Bama Forges Record Against Good Teams

The Alabama-Florida game from Tuscaloosa's Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night was widely publicized as a re-match of the Southeastern Conference Championship Game combatants of the past two years and of the last two national champions. These teams, of course, are different than those of 2008 and 2009.

Most expected Alabama to be depending on its offense, but it was the Crimson Tide defense that was most important in the 31-6 win by Bama. Here are notes from that victory.

Alabama, ranked number one in the nation, moved to 5-0 on the season, including 2-0 in Southeastern Conference games.

Florida was ranked seventh in the nation coming into the game. With the win over the Gators, Alabama is 12-2 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the past three seasons and 6-2 against AP top 5 teams. UA has reeled off nine consecutive wins against top 25 teams. The Crimson Tide's win over Florida was the Tide's eighth win over a top 10 team dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Alabama is 3-0 against the AP Top 25 this season, wins over Penn State, Arkansas, and Florida.

Alabama now has a 22-14 lead in the series against Florida. Bama's second consecutive victory over the Gators improved Tide Coach Nick Saban's all-time record against Florida to 4-4 (2-1 at Alabama, 2-3 at LSU) and dropped Florida Coach Urban Meyer's record to 2-3 vs. Bama. Meyer is 0-2 in Bryant-Denny Stadium, his previous visit a 31-3 Alabama victory in 2005.

With the Crimson Tide's 24-3 win over Florida, in the last 15 years the Associated Press's number one-ranked team is 28-0 on its home field against a ranked opponent. That streak dates back to a 36-33 Auburn win at number one Florida in 1994.

Alabama now has 31 wins dating back to the start of the 2008 season, which is most in the nation. Florida and Boise State have 30 wins over that period.

Alabama has now won 17 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, dating back to the home opener against Tulane in 2008. That is the fourth longest winning streak at Bryant-Denny for an Alabama team, but is just one shy of the third place streak and three short of the second longest. It is, however, a long way from the streak of teams under legendary Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, who had a string of 57 consecutive wins in the stadium that now bears his name.

During the current streak, the Crimson Tide is 9-0 against SEC competition and 4-0 against top 25 teams in Tuscaloosa.

The win over the Gators was Bama's 29th consecutive regular season win. Over the past two-plus seasons from the start of the 2008 season, Alabama has an overall record of 31-2.

The Tide is a perfect 18-0 in SEC games over that period.

Florida's leading rusher, Jeffrey Demps, gained 47 yards. The Crimson Tide has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in an astonishing 39 games, dating back to October 13, 2007, when Mississippi's BenJarvus Green-Ellis went for 131 yards. That is the longest streak in the nation, 11 games more than second-place Ohio State (28 games). Alabama was one of three teams not to allow a 100-yard rusher in 2009 and is the only team not to surrender a 100-yard rusher in 2008, 2009 or 2010. Over the last three seasons, the Crimson Tide held 27 opponents to under 100-yards rushing as a team, including Florida -- which had 79 yards rushing Saturday night.

Junior running back Mark Ingram rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries against Florida, moving him up the Alabama career rushing yards chart into a tie for fourth place with 2,741 yards in his career. Shaun Alexander (1996-99) is the Tide's career rushing yards record holder with 3,565 yards, followed by Bobby Humphrey (3,420), Kenneth Darby (3,324), and Ingram and Johnny Musso at 2,741.

Ingram moved past Musso into third place on Alabama's all-time career rushing touchdown list. Against the Gators, Ingram scored two touchdowns, numbers 34 and 35 in his Bama career. Alexander leads with 41.

Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy continued his streak of having never lost a college football game he started. That number is now at 19 for the Southlake, Texas, native. McElroy's 19-0 start to his career is the second best in school history and he is currently the only Alabama quarterback to have never lost during his career as a starter (minimum 10 starts). It also ranks as the second-longest streak of consecutive wins by a starting quarterback in school history. Jay Barker owns both records, winning the first 22 games of his career from 1991-93. In fact, dating back to his senior year at Southlake Carroll High School, McElroy has started 35 consecutive games and walked off the field as a winner each time. McElroy's last loss as a starting quarterback was in the eighth grade.

True freshman linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a Florida pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to give Alabama a 31-6 lead over the Gators, the first interception of Mosley's Alabama career and the first interception return for a touchdown in 2010. It marked Alabama's first interception return for a touchdown since Marcell Dareus returned an interception of a Texas pass 28 yards for a score in the BCS Championship Game on January 7.

Alabama forced four Florida turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) on Saturday giving Alabama 13 turnovers and six giveaways in the first five games. UA has intercepted 11 passes and recovered two fumbles for a +1.4 turnover margin. Alabama has forced 93 turnovers in 46 games under head coach Nick Saban (an average of 2.0 per game) while forcing 43 turnovers over the last 19 games (2.26 per game). Alabama has recorded at least one turnover in 41 of 46 games under Saban. UA is 35-6 under Saban when gaining at least one turnover.  

Alabama has surrendered only three touchdowns in 2010 and a total of 45 points in 20 quarters this season (five games). The Tide allowed a field goal to both San Jose State in the opener and to Penn State on Sept. 11 before giving up 13 points (all in the second quarter) at Duke, surrendering 20 points at Arkansas (The Razorbacks were averaging over 35 points per game enter the contest) and six points to Florida (UF averaged 37.8 ppg entering the Alabama game). Over the last 33 games (start of the 2008 season), UA has allowed just 409 points or 12.3 points

At halftime, former Alabama Coach Gene Stallings was honored by the National Football Foundation for his selection to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Alabama captains were tailback Mark Ingram, strong safety Mark Barron, and center David Ross.

Honorary captains for the Crimson Tide were former quarterback Brodie Croyle and former linebacker Cornelius Griffin.

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