Alabama receiver Chris Black will make his debut Saturday against Georgia even with only two games left in his true freshman season.
Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron nearly experienced something similar in 2009.
McCarron was in his first season on campus and was slated to be redshirted. Junior Greg McElroy was the starter and redshirt freshman Star Jackson was second string. However, after eight games, Alabama coach Nick Saban promoted McCarron to second team over Jackson.
“Coach told me, ‘You’re going to be our backup from now on. You’re not going to play unless we need you,’ ” McCarron said.
n Scripting plays: Saban said the Crimson Tide scripts the opening plays it uses each Saturday, although it doesn’t always work out as he wants.
“We do actually script the first eight, 10, 12 plays of the game,” Saban said Thursday night on his weekly radio show.
“But sometimes that’s affected by the situation. This is one thing I’ve always tried to get our offensive coordinator to realize.”
As an example, he said when you gain 7 yards on first down and face second-and-three, you might have a scripted play that goes into the heart of the defensive alignment.
“So I think you have to be able to adjust and adapt with that as well,” he said. “But I do think that it’s good to lay out (the plays) and practice. Players have an expectation early in the game for what you’re going to do.”
Saban said he thought Bill Walsh, the former Super Bowl-winning coach of the San Francisco 49ers was the first to script the first plays of the game.
“It’s a lot easier sitting in your chair on Thursday night figuring out what I want to do rather than figuring out what I want to do once the game starts,” Saban said. “So, it’s good planning to do that.”
Students staying home
Since 2008, Alabama’s students never have filled more than 80.2 percent of their section at home games, according to a report by The Crimson White, the university’s student newspaper.
The students’ best attendance in that span came in the 2010 season opener against San Jose State. Of the students’ 17,000 seats in renovated Bryant-Denny Stadium, 13,638 were filled, leaving 19.8 percent of the section unfilled.
Even for the 2011 home game when No. 2 Alabama played No. 1 LSU, only 12,646 of the students’ seats were used, which is 74.4 percent. For Saturday’s 49-0 win over Auburn, 1