General Tide football notes

Alabama will host Southern Miss Saturday (Sept. 21) in the second of back-to-back night games in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Last week the Tide hosted the North Texas Mean Green Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. 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.

Tuscaloosa Night Games

The Alabama-Southern Miss game will mark just the 18th night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 16-2 (.889) in Tuscaloosa night games, dating back to the first game under the lights on Oct. 8, 1948. The Crimson Tide defeated North Texas 33-7 last Saturday in the most recent night game.

Sell-out String Broken

Entering the 2002 season, Alabama had a streak of 56 consecutive sellouts at Bryant-Denny Stadium, since the stadium was expanded after the Nov. 15, 1986 game with Temple. That string was broken against North Texas when the Tide had a paid attendance of 79,818.

Tuscaloosa Openers

Alabama made its 2002 Bryant-Denny Stadium debut on Sept. 14 with a 33-7 win over the North Texas Mean Green. The Crimson Tide has compiled a 93-11-1 (.891) all-time record in Tuscaloosa openers, dating back to first opener in 1893. The Crimson Tide did not play games in Tuscaloosa in 1892, 1894 and 1987 (stadium expansion). UA also did not field a football team 1918 and 1943 as a result of World War I and World War II.

  • From 1896-1950, Alabama posted a 56-game unbeaten streak in Tuscaloosa openers, going 55-0-1 during that 56-year span.
  • From 1964-89, Alabama won 25 consecutive Tuscaloosa openers.
  • Since the 1991 season, Alabama is 9-3 (.750) in its Tuscaloosa debut.

Offfense Rolls

The Crimson Tide offense piled up 534 total yards in the win over the Mean Green, the third-highest total under coach Dennis Franchione. Alabama ran for 336 yards and added 198 passing yards in the win over North Texas.

The best effort under coach Fran was 588 total yards in a 56-7 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2001 at Legion Field. Alabama also had 549 total yards in a 31-7 win at Auburn last year.

  • The 336 rushing yards against North Texas is the second-highest rushing total by Alabama under Coach Fran. The most rushing yards by Alabama in the Franchione era was 360 rushing yards in the win over UTEP last year.
  • Alabama enters the Southern Miss game with the third-best rushing offense in the SEC, averaging 208.7 rushing yards per game this season. The Crimson Tide has 146 rushing attempts for 626 yards and eight TDs in its first three games this season. The 208.7 yard average ranks 23rd nationally.
  • Alabama has scored on its opening possession in each of its first three games this season. The Crimson scored a touchdown on its opening possession against Middle Tennessee and tallied a field goal on its opening drive against Oklahoma and North Texas.
  • In the season opener against Middle Tennessee, Santonio Beard's four-yard run capped a 10-play, 75-yard to open the 2002 season for the Crimson Tide. After recovering an on-side kick to open the game, Michael Ziifle's 45-yard field goal capped a seven-play, 25-yard drive as UA took a 3-0 lead over the Sooners. In the North Texas game, Ziifle's 24-yard field goal capped an 11-play, 79-yard drive to open the game.

Bama Defense Continuing Tough

The Alabama defense held the North Texas Mean Green to 141 total yards offense in the Crimson Tide's 33-7 win on Sept. 14, 2002 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. UNT managed only 50 rushing yards (37 attempts) and 91 passing yards (10-for-19) in the game.

  • After an opening drive that saw North Texas run 14 plays for 66 yards (4.7 yards per play) before missing a short field goal, the Bama stop troops limited the Mean Green to 43 plays and 75 yards (1.74 yards per play) the remainder of the game.
  • The last team to have less than 200 yards total offense against Alabama was Vanderbilt in a 20-0 loss in Nashville on Sept. 11, 1997. The Commodores managed just 124 total yards against the Crimson Tide, including 66 rushing yards (44 attempts) and 58 passing yards.
  • North Texas completed only 10 of 19 passes for 91 yards in a 33-7 loss at Alabama on Sept. 14, 2002. The 91 passing yards by the Mean Green is the fewest allowed by Alabama since holding Florida to 83 yards in the 1999 SEC Championship Game, the worst passing day of any Steve Spurrier-coached team.
  • In addition, the 10 completions by UNT are the fewest against Alabama since UTEP completed eight passes in a 56-7 loss at Legion Field on Oct. 6, 2001.
  • For the second week in a row, the Alabama defense held an opponent to less than 100 yards on the ground. In a 33-7 win over North Texas, the UA defense limited UNT to 50 rushing yards (37 attempts). On Sept. 7, 2002, Alabama held No. 2 ranked Oklahoma to minus 23 yards rushing (23 attempts).
  • Alabama's last two opponents (Oklahoma and North Texas) have rushed for 37 total yards (50 attempts), an average of 0.74 yards per rushing attempt. The North Texas game marks the sixth time in the Franchione era the Crimson Tide has held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing in a game. Alabama held South Carolina, LSU, Auburn and Southern Miss to under 100 rushing yards last year.
  • For the second consecutive week, Alabama's defense recorded at least five sacks as the Crimson Tide recorded five sacks (-28 yards) in its 33-7 win over the Mean Green. Against No. 2 Oklahoma (Sept. 7), Alabama recorded a season-high six sacks in holding the Sooners to minus 23 rushing yards in the game.
  • In its last two games, the Alabama defense has 11 total sacks (-51) against Oklahoma and North Texas. The Crimson Tide did not record a sack in its season opener with Middle Tennessee.
  • The Crimson Tide's six sacks against Oklahoma are the second-most in the SEC this season. Arkansas had seven sacks in a win over Boise State (Sept. 7).
  • Alabama has the SEC's third-best rushing defense, allowing only 70 yards per game this season. The Crimson Tide's rushing defense also ranks 10th nationally. Through three games, UA opponents have rushed 98 times for 210 yards and six TDs.

Bama ‘D' Tough vs. Top-5 Opponent

The Crimson Tide defense limited the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners to minus 23 rushing yards (23 attempts) on Sept. 7 in Norman. The last time Alabama held an opponent to minus rushing yards was Oct. 30, 1999 when UA limited Southern Miss to minus 13 yards on 25 rushing attempts.

OU tailback Quentin Griffin entered the game with an NCAA-leading 237-yard per game and was held to three yards (9 carries) by the Alabama stop troops.

The Crimson Tide also recorded six sacks in the OU game, with five different players registering one sack. The six sacks at OU are the third-most by Alabama in the last five years. The Crimson Tide had nine sacks against Vanderbilt (Sept. 12, 1998) and seven against Arkansas (Sept. 22) last year.

  • Alabama held Middle Tennessee to no rushing yards on five attempts in the first quarter of the 2002 season opener (Aug. 31) at Legion Field.
  • Oklahoma had only two rushing yards on eight carries in the first quarter against Alabama.
  • The Sooners had minus 11 rushing yards (seven attempts) in the second quarter of its win over Alabama.
  • The Crimson Tide defense held the Sooners to minus 18 yards total offense in the third quarter. OU ran six times for minus 26 yards and completed one pass for eight yards against the Tide defense. In sum, OU ran nine plays in the third quarter for minus 18 yards.
  • Prior to its game-winning TD drive, OU was held to minus five yards total offense on 15 plays in the second half by the Alabama defense.

Streak Busters

The Alabama offense has put an end to a pair of scoreless streaks in each of its last two games against Oklahoma and North Texas.

The No. 2 Sooners entered their Sept. 7 game with the Crimson Tide having not allowed a point in six consecutive quarters. The Sooners also entered the Alabama having not allowed a touchdown in its last eight quarters.

Alabama quickly put an end to OU's scoreless streak with a 45-yard field on the game's opening possession. The Sooners held the Crimson Tide without a touchdown in the first half to extend that streak to 10 quarters. Again, Alabama stopped that streak on its first possession of the third quarter as Ahmaad Galloway capped a 66-yard drive with a four-yard run to cut OU's lead to 23-10.

In the win over North Texas, redshirt sophomore Michael Ziifle's 24-yard field goal with 10:52 left in the first quarter was the first points scored against the Mean Green in a span of six quarters. The last time UNT allowed an opponent to score was the second quarter of the Texas game on Aug. 31 in Austin. The Longhorns won the game, 27-0.

Alabama broke the touchdown streak, too, as Galloway's two-yard touchdown run with 8:35 left in the second quarter was the first touchdown allowed by North Texas since the second quarter of its season opener against Texas.

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