TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In his own words, Alabama running back/H-back Jalston Fowler said he ran scared in the Crimson Tide's season opener against Virginia Tech.
Not because of the Hokies stout defense, but because Fowler was afraid his knee "would give out on him."
"The first game (against Virginia Tech), I was scared," Fowler said on Tuesday. "I thought my knee was going to give out on me. This game (against Texas A&M), I was like, 'Whatever. Just go out there and ball and if it goes out, it goes out. Just go out there and play.'"
Fowler scored the Tide's decisive touchdown on a five-yard pass from quarterback AJ McCarron in Alabama's 49-42 victory over the Aggies. Fowler also had four carries for 37 yards.
Fowler said the coaches kept pushing him to run harder in preparation for the Aggies and said they told him he was playing scared.
"I was like, 'I'm tired of hearing this,'" Fowler said. "I just want to go out here and play and get them (defenders) off of me, show them that I'm not scared."
Colorado State players talk matchup with Alabama
As a 38-point underdog, the Colorado State Rams are fighting an uphill battle before they step onto the field in Bryant-Denny Stadium against top-ranked Alabama.
"Nobody is expecting anything from us outside of us, really," Rams center Weston Richburg told reporters Monday. "So there should be no reason to go in tight and nervous. There's going to be nervous, but go in, just play the game. It's football. It's in a bigger arena, the No. 1 team in the nation. Nobody is expecting anything from you, so you might as well go in and play and not hold anything back."
For Rams cornerback Shaq Bell, this will be his second trip to Bryant-Denny.
"I'm excited," Bell told reporters Monday. "The No. 1 team in the country, and I've been there before in 2010 when my brother played for Auburn, and it's crazy loud. You can't even talk to the person next to you. I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can when I'm out there."
Rams coach Jim McElwain and his staff are doing everything possible to prepare players for the crowd noise.
"Today (Monday) in practice, we're just going to try to work our hand signals and I guess try not to talk as much and use as many hand signals as we can, just communicate by hand signals," Bell said.
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback Deion Belue were riding stationary bikes and wore black, non-contact jerseys during Tuesday's practice. Tide coach Nick Saban said both are "questionable" against Colorado State.
Right guard Anthony Steen was at practice and with the offensive line group in a white jersey. Steen didn't participate in any drills. Saban said Steen is "probable" against Colorado State.
Fifth-year senior Kellen Williams replaced Steen at right guard with the first offensive line group. Williams also filled in for Steen on the Tide's final touchdown drive. The rest of the offensive line remained the same.