Originally created 08/29/98

DuBose says it's back to the basics at Alabama



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Mike DuBose plans to run a clinic on the fundamentals of football this week, an area in which he says the Crimson Tide has taken a step backwards.

Alabama (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) lost 42-6 last week to No. 22 Arkansas, the Tide's worst loss in 41 years. With No. 8 Florida coming to town this Saturday, DuBose said the Tide needs a class in Football 101 before facing the Gators.

"There are a lot of fundamental things we need to go back and address," he said Monday. "I think we need to go back and work on our blocking, our catching and our tackling. We played with a lack of fundamentals and that's where we got beat."

DuBose said that after studying the tape, he had determined that free safety Kelvin Sigler was the only Alabama player that had a good game against Arkansas. He said linebacker Trevis Smith played decently, but only at times.

"Other than those two, I didn't see anyone else," DuBose said. "Offensively, I did not see anyone who played well."

That includes quarterback John David Phillips, who had a miserable game. Phillips, who had been fairly consistent in Alabama's first two games, was awful against Arkansas. He completed only nine-of-21 passes for 48 yards and an interception.

DuBose said Phillips, a fifth-year senior, made several "freshman mistakes" and if it continued, he would "go with a younger quarterback." But for now, DuBose says Phillips' job is safe.

"We've played in three games, he played in well in two and I probably got too excited about his progress," DuBose said. "He's going to have a bad game now and then. He understands and we understand that he cannot make silly mistakes."

But DuBose takes part of the blame for Phillips' mistakes. He said that Alabama's offense might be too complicated and every time new plays are added, it makes Phillips' job harder.

"It could be that we gave John David too much, maybe asked him to do too much," DuBose said. "We maybe tried to do some things that you would do with a guy that has started for two years, not a first year quarterback."

But DuBose doesn't think he'll change anything, or simplify things. "I've always been a multiple coach," he said. "I like multiple formations, multiple movements, multiple fronts."

Another thing DuBose said he would take blame for was losing his poise on the sidelines during the Arkansas game. He said once he did that, the rest of the coaching staff also unraveled.

"I lost my poise and as a result, everyone followed," he said. "It was a situation where we got behind and I tried to force a few things instead of getting back to the things we do."

So far, DuBose has found plenty of areas to try to improve on this week. And he seems to be looking forward to the challenge.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to go out and earn the right to be called a football team again," he said.