Notes From Victory Over North Texas

The big story of Alabama vs. North Texas was the Crimson Tide running game, both junior Trent Richardson and sophomore Eddie Lacy having big games with long touchdown runs in the Crimson Tide's 41-0 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night.

Alabama junior tailback Trent Richardson scored three rushing touchdowns against North Texas and now has eight in the first three games of the season. He has scored 22 rushing touchdowns in his career and 27 total touchdowns. Richardson scored on runs of four, 58, and 71. He was not touched on any of the three, The two long runs were both on the first play after North Texas punts.

Richardson set personal records for longest touchdown run and for most rushing yardage as he finished with 11 carries for 167 yards. His previous best came against Penn State (September 11, 2010) last season when he rushed for 144 yards on 22 carries. His previous long run was a 65-yarder at Tennessee (October 23, 2010). He moved into the top 20 on the Alabama career rushing yard list with 1,766 yards to rank 19th in Alabama history.

Alabama scored five touchdowns on the ground Saturday to move its season total to 12. The Crimson Tide has scored 14 touchdowns this season with 12 coming by rush. Richardson has eight of those 12.

In just three games, Richardson has found the end zone eight times. Richardson opened the year with three touchdowns against Kent State and followed that up with two more at Penn State. Richardson scored three touchdowns for Alabama against North Texas.

  The three touchdowns by Trent Richardson and the two by Eddie Lacy on Saturday marked the fourth straight game that an Alabama rusher has recorded two or more touchdowns. Richardson recorded two at Penn State and three to open the season against Kent State. In the Capital One Bowl to cap off last season, Lacy and Mark Ingram tallied two scores apiece.

Lacy had his best game in an Alabama uniform with nine rushes for 163 yards and touchdowns on rns of 43 and 67 yards.

Richardson and Lacy became the first duo in Crimson Tide history to rush for over 150 yards in the same game. With the duo of Richardson and Lacy both eclipsing the 100-yard mark on the ground, they become the 12th tandem in Alabama history to tally over 100 yards in the same game. Richardson has been a part of two of those games, the earlier one with Mark Ingram in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game against Texas.

Wide receiver Darius Hanks was back in the Alabama lineup after having missed two games in order to satisfy an NCAA requirement regarding him having been awarded a redshirt season after playing briefly in 2007. Hanks started the game and made his first reception of the season for 14 yards on Bama's first touchdown drive.

Alabama started its third offensive series of the game with freshman Cyrus Kouandjio at left tackle with Barrett Jones, who had started the game at left tackle, moving into D.J. Fluker's spot at right tackle. After center William Vlachos limped off the field following Eddie Lacy's 43-yard, second quarter touchdown, Jones moved to center. (Vlachos, who was wearing a boot on his right foot, returned to the game.)

Alabama has been very successful in the opening month of the season under Coach Nick Saban. Now in his fifth season at Alabama, the Crimson Tide sports an 18-2 record in September following the win against North Texas. Since 2008, Alabama is a perfect 15-0 in September games.

Alabama is 22-1 in its last 23 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, dating back to the start of the 2008 season. During that stretch the Crimson Tide has been extremely stingy on defense and very effective on offense. Some of the most impressive numbers include 54 rushing touchdowns for the Alabama offense while the Crimson Tide defense has surrendered just two rushing touchdowns at home since the beginning of the 2008 season.

Under Saban, the Crimson Tide is 20-3 against non-conference opponents, including a 6-1 mark against ranked teams. Alabama is currently riding a 13-game winning streak against non-conference opponents (including bowl games), with its last loss coming to Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. The Tide sports back-to-back seasons of 5-0 records against non-conference opponents and is off to a 3-0 mark this year. Now in his fifth season at Alabama, Saban has seen the Crimson Tide outscore its non-conference opponents 858-267 over that span.

Alabama has won 39 games dating back to the start of the 2008 season, which is the second most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Crimson Tide won 12 games in 2008, followed that with a perfect 14-0 record in 2009 and a 10-3 mark in 2010. Alabama is one win back of Boise State, with 40 wins. The Crimson Tide has the most victories of any team that plays in a BCS conference.

The Crimson Tide is 41-3 when leading at halftime under Saban.

Alabama leads the all-time series with North Texas 4-0 after the win on Saturday. In the series the Crimson Tide has not allowed more than 19 points in a single game against the Mean Green and has posted 33 or more points in all four contests.

Alabama is 20-1 all-time against Sun Belt Conference teams, following the win against North Texas. The Crimson Tide posted a 2-0 record against Sun Belt foes during the 2008 and 2009 seasons facing Western Kentucky and Arkansas State in 2008 and Florida International and North Texas in 2009. Alabama's only loss to a Sun Belt Conference team came on Nov. 17, 2007, when Louisiana-Monroe handed Alabama a 21-14 setback in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama held North Texas scoreless, posting the fourth shutout of the Nick Saban Era at Alabama and the first since a 45-0 win over Chattanooga on November 21, 2009. Under Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 26 times including twice in three games this season. Last season Alabama held opponents to 10 points or less eight times and limited opponents to that mark seven times in 2009 and 2008. In 2007, the Tide posted two games in which it held opponents to that mark. Since 2007, Alabama has held opponents to less than a touchdown 12 times

The Alabama defense limited North Texas to 169 total yards (68 rushing, 101 passing). In Saban's 57-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 300 yards of total offense 32 times, or 56 per cent of the time.

For the 15th time in Saban's last 44 games at The Capstone, the Crimson Tide defense held the opposing offense to less than 200 yards of total offense. Alabama's best came in 2009 when they held Chattanooga to just 84 yards of total offense. The Tide held opponents under 200 yards three times in 2010, four times in 2009 and six times in 2008. In Saban's 57-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 300 yards of total offense 31 times, or 54.5 per cent of the time.

Alabama held North Texas to 68 rushing yards in the victory tonight. In Saban's 57-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards 34 times, or 59.6 percent of the time.

As had been announced earlier in the week by Coach Nick Saban, Crimson Tide linebacker Chris Jordan did not play in the game. He was in sweatclothes on the sideline. Jordan had been "nicked up" and took the week off from practice for rehabilitation. Also held out was wide receiver Kevin Norwood, who had an ankle injury last week.

The 1971 Alabama football team, the first to run the wishbone offense and which upset No. 1 Southern Cal in Los Angeles to start the season, was honored in pre-game ceremonies. That team went 11-0 in regular season, including a 31-7 win over undefeated Auburn and its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Pat Sullivan. Bama lost to one of the all-time best teams in college history, Nebraska, in the Orange Bowl for the national championship.

Four coaches on that 1971 team were in attendance -- Mal Moore, Jack Rutledge, Clem Gryska, and -- somewhat surprising, perhaps -- Pat Dye. Dye got a nice ovation from Bama players in a pre-game reception.

Among the stars of that team who returned for the ceremonies were halfbacks Johnny Musso and Joe LaBue, fullback Steve Bisceglia, wide receiver David Bailey, tight end Jim Simmons, defensive end Robin Parkhouse, linebacker Jeff Rouzie, offensive linemen Jim Krapf and Buddy Brown, and defensive back Lanny Norris.

North Texas is a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The commissioner of that conference is Alabama alumnus Wright Waters.

The game was officially a sellout, but there were scattered empty seats, most notably in the upper reaches of the student section in the South end zone upper deck. It may be getting close to exam time, because quite a number of students had vacated Bryant-Denny Stadium by midway through the third quarter.

Honorary Alabama captains from the 1971 team were Musso, Parkhouse, and Rouzie.

Alabama's captains were Dont'a Hightower, Brad Smelley, DeQuan Menzie, and Mark Barron.

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