Tide Defense Has Been Very Good

A football game is four quarters, and Alabama has done very well in its 32 quarters of play this year in going 8-0 and being ranked second in the nation. And consider how well the Crimson Tide defense has been in the second half in games against Southeastern Conference opponents.

Alabama was particularly effective on defense in the second half against Tennessee Saturday as Bama went from a 6-6 halftime tie to a 37-6 victory. You no doubt quickly deduced it was 31-0 Crimson Tide in the second half. Consider also that Tennessee had zero first downs in the second half (and only six for the game).

Tennessee's second half rushing was 15 carries for 31 yards. The Vols had passing yardage in the second half of only 10 yards.

Alabama has played five SEC games. In the second halves of those games, Bama has outscored the opposition by 113-7. Arkansas is the only SEC opponent to score against the Tide in the second half of a game this year.

Alabama is now 8-0 overall and 5-0 in SEC games and ranked second in the nation. The Tide has this week off then hosts LSU, also 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the league. The Fighting Tigers are ranked first in the nation and also have a bye this week. The Tide and Tigers will meet at 7 p.m. CST (8 eastern) on Saturday, Nov. 5, at Bryant-Denny Stadium with CBS televising the game.

In addition to LSU and Alabama being one-two in the nation, the SEC has three other ranked teams in the Associated Press poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll. Arkansas is eighth in both rankings and South Carolina 14th in both polls. Georgia is 21st in USA Today and 22nd in AP.

Alabama ranks first in the nation in pass efficiency defense, rushing defense, scoring defense, and total defense and is third in the nation in passing defense yards.

Alabama leads the SEC in "three-and-outs," meaning holding an opponent without a first down in three downs after the opponent takes possession of the football. The Tide has held opponents to three-and-outs 54 times out of 101 opportunities, 53.5 per cent. Against Tennessee, Alabama had 10 three-and-outs in 12 Vols possessions.

Alabama held Tennessee to six points Saturday night. Under Coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 30 times since the start of the 2007 season, including six times in eight 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.

Both Alabama and LSU have won all their games this year by double digit margins. Alabama has won its eight games this year by an average of 27.7 points, LSU by 27.8.

Alabama sophomore quarterback A.J. McCarron had the top passing performance in the SEC last weekend. McCarron completed 17 of 26 passes for 284 yards and a touchdown. He did suffer an interception, ending his streak at 152 consecutive passes without a pick, which is third best in Alabama history.

With Vanderbilt and Kentucky getting wins over non-conference opponents Saturday, every SEC team has won its last game against a non-conference foe. Alabama and Arkansas have 13-game winning streaks against non-conference opponents.

Alabama has allowed only two rushing touchdowns touchdowns all season, which is best in the SEC. Vanderbilt and LSU are second at five rushing TDs allowed.

LSU scored its third defensive touchdown of the season in its45-10 win over Auburn Saturday. The Fighting Tigers are tied with Vanderbilt for second to South Carolina for most defensive TDs in the SEC this season. The Gamecocks have four. Alabama has two.

SEC field goal kickers last weekend were a perfect 12-12, and five of those were in Alabama's win over Tennessee. The Vols hit both tries by Mike Palardy, while Jeremy Shelley kicked two and Cade Foster one for Bama.

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