The Tide travels to Nashville for a weekend matchup with the Commodores to open SEC play

 TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team put in a 75-minute session in shells on Monday afternoon indoors on the Thomas-Drew Practice fields in preparation for this weekend’s Southeastern Conference opener against Vanderbilt.

The Crimson Tide’s first practice of the new week focused on planning and preparation for a Vanderbilt passing game that ranks among the best in the conference. The Commodores are led by head coach Derek Mason, who is in his fourth season at Vanderbilt. Alabama and Vanderbilt are scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium on CBS. Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce will have the call for the Tide’s first contest on CBS this season.

Practice will continue for the next three days before Alabama uses Friday to travel to its first true road contest of the 2017 season. The Crimson Tide owns the all-time advantage, 59-19-4, and has won the last 21 contests dating back to 1985. Alabama is 27-14-2 all-time against VU in Nashville and has won the last 18 matchups in the Music City. 

Nick Saban met with the media prior to practice on Monday afternoon. Following is his opening statement:

“Overall, I’m pleased with the progress that we’ve made as a team through the first three games. Sometimes you lose sight of the face that we are 3-0. We have improved in a lot of areas of our team and we’ll continue to focus on the technical aspects of what we need to do to improve in some other areas to get some mistakes and mental errors corrected. We’ll continue to try to develop the players so that they can have a better opportunity of being successful in whatever we have to defend, whatever we have to attack on offense, or whatever we have to play against on special teams.

“We he had some players that played really well in this game: Jalen Hurts, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Bradley Bozeman on offense, Keith Holcombe, Levi Wallace and Da’Ron Payne on defense, J.K. Scott, Mack Wilson and Andy Pappanastos on special teams. They all did a good job in their particular areas.

“From an injury standpoint, I don’t know what the status of these guys will be but we’ll see how they progress through the week, but Rashaan Evans, Anfernee Jennings and Dylan Moses will all return to practice today. Miller Forristall is out. What we thought was the issue and the case after the game was the case, and he will need surgery.

“We certainly look forward to the SEC, this is our opener on the road against a very good Vanderbilt team, who as you all know just beat Kansas State, who was a ranked team. They are 3-0 and they have a lot of starters back with nine on offense and seven on defense. Their defense leads the nation in scoring defense. Kyle Shurmur is the leading quarterback in passing efficiency in our league. They do a great job in terms of their coaching and how they attack people and how they play on offense and defense. They’re very sound and very well coached in all areas. They’re very balanced in terms of run and pass. They’ve got three receivers that all pretty much share in how they spread the ball around. This is a very good overall team and they’re probably a team that deserves to be in the top 25.”