Tide's final prep for Gamecocks

The Alabama football team practiced for 90 minutes in shells (shorts, shoulder pads and helmets) Thursday afternoon at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility. It was the Crimson Tide's final practice before Saturday's showdown on the road with the South Carolina Gamecocks.

"I really think our team is progressing," head coach Nick Saban said. "Each week you have a new challenge and you learn more about your team. So far we've responded fairly well, but not consistently all the time and that is something we have to continue to work on."

Alabama focused on special teams Thursday, as they do every Thursday during game week. Junior Julio Jones' 41-yard punt return last Saturday against Florida was the longest punt return of the season for the Crimson Tide.

The Tide will hold a final walk-through in Tuscaloosa Friday afternoon before flying to Columbia later in the day. No. 1 Alabama will face No. 19 South Carolina Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson calling the game from the booth and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sideline.