A stout running game coupled with a stifling defense led the No. 1 University of Alabama football team to a 59-0 win at Vanderbilt in the Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference opener.

The 2018 Alabama football schedule was finalized Tuesday and includes seven games at Bryant-Denny Stadium plus a neutral-site game against Louisville and four Southeastern Conference road games.

The Alabama coaching staff recognized seven players of the week following the Crimson Tide’s 24-7 victory over third-ranked Florida State last Saturday in Atlanta, Ga., at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Damien Harris and Calvin Ridley on offense, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Levi Wallace on defense, and Keaton Anderson, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Thomas Fletcher and Harris, once again, on special teams.

The Alabama Department of Athletics will collect donations to support the United Way in its efforts to assist with Hurricane Harvey recovery in the Houston area and throughout flood ravaged Texas – home to several Crimson Tide players and their families.

Fans heading to Atlanta for the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will be treated to a bowl-like atmosphere that includes a full slate of game day activities that kick off well before (3) Florida State and (1) Alabama take the field.

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show – is set to open the 2017 season at this year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Florida State and Alabama.

Of the many ties Nick Saban has in the coaching world, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter isn’t one of them.

The two have never worked together and have met on the field only once — a 1995 game between Michigan State and Boston College, as Saban served in his first year as head coach of the Spartans while Koetter was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles. (In case you're wondering, Saban came out on top, 25-21.)

That being said, it's easy to see how the Alabama head coach could relate with his Tampa Bay counterpart.

It’s almost time for the change in season, tailgate season that is – and Bama fans are already preparing for their game day tailgates and parties – on and off campus. 

Entering what he hopes to be his first “consistent” season at Alabama, you’ll forgive Bo Scarbrough for emphasizing his forward mental trajectory.

The Alabama running back has no desire to discuss the past, especially not when it concerns the broken leg he suffered during the third quarter of the national championship loss to Clemson. Wearing a sizable smile in front of reporters, Scarbrough didn’t resemble a player losing much sleep while lamenting over last season’s heartbreaking finish. Instead, he reiterated his preference to concentrate on the present.

So, please, save any potential what-if questions for a later date.

“That book is closed,” Scarbrough said, the smile leaving his face. “I'm only focused on what's going on now and not the past."

Some things never change.

As Alabama opened up its fall camp on Thursday, Aug. 3, the inevitable ensued. Head coach Nick Saban started his first news conference by stating the importance of accountability, both on and off the field. He recited his annual speech about self-assessment, using the familiar buzz words such as “work ethic,” “perseverance” and “discipline.”

On the field, the Crimson Tide players donned shorts and shells under the same 90-degree heat they will become accustomed to over the next month. Five-star freshmen began their battle to earn early playing time, while their veteran teammates took their first steps toward establishing newfound leadership roles. Coaches screamed and whistles blared, the same as they always have — rinse, wash, repeat.

The University of Alabama football team's annual Fan Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 5. The Crimson Tide will hold an open practice in Bryant-Denny Stadium from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Players and coaches will be available for autographs following practice on the field beginning at approximately 4:45 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the first 150 fans in line at Gate 25 will receive numbered color-coded wristbands for early entrance to the post-practice autograph session. Fans receiving wristbands will need to report to Gate 25 (South field entrance) at 4 p.m. to begin lining up for the autograph session.

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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