Scoring Efficiency

It¹s good to be able to run the football. Having a high pass efficiency rating is a positive. But the bottom line is that an offense is judged by the points it scores. For a 10-2 football team, lAabama¹s 2005 football team was something less than a scoring jaugernaut.

Alabama was one of the nation¹s top teams in terms of the offense keeping the football. The Crimson Tide had time of possession of 32:55 per game, first in the Southeastern Conference and nearly six minutes per game more than its opponents. The Tide was third in the SEC and 22nd in the nation in turnover margin, getting the ball eight more times total (20-12) on fumble recoveries and interceptions than Bama lost the ball.

That time of possession figure came with Alabama managing to finish only seventh in the SEC in total offense, averaging 358.9 yards per game and 5.3 yards per play.

Bama was sixth in the SEC in rushing offense with 142.5 yards per game and sixth in the league in passing offense with 216.4 yards per game.

And Alabama was only eighth in the SEC in scoring, averaging 21.9 points per game. That was 85th in the nation.

A frequently cited statistic is Red Zone scoring, the number of times an offense is successful in scoring from the opponents¹ 20-yard line and closer. Alabama was eighth in the SEC in that category, scoring 32 of 42 times for 76.2 per cent. Bama scored 18 touchdowns (nine rushing and nine passing) and kicked 14 field goals in 18 attempts. One Tide drive in the Red Zone was killed by a fumble and another by a pass interceptions, and four times Alabama lost the ball on downs.

By comparison, LSU scored 42 of 45 times the Bengal Tigers were in the Red Zone. Moreover, 69 per cent of the time LSU got a touchdown. Bama¹s 18 touchdowns in 42 Red Zone appearances was only 43 per cent.

Of Alabama¹s 149 drives, the Tide scored touchdowns on 28 of them, tried field goals 27 times (making 17, punted 67 times, lost the ball on downs eight times, allowed the clock to run out eight times, and suffered 11 turnovers.

The offense scored 249 of the Tide¹s 263 points.

Alabama averaged 1.67 points per drive. By comparison, Auburn averaged 2.61 points per drive on the Tigers¹ 140 drives.

Alabama got points 30.2 per cent of the time when it had the football and scored touchdowns 18.8 per cent of the time. Bama ranked eighth in the SEC in getting points and only ninth in getting touchdowns.

One problem Alabama had was its average starting field position being only the Bama 29-yard line. The Crimson Tide was around the middle of the SEC pack in averaging 5.46 plays and 28.91 yards per drive.

Alabama¹s 30 touchdowns (eighth in the SEC and 20 fewer than league-leader Auburn) included one scored by special teams and one scored by the defense. The offense scored 28 touchdowns (eighth in the league), 12 rushing (ninth in the SEC) and 16 passing (seventh in the conference).

[Mississippi State was the only SEC team to have no touchdowns by its special teams or defense. All 19 touchdowns scored by the Bulldogs were scored by the State offense. Ironically, Alabama had two touchdowns not scored by the offense, and both came against Mississippi State. Jimmy Johns caused a fumble on kickoff coverage that was recovered by Matt Miller and run in for a touchdown. And defensive tackle Rudy Griffin intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in Bama¹s 17-0 win.]

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