Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tide finds new fullback in Upchurch

TUSCALOOSA — Roy Upchurch doesn’t look like a fullback. At 6-foot, 201 pounds, he doesn’t exactly have the prototypical size for the position. But Saturday against Tennessee, he stood in the backfield with fellow running back Glen Coffee, blocking for quarterback John Parker Wilson and Coffee.
“It helps the offense. You can do more, open up more, and run a lot of trick plays,” Upchurch said. “I don't have a problem with it. This was my first time playing fullback, so I guess I need to eat my Wheaties.”
Not only did Upchurch block, he also ran for a career high 86 yards on 14 carries.
“I kind of bring a little more burst to the game,” Upchurch said. “Glen (Coffee) is going to hate me for that, Mark (Ingram) going to hate me for that, but I'm just being honest. I bring a little more burst to the game — a little more speed through the holes.”
• MONROE LOSS NOT FORGOTTEN: Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has put signs reminding Alabama of its 2007 loss to Louisiana-Monroe all throughout the football complex.
While players said they have tried to forget that game, it’s just a reminder of what could happen if Alabama doesn’t prepare for Saturday’s contest against Arkansas State.
“I think they're going to stay up,” cornerback Kareem Jackson said. “I think Coach Saban wants us to always remember that, so they'll be up there.”
• TIDE UNCONCERNED WITH HOMECOMING: Alabama will not pay attention to homecoming distractions this week. Not the parade nor the naming of the homecoming queen during the game against Arkansas State.
“We don't get to experience any of the campus activities like everybody else does,” linebacker Cory Reamer said.
Asked whether he would look at the homecoming queen celebration, kicker Leigh Tiffin smiled and said, “That is the last thing I’ll be worried about.”
• CODY GETTING BETTER: Nose tackle Terrence Cody took part in light jogging around the Alabama practice fields Tuesday. He had a long brace on his right leg. Cody strained his right knee ligament against Ole Miss on Oct. 18.
— Josh Cooper

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