Alabama/North Texas game notes

Alabama will play its first game of the 2002 season in the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday when hosting the University of North Texas Mean Green. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. (CDT).

The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis with David Crane and Chris Stewart handling the announcing duties.

The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny Stabler (color analyst) describing the action. Tom Roberts will once again work the sidelines for the network broadcasts.

Alabama is 1-1 on the young season following last week's 37-27 loss at Oklahoma. UNT is 1-1 after a 23-0 victory over Nicholls State.

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and need just four victories to join an elite college coaching group with 150 career wins. Currently, there are only six active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione is four wins shy of that mark with 146.

North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey has compiled a 14-32 (.304) record in five seasons in Denton. Dickey had two stops in the SEC, working at Mississippi State (1990) and LSU (1991-93) before taking the head job at UNT in 1998.

Tide Game Captains

Game captains for the North Texas game are Antonio Carter (wide receiver) on offense; Lane Bearden (punter) on special teams and Marc Miller (strong safety) and Kenny King (tackle) on defense.

Pay-Per-View

The Alabama-North Texas game is available on a pay-per-view basis. To order the game call your local cable operator. The game is also avialable on the Dish Network (Channel 457). For satellite dish owners, call 1-800-TV-STARS (residential c-band dish customer) or 1-888-TV-STARS (commercial c-band dish customer).

Tuscaloosa Night Games

The Alabama-North Texas game marks just the 17th night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 14-2 (.875) in Tuscaloosa night games, dating back to the first game under the lights on Oct. 8, 1948. The Crimson Tide dropped a 20-17 decision to UCLA, snapping an 11-game winning streak in Tuscaloosa night games. Next week's meeting with Southern Miss will also kickoff at 6 p.m.

Alabama will play the first of two consecutive night games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, when hosting the North Texas Mean Green this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. Next week (Sept. 21), Alabama will host Southern Miss in the second of back-to-back night games in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Prior to this year, Alabama has never played back-to-back night games in Tuscaloosa. The 2002 season marks the first time in school history the Crimson Tide has played two night games at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the same season.

Alabama/North Texas Ties

  • Alabama has five players on its roster from the state of Texas, including J.B. Closner (San Antonio/Clark HS), Grant Dickey (Tyler/Lee HS), Charlie Peprah (Plano/Plano East HS), Derrick Pope (Galveston/Garden City CC) and Shaud Williams (Andrews/Texas Tech).
  • The North Texas roster does not list any players from the state of Alabama.
  • Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 1-0 in his coaching career against North Texas. On Nov. 13, 1999, Coach Fran led TCU to a 27-3 win over the UNT in Fort Worth.
  • Coach Fran's first Division I coaching job was at Kansas State University (1978-80) under head coach Jim Dickey, Sr., who is the father of North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey.
  • Coach Fran was the receivers coach at K-State, while the younger Dickey played quarterback for his father.
  • Darrell Dickey has never faced Alabama as a collegiate head coach. However, Dickey was the tight ends coach at LSU (1991-93) and posted a 1-2 record against the Crimson Tide while in Baton Rouge.
  • While at LSU, Dickey coached two future NFL tight ends, including former Central (Tuscaloosa) High School standout Harold Bishop. In 1993, LSU beat Alabama 17-13 in Tuscaloosa to snap the Crimson Tide's 31-game unbeaten streak.
  • Alabama freshman offensive lineman Grant Dickey is the first cousin of North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey.
  • Former Alabama starting quarterback Freddie Kitchens (1993-97) is the running backs coach at North Texas. Kitchens threw for 4,448 yards and 30 TDs in his career at Alabama. The Attalla, Ala., native ranks among the top five passers in Bama history for attempts (3rd), yards (4th) and completions (5th).
  • Former Alabama quarterback Steve Sloan is the former Director of Athletics at North Texas.
  • Former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings (1990-96) served as a consultant to the North Texas Department of Athletics in their move to Division I athletics.
  • Former Alabama assistant basketball coach Johnny Jones is currently the head men's basketball coach at North Texas.
  • North Texas football alumni includes NFL Hall of Famer Mean Joe Green (Pittsburgh Steelers), Hayden Fry (former head coach and AD at UNT), Ray Renfro, Steve Ramsey and Beasley Reece.
  • Other famous North Texas alums are Don January (PGA), Joe Don Baker (actor), Pat Boone (singer), Don Henley (lead singer for the Eagles), Roy Orbison (singer), Larry McMurtry (author) and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (real name is Steve Williams), who also played football at UNT.

Alabama vs. Sun Belt Conference

Alabama has compiled an 11-0 (1.000) all-time record against the current Sun Belt Conference field. North Texas is the second Sun Belt Conference foe to play Alabama this season. The Crimson Tide opened the 2002 campaign with a 39-34 win over Middle Tennessee at Legion Field. In addition, Alabama is 8-0 against Southwestern Louisiana (now called Louisiana-Lafayette), 1-0 against Arkansas State (34-7, 1982) and North Texas (38-19, 1995).

North Texas vs. the SEC

The Mean Green are 4-26 (.133) all-time against SEC schools. The Alabama game marks the first meeting with an SEC foe since a 52-0 loss at LSU on Sept. 11, 1999. The UNT ledger includes a pair of forfeit wins over Miss. State in 1976 and 1977. The last time UNT posted an on-the-field win over an SEC team was a 21-14 win at Tennessee on Oct. 25, 1975. Hayden Fry was the head coach of the Mean Green as UNT upset the Vols in Knoxville. The only other win came against Florida (20-12) on Oct. 4, 1927.

Alabama vs. the Lone Star State

The Crimson Tide has compiled a 20-11-1 (.641) all-time record against teams from the state Texas. Excluding the Texas Longhorns, Alabama's record is 20-4 (.833) against Texas schools. The Crimson Tide has an 0-7-1 all-time record against UT. Alabama's last game with a team from the state of Texas was a 56-7 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2001 at Legion Field.

Nickname Trivia

The Alabama-North Texas game features two Division I football teams whose nickname does not end with the letter "s". There are 11 Division I playing football schools whose nickname does not end in the letter "s".

Alabama: Crimson Tide
Illinois: Fighting Illini
Marshall: Thundering Herd
Navy: Midshipmen
North Carolina State: Wolfpack
North Texas: Mean Green
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Stanford: Cardinal
Syracuse: Orangemen
Tulane: Green Wave
Tulsa: Golden Hurricane


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