the truth," Gilberry said. "It is the direct truth. I am not running from it. I take it as an insult and I take it personally every day. My whole objective is when we finish and start as a defensive line, that is what we talk about."

The players say that if there is a lack of depth, they need to make up for it.

"It's just going out there and giving all you got, knowing you don't have a lot of backups," said defensive end Bobby Greenwood. "It puts more pressure on you."

? Sunday was the first day that Alabama rested since preseason practice began Aug. 3.

According to first-year coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide was a little leg weary during its scrimmage Saturday, but one day of rest won't do too much good. After all, Alabama has its third two-a-day session of preseason practice Monday.

"It's called the dog days of fall camp," Saban said. "That is where we are at."

Josh Cooper,
Daily Sports Writer


AUBURN — Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he still plans to narrow down the backup quarterback race soon.

Neil Caudle, Blake Field, Kodi Burns and Steve Ensminger are competing for the chance to be the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Brandon Cox. The three quarterbacks who are selected will take a majority of the snaps, while the No. 4 quarterback practices with the scout team.

"We're going to name three who start getting more of the reps, maybe (Sunday) night," Tuberville said Saturday, adding that he will discuss it with offensive coordinator Al Borges.

Field, a junior from Georgia, is the only one of the four who has played in a collegiate game. He emerged from spring at the No. 2 spot, but since the start of preseason practice has been challenged by the three young guns.

Caudle, a redshirt freshman, sprained his throwing shoulder during Saturday's scrimmage, putting him behind. Ensminger, also a redshirt freshman, has been praised lately by coaches for his accurate arm.

Burns, a true freshman, impressed players and coaches alike during the two-hour scrimmage with his quick feet and his ability to escape from the pocket.

Tuberville said he would like to choose three players by Monday, but noted that his team may continue with the four-man rotation until Wednesday, Auburn's final practice before its first day off since the start of preseason camp a week and a half ago.

Ross Dellenger,
Daily Sports Writer

North Alabama

FLORENCE — The first day of practice for North Alabama football team was a productive one on an extremely hot day, according to head coach Mark Hudspeth.

UNA put its newcomers through a morning workout Sunday and put the veterans through a two-hour afternoon practice session at Veterans Park.

"I think our first day was very productive and our kids came out at a high tempo and were eager to practice," Hudspeth said. "In the veterans practice you could really tell that there was a lot of retention from the spring."

Hudspeth said the Lions spent the first day installing their offensive and defensive schemes.

"Our players worked extremely hard but we really had to fight our way through the heat," he said.

Because of the temperatures forecast for Monday of more than 100 degrees, Hudspeth said the Lions would consolidate their newcomers and veterans' practices into one morning session at 9:30 at Veterans Park.

From staff reports


ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia's defense dominated the first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday night, taking advantage of the Bulldogs' youth on the offensive line.

With tackle Chester Adams and guard Scott Haverkamp sidelined by ankle injuries, the first-team offense was forced to go with three true freshmen and a redshirt freshman up front.

"It was just a lot of missed assignments," said quarterback Matthew Stafford, who did manage to complete 13 of 20 for 125 yards and a touchdown. "It's going to take a while for them to learn what to do."

The running game was largely ineffective. Thomas Brown, who's coming back from a season-ending knee injury, was held to 4 yards on two carries. No. 1 tailback Kregg Lumpkin carried three times for 12 yards.

"You're going to hit slumps like this in camp," Stafford said. "We were playing great in the beginning. Now we're not."

Redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno had 36 yards on five carries.

The Bulldogs moved their scrimmage at Sanford Stadium from the afternoon to the evening to avoid another day of sweltering temperatures.

The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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