Statistical Look

Statistics are for losers, goes the adage. Maybe so, and maybe not. Some statistics have more meaning than others. At the "break" point for Alabama, the open week following five consecutive victories, the Crimson Tide ranks high in most Southeastern Conference and national statistical categories.

Alabama being 5-0 overall and 3-0 in SEC games is the most important statistic, but just about every possible statistic is maintained as a part of sports.

Second in importance to record is scoring and scoring defense. Alabama is averaging 29.6 points per game, which is fourth in the SEC and 44th in the nation. The Tide is allowing 11.6 points per game, which is third in the conference and eighth nationally.

Bama is fourth in the league in rushing, 172 yards per game, which is 40th in the nation; fifth in the conference and 56th nationally in passing offense at 230.4 yards per game (and best in the league with 10 TD passes); and fifth in the SEC, 46th in the country in total offense at 402.4 yards per game.

Defensively, the Crimson Tide is fifth in the SEC and 24th in the nation against the rush, allowing 98 yards per game (and an SEC best two rushing TDs); second in the league and 11th nationally in pass defense, allowing 153.2 yards per game; and first in the SEC and sixth nationally in total defense, allowing 251.2 yards per game.

In pass efficiency, Alabama is second in the SEC and 13th in the nation. In pass efficiency defense, Bama is first in the league and ninth in the nation.

Coaches agree that third down performance is one of the keys to victory. Alabama ranks fourth in the SEC in third down conversions, having been successful on 29 of 70 opportunities, 41.4 per cent. Bama is first in the league in defense on third down, holding opponents to 17 conversions on 68 attempts, 25 per cent.

Turnover margin is another critical statistic, according to coaches. Alabama ranks third in the SEC and 35th in the nation at plus three. Bama has three fumble recoveries and five interceptions, has surrendered three fumbles and two interceptions.

Alabama is tied with Florida in first downs at 100, with Bama's including 49 rushing, 43 passing, and eight by penalty. The Tide is fourth in first downs allowed at 64 with 26 rushing, 33 passing, and five by penalty.

Alabama is first in the league in sacks with 17 for 109 yards and seventh in allowing sacks, having given up 10 for 54 yards.

Alabama leads the SEC in time of possession, averaging 33:45 on offense each game.

Bama is the SEC's fifth least penalized team, 32 for 265 yards, 53 yards per game. Bama opponents are the most penalized, 39 for 329 yards, 65.8 yards per game.

In SEC history, it is likely the two teams that have been most conscious of the importance of the kicking game are Alabama and Tennessee. So it is a bit of surprise to see tied for last in the SEC and 103 out of 117 Division I teams in the nation the Crimson Tide and the Volunteers. Both are averaging 30 net yards per punt. Bama averages 37.5 yards per punt and gives up 5.6 yards per return and has suffered two touchbacks.

Individually, Kenneth Darby is leading the SEC and is 22nd in the nation in rushing at 102.6 yards per game.

Brodie Croyle is sixth in the SEC and 59th in the nation in passing yardage per game at 222.2 yards per game, but second in the league and 16th nationally in passing efficiency.

Tyrone Prothro, whose season is over, is fourth in the SEC and 66th in the nation in receiving yards per game at 65. Prothro was third in the SEC and 33rd in the nation in all-purpose yards at 138.2 per game (totals of 325 receiving, 92 rushing, 81 punt return, and 193 kickoff return).

Jeremy Schatz is second in the SEC and 35th in the nation in punting at 41.9 yards per boot.


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