Tide practices defending Hail Mary passes

Anniston StarNovember 18, 2013 

Tennessee Alabama Football

Alabama defensive back Landon Collins (26) intercepts a pass intended for Tennessee wide receiver Marquez North (8) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Collins returned the interception 89-yards for a touchdown. (AP Photo/AL.com, Vasha Hunt) MAGS OUT


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama safety Landon Collins said the Crimson Tide always works on defending the Hail Marry pass on Thursdays.

The topic came up during the Tide's availability as a hypothetical situation. But the question stemmed from in-state rival Auburn connecting on a Hail Mary pass to defeat Georgia.

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall hitting receiver Ricardo Louis for a 73-yard touchdown. Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons batted the ball in the air, allowing Louis to run under it for the touchdown.

Collins said the Tide would be prepared for a similar situation.

"First of all, coach (Nick) Saban tells us to bat it down," Collins said. "That's the first thing that comes out of his mouth. If you get the pick, fall down. But the first thing is batting it down and playing the next play. We don't need anybody being a hero."

Injury news

Alabama tight end Brian Vogler limped off the field in the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide's 20-7 win at Mississippi State.

After the game, Vogler was on crutches with ice on his right foot. Tide coach Nick Saban said Vogler sprained his ankle during his postgame news conference. On Monday, Saban said Vogler will be "day to day."

"He probably won't do anything today and I don't really know what day this week he'll be able to get back into it," Saban said. "We just have to evaluate those things day to day."

True freshman tight end O.J. Howard took a high hit following quarterback AJ McCarron's second interception. Howard didn't return to the game.

"I think he will be fine," Saban said. "He may be one of those guys that's limited a little bit today, but I don't think we'll have any issues as the week progresses."

Following the game, running T.J. Yeldon was seen walking with a protective boot on his right foot, but it was only precautionary.

"He sprained his ankle a little bit," Saban said. "I don't think it's a bad thing. He finished the game on it. We put a guy in a protective boot pretty much for anything. If you had a corn on your toe, we would put you in a protective boot. And I agree with that. I think that's a good thing. I'm not trying to say that it's not something that we should do. It does help the guys recover, helps eliminate some swelling. We've had guys in boots two hours before the game."

Mosley, Mandell honored

While Alabama's win over Mississippi State wasn't very impressive, two Crimson Tide players were recognized by the Southeastern Conference for their performances.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley was named the SEC defensive player of the week while punter Cody Mandell was named the SEC special teams player of the week.

Mosley had eight total tackles and forced a fumble. He moved up to No. 7 on Alabama's career tackles list with 290.

Mandell had a career day punting the ball. He punted four times in windy conditions for 220 yards and a 55.0 average, which was a career-best.

He booted punts of 63 (career-long) and 61 yards, one out of bounds at the 2 and other downed at the 3. Mandell was also selected as the Ray Guy Award Player of the Week

Iron Bowl kickoff announced

No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn will kick off at 2:30 p.m. central on Nov. 30 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. CBS' crew of Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Tracy Wolfson will handle the broadcast.

Alabama leads the all-time series 42-34-1 and has won four of the past five. Auburn holds a 6-4 edge in the past 10 games and has a 7-4 edge in Iron Bowls played at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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