Alabama player notes

Two Alabama players have a chance to surpass the 1,000-yard career rushing mark this Saturday night when Alabama hosts Southern Miss in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Junior A-back Shaud Williams and senior quarterback Tyler Watts are on the verge of joining 41 other Crimson Tide players, who have rushed for 1,000 or more yards in their career.

Watts, Williams Closing on 1,000 Career Rushing Yards

Williams has rushed 984 yards in his three-year career, including 884 yards while at Texas Tech (1999-2000). He enters the Southern Miss game just 16 yards shy of the 1,000-yard career rushing mark. In three games at Alabama, Williams has nine carries for 100 yards and one TD.

Watts is seventh on the all-time Alabama rushing list among quarterback with 942 career yards. In his four-year career, Watts has 213 rushing attempts for 924 yards and six TDs. He enters the Southern Miss game 76 yards shy of the 1,000-yard career mark.

Against North Texas, Watts ran 12 times for 64 yards to move up on the UA career rushing charts for quarterbacks. Watts has 213 career rushing attempts, tying Steve Sloan (1963-65) for 10th place on the all-time list for most rushes by a quarterback. In addition, Watts moved past Terry Davis (1970-72) into 7th place with 924 rushing yards. Davis is now 8th place with 865 career rushing yards.

Watts also needs 32 rushing yards against Southern Miss to move past Ed Salem (1947-50) into 6th place on the all-time rushing list for QBs. Salem accounted for 955 career rushing yards at Alabama.

Bearden Among Nation's Best Punters

Alabama senior punter Lane Bearden ranks third in the latest NCAA statistics 46.8 average. Through two games, Bearden has eight punts for 374 yards, including three inside the 20-yard line. The Pelham, Ala., native leads the SEC with a 46.8 average this season.

Bearden also handles UA kickoffs and has become a special teams weapon for the Crimson Tide, throwing a a two-point pass conversion against Middle Tennessee and adding a three-yard TD run off a fake field goal against Oklahoma.

Z for Kicks

Sophomore kicker Michael Ziifle leads the Southeastern Conference with 1.67 field goals made per game this season. He has made five of eight field goal attempts in his first three games this season.

In addition, Ziifle is tied for the league lead with the highest percentage of PAT conversions made this season. Through three games, the Newnan, Ga., native has made all 10 PAT attempts for Alabama.

Entering the Southern Miss game, Ziifle is the SEC's second-leading scorer among kickers this season. In three games, Ziifle is averaging 8.3 points per game second only to Arkansas' Brenden O'Donohoe, who averages 8.5 points per game. Overall, Ziffle ranks fifth in the SEC in scoring.

Ziifle kicked two 45-yard FGs at Oklahoma on Sept. 7, the second-longest field goal in the SEC this season.

Watts on Target

Senior quarterback Tyler Watts has completed 44 of 69 passes this season for 582 yards and two touchdowns through the Crimson Tide's first three games.

Watts' completion percentage is the second-highest among the SEC's starting quarterbacks. Tennessee's Casey Clausen has the SEC's highest completion percentage, hitting 46 of 62 passes (74.2) through UT's first two games.

Alabama Player Stats (vs. USM)

Here is a look at how the current Crimson Tide roster has fared against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
  • Galloway has averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his three-year career against a very solid Southern Miss defense. Last year was his best game against the Golden Eagles, rushing 24 times for 126 yards (5.25 yards per carry) and two TDs on a rain-soaked field. Prior to last year's game, Galloway had managed 17 carries for 49 yards in his previous two games against USM.
  • Johnson has recorded 23 tackles, including 10 combined tackles for losses (-56 yards), in his three career games against Southern Miss. Last year, Johnson had 11 stops, including three sacks (-28) and one TFL (-1) in the Tide's 28-15 win over USM. The 11 total tackles and three sacks in last year's win over USM are both career highs for Johnson. Two years ago (2000), Johnson added 10 tackles, including two sacks (-16) and three TFLs (-4) in a loss to the Golden Eagles.
  • In his three-game career, Johnson has 23 total tackles, six sacks (-51), four TFLs (-5), six quarterback pressures and one forced fumble.
  • Moorehead has also had a solid career against the Golden Eagles, posting 18 tackles and five quarterback pressures in his previous three games. The senior has also added 1.5 sacks (-16) and four TFLs (-13) in the series with USM.
  • Watts made his first career start against Southern Miss on Oct. 30, 1999. Watts subbed for the injured Andrew Zow, who sprained his ankle in the Tennessee game the week prior to the USM contest. Watts completed 11 of 20 passes for 128 yards and one TD in his first career start, leading Alabama to a 35-14 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

First-time Starters

In the first three games of the 2002 season, five Alabama players have started for the first time in the football careers at the Capstone. The list of first-time starters includes sophomore tight end David Cavan, redshirt freshman Freddie Roach, redshirt freshman defensive back Charlie Peprah, redshirt sophomore defensive back Carlos Andrews and junior wide receiver Dre Fulgham.

Cavan and Roach made their first career start against Middle Tennessse (Aug. 31), while Peprah started as a nickel back in the Oklahoma game (Sept. 7). Andrews and Fulgham made their first career starts in the win over North Texas.

  • Cavan added a 15-yard TD grab in his first starting assignment.
  • Roach had 10 tackles and scored on a 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter.
  • Peprah started as nickel back in the loss to Oklahoma and added four solo tackles.
  • Junior wide receiver Dre Fulgham made his first career start for Alabama at wide receiver against North Texas. The Crimson Tide opened the game in a three-wide set against the Mean Green. Senior Sam Collins and junior Traindos Luke were the other two receivers for UA.
  • Fulgham made the most of his first career start against North Texas and hauled in a career high three passes for 39 yards, including a long of 24 yards.
  • In addition, sophomore safety Carlos Andrews made his first career start on defense, subbing for senior Waine Bacon, who had started each of the last 14 games for the Crimson Tide. Andrews has appeared in 14 career games for Alabama, but has never started prior to tonight.
  • Andrews also made his first career start against the Mean Green and contributed a career high five tackles in the win.
  • Peprah made his second career start for Alabama against North Texas (subbing at RCB for Hirchel Bolden).
  • Junior defensive end Nautyn McKay-Loescher returned to the starting line up against UNT. Loescher did not start last week as UA opened the game with five defensive backs.

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