Alabama Football Keeps Streaks Alive

Early in the third quarter, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron unleased a pass for Amari Cooper. Mississippi State safety Darius Slay stepped in front of Cooper, reached up, and…had the ball bounce off his hands.



It was merely an incomplete pass in the scheme of Alabama's 38-7 win over Mississippi State, but it kept the incredible interception-free streak of Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron alive. McCarron has now thrown 270 consecutive passes without an interception, including 177 this season. Against the Bulldogs, McCarron completed 16 of 23 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns. He came into the game leading the Southeastern Conference in passing efficiency.

It seems that every time Alabama plays a football game and wins that several streaks continue.

For instance, Alabama defeated Mississippi State on Saturday after taking a 24-0 lead into halftime. With the victory, the Crimson Tide is 57-3 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama recorded its eighth straight game with 30 or more points which is the longest streak to start a season in school history. Prior to this season, Alabama had started three seasons with five games in a row (1920, 1979 and 2009) of scoring 30 or more points.

McCarron does more than just avoid the bad plays, i.e. interceptions. With two touchdown passes, McCarron now has 37 career TD passes, which ranks fourth in Alabama history behind John Parker Wilson (47 - 2005-08), Brodie Croyle (41 - 2002-05) and Greg McElroy (39 - 2007-10).

McCarron's 18 touchdown passes this season ranks tied for second on the Alabama single-season passing touchdowns list with John Parker Wilson, who also threw for 18 touchdowns in 2007. Greg McElroy holds the single-season passing touchdowns mark with 20, set in 2010. McCarron had 16 all last year in leading Bama to the national championship.

Alabama has helped its own cause over the last few seasons by not trailing while entering the locker room at the half. The Tide has either held a lead or been tied entering the intermission in 28 straight games. Over that span UA has outscored the opposition, 564-114 in the first half. The last time the Tide trailed at the half was at South Carolina on October 9, 2010, an eventual 35-21 loss.

With 24 points in The Opening half against Mississippi State, Alabama has scored 20 or more points in every first half this season.

With T.J. Yeldon's 11-yard run to start the scoring and a 57-yard pass by AJ McCarron to Kenny Bell in the first quarter, Alabama has scored in every first quarter this season, outscoring its opponents 104-3 in the opening quarter this season.

Alabama raised its current total of consecutive games in which it scored to 150 – the longest streak in program history.

Alabama rushed for 179 on Saturday against Mississippi State. Alabama is 45-0 since the start of the 2008 season when the Tide rushes for at least 150 yards.

The Alabama defense held Mississippi State to 256 total yards on Saturday night. Dating back to the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State, a span of 22 games, the Alabama defense has allowed just one opposing team to reach 300 total yards (Georgia Southern, 341). Teams have been held under 200 total yards 12 times, and less than 100 total yards twice. Rushing against the Tide has been even more difficult over that span as teams have been held to under 100 yards 18 times, under 50 yards 10 times and in negative yardage twice.

Alabama's defense held Mississippi State to seven points on Saturday night. Since Nick Saban took over as head coach, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 38 times since the start of the 2007 season.

Alabama held Mississippi State to 256 total yards In Saban's 75-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited opponents to less than 300 yards of total offense 50 times, or 66.7 percent of the time.

Twice against Mississippi State Alabama scored touchdowns on offense immediately after the defense forced a turnover. This season, Alabama has forced 23 turnovers and converted them into 17 touchdowns and two field goals for a total of 125 points.

Alabama senior safety Robert Lester picked off his 13th career pass which ranks eighth in Alabama history. The Mississippi State game marked the second consecutive game in which Lester intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Alabama has tallied 14 interceptions on the season and has picked off at least one pass in seven of the eight games in 2012. The Tide has picked off two or more passes in five of the eight games, including three in a row.

Captains for Alabama were quarterback AJ McCarron, tight end Michael Williams, and defensive end Quinton Dial.

Former offensive linemen Matt Hammond and Kareem McNeil served as honorary captains for Alabama.

In 97 games against Mississippi State, the Crimson Tide has an on-the-field record of 77 wins, 17 losses, and three ties. (NCAA sanctions have changed the official record to "only" 75-18-3.

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