Smelley, White Get First TDs
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron threw four touchdown passes in the Crimson Tide's win over Vanderbilt. The first went to H-back Brad Smelley and two went to DeAndrew White. It was the first touchdown for both Smelley, a senior, and White, a redshirt freshman. Smelley and White became the ninth and 10th different Bama players to score touchdowns this season.
The other Alabama touchdowns were on a run by Trent Richardson and a pass to Darius Hanks.
Alabama now has a 59-19-14 all-time record against Vandy (61-18-4 without capricious NCAA rulings).
Alabama's next opponent, Ole Miss, played Vanderbilt earlier this year and lost a 30-7 decision in Nashville. The Rebels are 2-3 overall and 0-2 in SEC games.
Both Vanderbilt and Ole Miss had open dates prior to p[laying Alabama.
Alabama has won 42 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 43 wins. The Tide has the most victories of any team that plays in a BCS conference.
Alabama has been very successful in the second month of the season under Coach Nick Saban. Now in his fifth season at Alabama, the Crimson Tide sports a 15-1 record in October. Over that span the Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 410-208 and is 5-1 against ranked opponents. The only October loss under Saban was at No. 19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010. The loss against the Gamecocks broke an 11-game winning streak. Alabama has won its last four games in October since that loss.
Alabama led Vanderbilt, 14-0, at halftime, which presaged the outcome, because Bama is 44-3 under Saban when leading at intermission.
Alabama continues to have fourth quarter success this year. Bama had a 7-0 advantage over Vanderbilt Saturday night and now has outscored its six opponents -- including three ranked teams -- by a margin of 52-8 in the fourth quarter.
Alabama's shutout against Vanderbilt included holding the Commodores to 190 total yards (41 rushing, 149 passing). In Saban's 60-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 300 yards of total offense 35 times, or 58.3 percent of the time. The Tide has not allowed more than 251 yards (Penn State) in a single game this season and has limited the opponent to less than 200 yards three times (Kent State – 90 yards; North Texas – 169 yards; Vanderbilt – 190 yards).
Under Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 28 times, including four times in six 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 10 points or less 27 times and less than a touchdown 13 times.
Dee Milliner and Nico Johnson had interceptions for Bama against Vandy. Alabama has recorded at least one interception in five of its six games this season. The only game the Tide did not record a pickoff was against North Texas (Sept. 17). Alabama recorded an interception in 11 of the 13 games in 2010, putting together a run of 16 games with a pick in its last 19 outings. Six different Tide players have tallied an interception in 2011, with Dee Milliner leading the way with two.
Alabama has allowed seven points or less in nine of its last 10 first halves of play. Over that span the Crimson Tide has surrendered just three points or less on seven occasions, including four shutouts. UA had a streak of nine straight games before allowing 10 points in the first half to Florida last week.
Keeping opposing running backs less than 100 yards is nothing new for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has surrendered just nine individual 100-yard rushing games dating back to the 2005 season (85 games), a mark that ranks second nationally behind Boston College. Since Saban arrived in 2007 (60 games), Alabama has allowed four players to rush for 100 yards in a game: Tennessee's Tauren Poole (117 yards), Mississippi's BenJarvus Green-Ellis (131 yards), Houston's Anthony Alridge (100 yards) and Arkansas' Darren McFadden (195 yards).
In Saban's 60 games as Bama's head coach, the Tide defense has limited the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards 37 times, or 61.7 percent of the time. The 41 yards on the ground by Vanderbilt marks the fifth time this season the opposition has been held under 100 yards.
This was Alabama's second shutout of the season. The Tide also blanked North Texas (41-0). It was Bama's first shutout victory over an SEC opponent since a 36-0 win over Auburn on Nov. 29, 2008. It also marks Alabama's first shutout win over Vanderbilt since a 20-0 win on Sept. 11, 1997, and is the 13th time Alabama has shutout the Commodores in the series.
Sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron had a career game for Bama against Vandy. McCarron completed a career-high 23 passes on a career-best 30 attempts. He also tossed a career high in touchdowns with four. Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze caught a career-best nine balls for 93 yards. Sophomore DeAndrew White also tallied a career-high in touchdowns (2) and yards (52).
The four touchdown passes by McCarron tied for second most in Alabama history, tying Mike Shula against Memphis State in 1985 and John Parker Wilson against Arkansas in 2007. The Tide record is held by Gary Hollingsworth with five against Ole Miss in 1989.
McCarron has now thrown 127 passes without an interception since the last of two he threw in the season-opener against Kent State this year. He was 23-30 against Vanderbilt.
Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze tallied a career-high nine catches Saturday night. The nine catches are the most by an Alabama player since Julio Jones caught 10 passes against Auburn (Nov. 26, 2010).
Trent Richardson recorded his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game in the SEC road matchup against Vanderbilt. He is in the top 20 on the Alabama career rushing yard list with 2,180 yards to rank 12th in Alabama history. Richardson leads the Crimson Tide with 729 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns (12 total touchdowns). Richardson is the 16th Alabama back to surpass 2,000 yards rushing in a career.
Richardson has scored 12 touchdowns in the Tide's first six games.
Richardson raised his career total to 25 touchdowns on the ground and 31 overall. The 31 touchdowns (25 rush, 5 receiving, 1 return) ranks fifth on the Alabama career touchdowns scored list. Shaun Alexander is the all-time leader at Alabama with 50 career touchdowns.
Shannon Brown, who was a defensive tackle for Bama in the early 1990s and whose daughter was killed in the April 27 tornado in Tuscaloosa, was honorary captain.
Alabama captains were linebacker Alex Watkins, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, wide receiver Marquis Maze, and safety Mark Barron.
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