Tide Stars Finish With Bama Records

It's one thing to set records. It's really something to set them in a college football program with the history and tradition of great stars who have played for the Alabama Crimson Tide. But this year's Bama team has players who have achieved new marks.

Here are notes, including records set, following Alabama's 49-7 Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State Saturday.

Junior running back Mark Ingram scored two rushing touchdowns against Michigan State to break the Alabama record for rushing touchdowns in a career. His 6-yard rush with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter gave Alabama a 21-0 lead. That was Ingram's 42nd career rushing touchdown, moving Ingram past Shaun Alexander (41 from 1996-99) for the school record.

Ingram has 46 total touchdowns during his Crimson Tide career to rank third in Alabama history in total touchdowns. Ingram opened the scoring vs. State with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

With 3 catches for 49 yards against Michigan State, wide receiver Julio Jones added to his Alabama single-season records with 78 catches for 1,133 yards this season. That surpasses D.J. Hall's marks of 67 receptions (2007) and 1,056 yards (2006).

With 147 yards passing in the first half senior quarterback Greg McElroy broke the Alabama record for passing yards in a season, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,846 yards by John Parker Wilson in 2007. He entered the game needing 80 yards passing to move past Wilson's standard. McElroy broke the record on a 28-yard pass to Julio Jones on the first play of the second quarter. He finished the day with 220 yards passing and just missed the 3,000 yard mark. He ended with 2,987.

McElroy had one touchdown passes against Michigan State, the 39th of his Alabama career, which ranks third on the UA career touchdown passes list. He had 20 touchdown passes in the 2010 season, which is an Alabama single-season record.

Junior wide receiver Julio Jones caught 3 passes for 49 yards Saturday, giving Jones a school-record 78 receptions for a school-record 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. He is second on the Alabama career pass receptions list with 179 and ranks second on the Alabama career receiving yards list with 2,653 yards.

Sophomore free safety Robert Lester stopped Michigan State's first offensive possession of the game with an interception at the Alabama 16-yard line and he returned the theft 22 yards to the Alabama 38 with 2:21 left in the first quarter. That interception was Lester's eighth of the season, tying him for second on the Alabama single-season interceptions list with Harry Gilmer (8 in 1946). Hootie Ingram has the Bama record of 10 interceptions, set in 1952. That total ties Lester for this season's national lead with Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley and Hawaii's Mana Silva.

The win gave Alabama 10 wins this season as the Crimson Tide and Oklahoma continue to be tied in the NCAA record book for number of teams reaching the 10 victory plateau. It was the 31st 10-win season for the Tide and Sooners.

Alabama improved its NCAA records for bowl appearances and bowl records. It was the Crimson Tide's 58th bowl appearance. Texas and Tennessee are tied for second at 49 bowl games. Alabama now has 32 official bowl victories. (The Tide has 33 wins on the field, but had one victory vacated because of players receiving impermissible textbooks.) Southern Cal, which did not bowl this year, is second with 31 bowl wins.  

 Saturday marked Alabama's second appearance in the Capital One Bowl, formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl (1983-2002). Alabama's previous appearance came following the 1994 season in the 1995 Florida Citrus Bowl where the Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 24-17.  

With the win over seventh-ranked (AP) Michigan State, Alabama is 14-5 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the past three seasons and 9-3 against AP top 10 teams. UA had reeled off nine straight wins against top 25 teams until a loss at South Carolina earlier this season. The Crimson Tide's 31-6 win over No. 7 Florida on October 2 was the Tide's second straight win over a top 10 team and third top 25 victory in a four-week span. Alabama went 5-3 against the AP Top 25 this season.

The Alabama defense produced a dominant performance. Alabama held Michigan State to 171 yards of total offense, including 219 yards passing and minus 48 yards rushing. State's top rusher, Edwin Baker rushed for only 14 yards on 12 carries after averaging 98.9 yards per game entering the Capital One Bowl. Michigan State entered the game averaging 406.7 yards per game.

The minus 48 yards rushing by the Spartans was the second-fewest rushing yards ever allowed by an Alabama defense. The record was a minus-49 yards allowed by Alabama against Houston in 1962. However, the total did set a new record for Alabama in a bowl game.

The Alabama offense concluded one of the finest offensive seasons in Crimson Tide history. With 546 total yards against Michigan State, Alabama ended the 2010 season with 5,773 yards of total offense to set a new single-season team record. The old record was 5,642 set in 2009 (14 games). Alabama scored 49 points against Michigan State to end 2010 with 464 total points scored. That total ranks second in Alabama history. The Alabama single-season record is 477 points scored in 1973 (12 games).

The six rushing touchdowns by Alabama against Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl set a new Alabama record for a bowl game. The previous mark was four rushing touchdowns accomplished vs. Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game and vs. Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

Alabama amassed 546 total yards (275 rushing, 271 passing) against Michigan State, the second-best total offense by the Crimson Tide in a bowl game. That total is only eclipsed by a 586-yard output accomplished vs. Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

Alabama led Michigan State, 28-0, at halftime. That scoring total matched the Alabama bowl record for points scored in a first half, as well as matching the highest lead at halftime of a bowl game for the Crimson Tide. That outing matched Alabama's first half output in a 28-7 win over SMU in the 1983 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. That day, Alabama raced to a 28-0 halftime lead over the Mustangs before coasting to the 28-7 victory.

The 49-7 victory over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl ranks as the second-largest margin of victory by Alabama in a bowl game, ranking behind only a 55-point victory over Syracuse in a 61-6 verdict in the 1953 Orange Bowl in Miami.  

Alabama captains were the permanent captains announced earlier this year, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, Greg McElroy and Mark Barron, who was not in football uniform.

Barron, Bama's All-America safety who had surgery for a torn pectoral muscle following regular season play; back-up cornerback B.J. Scott, and back-up linebacker Jonathan Athchison were on the sidelines, but unable to participate because of injuries.

As expected, walk-on Will Lowery started at safety in place of Barron.

Alabama was designated at the visiting team for the game, which had attendance of 61,519.

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