Tide expects physical Vols; news & links

Expect a physical game when the Alabama Crimson Tide face the Tennessee Volunteers.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film on these guys and they have a lot of physical players,” Alabama senior offensive lineman Mike Johnson said after Tuesday’s practice. “Number 5 (Rico McCoy) is a great linebacker and we’ve watched him crunch a couple of people and everybody knows about Eric Berry. They’ve got some guys up front that are talented too. It’s going to be a physical game and we expect it to be.”

Alabama football coach Nick Saban expects a Tennessee team that brings a strong running game.

“I think this is probably the best team running the football that we have played and the strength of their team is probably their backs, as well as their offensive line,” Saban said. “(Montario) Hardesty and Bryce Brown are both really good, physical, down-hill, hard runners. They both play with a lot of toughness.

“Their defense is very, very good, one of the top-ranked defenses in the country. Eric Berry is maybe the best player in our conference, defensive player, in terms of his play-making ability and all the things he does. He is an absolutely phenomenal football player. He is one of the best.”

On to the links:
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Other notes:
Colin Peek Named to John Mackey Award Watch List
Alabama senior tight end Colin Peek is one of 22 players named to the 2009 John Mackey Award Watch List, the Nassau County Sports Commission announced Monday afternoon. The Mackey Award is given annually to best collegiate tight end and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10.

Rolando McClain Named Lott Trophy Player of the Week
Alabama junior linebacker Rolando McClain has been named the Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week. Alabama will receive $1,000 for its general scholarship fund in recognition of McClain’s accomplishment.

The Decatur, Ala., native had seven tackles, two quarterback pressures, one tackle for loss (-2 yards) and one pass breakup as the Tide held No. 22 South Carolina without a touchdown in a 20-6 win.

“This guy shows up every single Saturday,” said Pat Dye, a member of the Legends Coaches who selected the Player of the Week. “He is the best defensive player I have seen this year. No, make that the best defensive player I’ve seen in many years.”