Alabama football: Star defensive end practices at OLB; Nick Saban addresses injuries

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Jack of all trades

The search for a stop-gap outside linebacker to replace the injured Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis continues, with an unexpected name running third in line at practice. Starting defensive end and former No. 1 overall recruit Da’Shawn Hand practiced with the linebackers on Wednesday, behind linebackers Jamey Mosley and Mekhi Brown. Hand was an undisputed starter at end, so it’s unlikely he sees much time at outside linebacker, but he certainly has the speed and power needed to come off the edge.

Rashaan Evans and Anfernee Jennings remain questionable.

For a full preview of the Fresno State game, watch our beat reporters Sound Off. 

In other Alabama headlines:

Third-and-long

Third downs have been the closest thing to an Achilles’ heel for Alabama recently. As Aaron Suttles of The Tuscaloosa News noted, the Crimson Tide have converted just 20 percent of their third downs over the last three games, most of which have come in passing situations.

Blockade

Damien Harris gave a detailed description of what went into his crucial punt block for Alabama against Florida State on Saturday night.

“We’d practiced it all week,” Harris said. “We knew if we lined up a certain way, they would block it a certain way and that would leave a running alley for someone to go in and get the block. We didn’t know who it would be, but we knew it would be somebody because they didn’t have enough guys to block our guys. Luckily, I was the one able to free up.”

In short, it’s Alabama’s tendency to play starters on special teams that gives the Crimson Tide an edge. And former Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson gave his own perspective on a standout performance from Alabama’s defensive special teams:

Comic relief

This one may hit too close too home for some Alabama fans (or it may hit wide right). From SEC Shorts: Alabama fans during field goal attempts:

Buckle up

The Alabama basketball team announced two major events on Wednesday. First, the annual Tide Tip-Off event will take place on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. CT. Second, the Crimson Tide will tip off against Oklahoma at 1:15 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum on Jan. 27. 

Built by ‘Bama

  • Alex Avila went 1 for 4 with a game-winning RBI triple in the ninth inning as the Cubs beat Pittsburgh, 1-0.

The other football

The Alabama soccer team will take on a stout Kennesaw State team on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Owls enter the match 4-0-2, with 4 shutout wins. The match can be viewed on ESPN3.

Miss a previous edition? Find every installment of SEC Country’s daily Alabama newsletter right here.

The post Alabama football: Star defensive end practices at OLB; Nick Saban addresses injuries appeared first on SEC Country.

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