Notes From Alabama’s Sugar Bowl Loss

Although Alabama’s loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl was not a happy result with the Buckeyes taking a 42-35 win and also moving on to the national championship game, it is inevitable that when the Crimson Tide plays in a bowl game it sets a record.

Alabama played its 63rd bowl game, which is the national record, and now has a 35-24-3 record. Even though there was nothing added in the win column, that, too, is a national record.

Here are notes from the bowl game:

Sadly, there had been the hope that Bama would add two bowl games in one year – the College Football Playoff Championship game in Dallas on Jan. 12, but Bama won’t be making that game. Ohio State earned the right to face Oregon, which defeated Florida State earlier Thursday.

It was Alabama’s 11th consecutive bowl game.

Alabama has now played in a record 15 Sugar Bowl games. It was the Tide’s third consecutive loss in the New Orleans bowl, although in between losses to Utah and Oklahoma Bama did win the national championship in the Louisiana Superdome with a 21-0 win over LSU at the end of the 2011 season.

Alabama had not previously lost to Ohio State. The Tide now has a 3-1 all-time record against the Buckeyes.

The 2014 Alabama offense entered the contest having run 948 total plays through 13 games. With the 70 offensive plays the 2014 offense moved into first place all-time for plays in a season with 1,018. The previous high was 962 offensive plays by the 2007 Tide offense.

With senior quarterback Blake Sims’ 15-yard connection to junior Amari Cooper for a score in the first half, the 2014 Crimson Tide recorded 31 passing touchdowns on the season to tie the all-time mark. Alabama added one more passing touchdown in the second half to boost its total to 32 for the season and move into first place all-time for scores through the air. The previous high was 31 by the 2012 team.

With Alabama’s five touchdowns for the game, the 2014 Crimson Tide collected 67 scores on the year and is now ranked second all-time for touchdowns in a season. The all-time mark is 68 set by the 2012 offense.

With the Crimson Tide’s 35 points, the 2014 team moved into second place all-time for the most points in a season with 517 total. The Alabama all-time record is 542 points set by the 2012 Crimson Tide.

With the 25-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry on the Crimson Tide’s third drive of the first quarter, Alabama has scored in the first half in 103 straight games, the longest active streak in the nation.

That touchdown by Henry also extends Alabama’s school record of having scored in 183 consecutive games.

Entering the Sugar Bowl contest, sophomore running back Derrick Henry had recorded 302 yards rushing on 28 attempts with one reception for 61 yards. The tailback also recorded four touchdowns in his two postseason contests including the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl and the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championship. In this evening’s contest, Henry added 95 yards on 13 attempts and rushed for one touchdown while adding two catches for 54 yards. In three postseason games during his time in Tuscaloosa, Henry has amassed 256 yards rushing on 41 attempts with five touchdowns while also adding three catches for 115 yards.

Alabama junior wideout Amari Cooper entered the game against Ohio State tied for fifth in SEC history for touchdown catches in a season with 14 touchdowns during the 2014 season. His two receiving touchdowns this evening moved him up into sole possession of third place on the SEC single-season list for touchdown catches with 16.

Cooper had amassed 1,679 all-purpose yards this season and 3,443 total for his career. With his 71 yards of total offense Thursday, he sits at 1,750 this season and 3,514 total for his career. The 1,750 yards this season ranks him seventh all-time in Alabama annals. His 3,514 yards puts him 10th in Tide history.

The Alabama special teams unit entered the game having recorded 41 kick returns through 13 games this season. With seven returns, the 2014 unit moved into a tie for first all-time with the 2007 squad at 48 kick returns on the season. Alabama special teams had recorded 904 total kickoff return yards through 13 games this season. With 102 yards, the 2014 special teams unit moved up to second all-time for return yards in a season with 1,006. The all-time record is 1,014 yards by the 2007 Tide squad.

Freshman punter JK Scott finished with 385 yards on seven punts to finish with a 55.0 yards per punt average. The 55.0 yards per punt average is the highest total in a bowl game by an Alabama punter. The previous high was 49.2 (4 for 197) by Cody Mandell in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame. His 385 total yards are fourth all-time in Alabama bowl game history.

Senior kick returner Christion Jones fielded seven kickoffs to tie Sherman Williams in the 1995 Citrus Bowl against Ohio State for the most returns by an Alabama player in a bowl contest.

Officials for the game were from the Pac-12 conference.

Next year’s CFB semifinal games will be in the Orange and Cotton Bowls and the national championship game will be in Phoenix.

Attendance was 74,682.

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