Sunday, October 26, 2008

Upchurch carries the day

TUSCALOOSA — In the second half against Tennessee, Alabama needed a change of pace with its running game. With freshman Mark Ingram struggling, the Tide called on Roy Upchurch.
The junior from Tallahassee, Fla., led Alabama with a career-high 86 yards rushing on 14 carries, all of which came in the second half of Alabama’s 29-9 victory.
On the Tide’s final scoring drive, Upchurch carried the ball on four consecutive plays, including a 4-yard touchdown run that put them ahead 29-3 with 9:43 left.
“We all know what kind of talent Roy has,” left guard Mike Johnson said. “He's one of those backs who hasn't got a lot of carries this year, but he's been patiently waiting his turn. He came in and provided a little bit of a change for us and made some great cuts and made some people miss.”
• TENNESSEE’S BROWN GOES DOWN: With 5:26 remaining, Tennessee defensive end Wes Brown hit the ground of Neyland Stadium hard and grabbed his right knee. Brown then had to be helped to the Tennessee sideline. He’s battled an injury in the knee all season, and during his Sunday teleconference, Vols coach Phillip Fulmer said that the problem was an extension of the initial injury.
Fulmer said he expects Brown to play Saturday against South Carolina. Brown finished the game against Alabama with three tackles.
• CAN’T SMOKE’EM CAUSE YOU DON’T GOT’EM: There were no victory cigars after Alabama defeated Tennessee — NCAA rules have disallowed them the past two years — but the Tide still celebrated the fact that it had its first back-to-back victories against the Volunteers since 1991 and 1992. The Alabama senior class finished its four-year run with a 3-1 record against its rival.
"It makes us feel good,” safety Rashad Johnson said. “We've been around a lot of good players here. We did a good job of beating them in ‘05, then we came up here two years ago and played them close, but they beat us. Then last year, we did a good job of beating them without some key players.”
• TIDE FEELING HEALTHY: Alabama came out of the Tennessee game without any major injuries. Saban said that tight end Nick Walker bruised his arm and cornerback Marquis Johnson bruised his knee, but each was fine and returned to the game after the injury took place.
— Josh Cooper

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