Bama uses inside info to prepare for OU

Originally Published: September 3, 2003
By By Pat Forde | Special to ESPN Insider

Alabama offensive coordinator Dave Rader spent the last three years out of football after being the head coach at Tulsa. But that time away could come in handy for the Crimson Tide Saturday when Oklahoma arrives. Rader watched a whole lot of Oklahoma football during those three years as a businessman, and even wrote a weekly column in a Tulsa paper analyzing the Sooners. If anyone is familiar with Oklahoma's defensive strengths and weaknesses (assuming there are any of the latter), Rader would seem to be the man. "That definitely helps us get a feel for a team we don't see every year," Shula said.

  • Amazingly, Oklahoma is the first No. 1-ranked team to ever visit Tuscaloosa. "They play with a lot of confidence," Mike Shula said of the Sooners. "That's what we've got to do." Perhaps just as surprising is the fact that Alabama has only played six games in Tuscaloosa while ranked No. 1.

  • Alabama lost last year to Oklahoma in a close contest in Norman, but it does have one player on the roster who knows what it's like to beat the Sooners. Tough little running back Shaud Williams, one of the heroes of the opening victory over South Florida with 98 rushing yards and a 73-yard punt return touchdown, was a freshman at Texas Tech in 1999 when the Red Raiders beat Oklahoma 38-28.