The defending national champions took the field for their spring game to 91,312 screaming Crimson Tide fans on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
What they got was a show put on by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. The dynamic duo at the running back position made several big plays for the offense, that included a 28-yard score, and a 60-yard run.
The tandem will split time in the backfield this season. If this type of performance is an indication what opposing SEC defenses will see, the Crimson Tide could make a run at another undefeated season.
“I’m not selfish,” Ingram remarked after the game. “He needs the ball. He’s a playmaker and he’s explosive. Whatever helps this team win, that’s all that matters to me.”
Richardson bested Ingram’s side on Saturday, with the White team earning a steak dinner, and the Crimson enduring beans.
Head coach Nick Saban was impressed with a lot of what he saw, and was happy with the fact that no one was injured.
“We didn’t get anybody injured, which is always the most important thing,” Saban stated. “You really can’t lose a spring game unless you lose players.”
Quarterback Greg McElroy completed 12 of 22 passes for 142 yards on a productive day.
“We’ve got a bunch of players that are stepping up and making plays,” McElroy remarked. “That’s what’s encouraging. I trust one of the other receivers as much as I trust Julio in a third-down-and-long situation to make a big play.”
The defense performed well too, despite only two returning starters from the championship team a year ago.
“We’re not worried about last year’s team,” Ingram stated. “We won a championship, SEC and national, but that’s in the history books. It’ll be there forever. This year, we’re focused on our team. We can’t live in the past, because we’re going to be judged on the future.
“Us winning last year isn’t going to help us win against San Jose State or Penn State or Florida or any other team next year.”
Saban is also not worried about the pre-season ranking of the team, believing that a vast majority of votes would represent last year’s team.
“If I was voting, I wouldn’t vote it,” Saban said. “I would think that there’s somebody with more players coming back that had a successful season. Do I like our team? I love our team. Do I like our players? I love our players. Do I think we can develop into a good team? Absolutely. But I’m not a big poll guy.”
Still, Online Sportsbooks have installed the Crimson Tide as the betting favorite to win the 2010-11 BCS National Championship.