Last year, Alabama beat Vanderbilt 12-9 on Sept. 8 to give Coach Fran his first career win as UA's head coach.
- Alabama is 44-21-2 (671) all-time in SEC openers.
- The Crimson Tide enters the 2002 season riding a 10-game winning streak in SEC openers. All 10 wins have come against Vanderbilt.
- The 10-game winning streak in SEC openers is the longest streak Alabama history. The previous best was a seven-game winning streak from 1969-75 and 1977-83.
- The last time Alabama opened its SEC slate with someone other than Vanderbilt was 1991 when UA opened its league schedule at Florida.
- Alabama's last loss in an SEC opener was a 35-0 loss at Florida on Sept. 14, 1991 in Gainesville.
- Alabama does not open SEC play until the fifth game of the 2002 season, the latest opening date in school history. The previous was the fourth game of the 1984 season.
- By playing its SEC opener on Sept. 28, Alabama is opening its conference season on the latest calendar date since beginning league play on Sept. 29, 1984, when UA suffered a 30-21 loss to Vanderbilt on Homecoming at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
September recordAlabama has compiled a 147-33-5 (.808) in 185 all-time games in the month of September.
- Alabama is 2-1 (.667) this season in the month of September after posting a 2-2 (.500) last year in four September games.
- In the Crimson Tide's first-ever game in the month of September, Alabama posted a 24-0 win over Howard on Sept. 30, 1911.
- Alabama posted a 30-0-2 (.968) record in its first 32 September games before finally losing at Tulane (21-20) on Sept. 27, 1945.
- The school's longest winning streak in the month of September is 19 games from Sept. 30, 1911 through Sept. 29, 1934. The Crimson Tide also posted an 18-game winning streak (Sept. 19, 1970-Sept. 28, 1974) and a 16-game winning streak (Sept. 21, 1991 through Sept. 9, 1995) in the month.
- Dating back to 1997, Alabama is 12-8 (.600) in its last 20 games in the month of September.
On this dateAlabama has compiled a 9-1-1 (.864) all-time record in games played on Sept. 28. The Crimson Tide's last game on Sept. 28 was a 48-17 win at Vanderbilt during the 1991 season. Alabama also played its first-ever game in Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 28, 1929, posting a 55-0 win over Mississippi College.
Road recordAlabama had compiled a 218-112-12 (.655) all-time record in 342 road games. Under Coach Fran, Alabama is 2-3 (.400) in road games, winning at Vanderbilt and Auburn last year. The Crimson Tide is 0-1 the road this season, dropping a 37-27 decision at No. 2 Oklahoma on Sept. 7. The above record does not include neutral site games, bowl games or the Alabama-Auburn game played at Legion Field from 1948-88.
- Historically Alabama has been a strong road team. From 1970-75, Alabama won a school record 21 consecutive road games. From 1970-82, Alabama was 35-6 (.854) in road games.
- Since 1982, Alabama is 54-27-1 (.664) on the road.
- Coach Fran is the only coach in the history of Alabama football to record his first career win on the road. Coach Fran's first win at Alabama was a 12-9 win at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8, 2001.
Road warriorsIn addition to seven home games this season, the Crimson Tide will also play six road games in 2002, matching the school record for most road games. Alabama played six road games in 1946. The Crimson Tide posted a 2-4 (.333) away from home in 1946, including losses at Tennessee (12-0), Georgia (14-0), LSU (31-21) and Boston College (13-7). Alabama's Nov. 23 trip to Boston marked the first time the Crimson Tide football team traveled by plane. The game was also contested at historic Braves Field.
- The 2002 season marks the first time since 1941 that Alabama will play at Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the same season. The Crimson Tide plays at Knoxville on Oct. 26 and at Nashville on Nov. 2.
- The 2002 season also marks the first time since 1991 that Alabama will not play at least one game in the state of Mississippi.
- Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Hawaii were a combined 26-8 (.765) at home last year.
- Oklahoma entered the 2002 season with a 17-1 (.944) record at home under Bob Stoops. The Sooners' 17-game winning streak was snapped with a 16-13 loss to rival Oklahoma State on Nov. 24, 2001.
- Alabama has never beaten Arkansas in Fayetteville, losing all three meetings (1996, 1998 and 2000).
- Alabama also has a three-game losing streak at Tennessee and has not beaten the Vols in Knoxville since 1994.
- The Crimson Tide lost at LSU in 2000, snapping a 15-game unbeaten streak against the Tigers in Baton Rouge. Prior to the 2000 season, Alabama had not lost in Tiger Stadium since 1969.
Offense rollsIn its last two games, Alabama has rushed for 687 yards (122 attempts), accounting for more than 70 percent of its rushing yards (977 yards) this season. The Crimson Tide has rushed for more than 350 yards in wins over North Texas (Sept. 14) and Southern Miss (Sept. 21). Last week against Southern Miss, Alabama ran for a season-high 351 yards in a 20-7 win over USM. Against North Texas, Alabama ran for 336 yards en route to a 33-7 win.
- The 351 rushing yards against Southern Miss is the second-highest rushing total by Alabama under Coach Fran. The most rushing yards by Alabama in the Franchione era was 360 yards in the win over UTEP last year. Against North Texas, the Tide had 336 yards rushing.
- The Crimson Tide averaged 5.79 yards per carry in its win over North Texas.
- Against Southern Miss, Alabama averaged of 5.48 yards per rushing attempt.
- Alabama enters the Arkansas game with the second-best rushing offense in the SEC, averaging 244.2 rushing yards per game this season.
- The 244.2 yard average ranks 9th nationally.
- In the win over North Texas, Alabama racked up 534 yards of total offense (336 rushing, 198 passing), the third-highest total under coach Dennis Franchione.
- 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.
- Alabama has scored on its opening possession in each of its first four games this season. The Crimson scored touchdowns on its opening possession against Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss 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. Against Southern Miss, Ahmaad Galloway scored on a six-yard scamper to cap an 11-play, 89-yard drive. 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.
Improvement on both sides of the ballIt is not easy to make marked offensive improvements, but the Tide offense is currently averaging just over 10 yards per game improvement compared to last year. After four games, the Alabama offense is averaging 406.0 yards compared to 395.0 yards this time last year. On defense, the Crimson Tide has made its greatest improvement, allowing 102 fewer yards per game than this time last year. Through four games, the Crimson Tide defense has allowed 238.5 yards per game compared to 340.2 yards per game last year.
- Alabama has scored 12 touchdowns in its first four games this season, compared to 8 TDs this time last year.
- In addition, Alabama has 10 rushing TDs after four games of the 2002 season, compared to 4 rushing TD this time last year.
- Alabama's scoring is up almost six points per game from this time last. Through four games, Alabama is averaging 29.8 points per game, compared to 24.0 points per game last year.
- The Crimson Tide offense has been more efficient on third and fourth down this season, converting 38 percent of its third down opportunities (24-for-64) and 62 percent of its fourth-down conversions (5-for-8). Last year, Alabama converted only 35 percent of its third-down conversions (19-for-55) through the first four games and did not have a successful fourth-down (0-for-2) conversion.
Sack attackAlabama leads the SEC with 15 quarterback sacks in its first four games. All 15 of the Crimson Tide's sacks have come in the last three games against Oklahoma (6), North Texas (5) and Southern Miss (4). UA did not have a sack in the season opener with Middle Tennessee. On the offensive side of the ball, Alabama is among the fewest sacked teams in the SEC, allowing only six sacks (-32) after four games. This time last year, Alabama's defense had managed only 10 sacks in four games, while the UA quarterback had been sacked seven times.
Bama ‘D' tough against the runThe Alabama defense held its third straight opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. In those three games, the Crimson Tide has allowed only 72 total rushing yards against Oklahoma (-23 yards), North Texas (50 yards) and Southern Miss (35 yards).
The Southern Miss game marks the seventh time under coach Dennis Franchione that the Crimson Tide defense has held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. UA held four opponents under 100 yards last season and the last three opponents this season.
More defenseAlabama boasts the nation's fifth-best rushing defense, allowing only 61.2 yards per game. In terms of total defense, the Crimson Tide ranks sixth, allowing 238.5 yards per game. The UA defense has improved in each of its last three games and really posted some impressive numbers against North Texas and Southern Miss.
- Alabama has allowed only 62 rushing yards in its last three games, an average of 20.67 yards per game.
- In its last two games, the Crimson Tide has allowed only 201 total passing yards, an average of 100.5 yards per game.
- Alabama has allowed only 245 rushing yards in its four games this season, an average of 61.2 rushing yards per game.
- In the last 10 quarters, the UA defense has allowed only 361 total yards offense, an average of just over 36 yards per quarter.
- Alabama has held three high-profile running backs to minimum rushing yards this season. The list includes Dwone Hicks (MTSU), Quentin Griffin (Oklahoma) and Derrick Nix (Southern Miss).
- In the season opener, Alabama held MTSU's Heisman Trophy candidate to 11 carries for 42 yards in the Crimson Tide's 39-34 win. In 2001, Hicks averaged better than 100 yards rushing per game and ranked 25th among NCAA rushers.
- In his previous six career SEC games, Hicks averaged 96.5 rushing yards per game. Alabama held him to less than half that total.
- Oklahoma's Doak Walker Award candidate Quentin Griffin racked up 237 rushing yards in the Sooners 37-0 win over Tulsa in the 2002 season opener. Griffin entered the Alabama game as the nation's leading rusher, but was limited to just nine rushing attempts and three yards against Alabama.
- USM All-America candidate Derrick Nix was limited to 101 yards below his season average of 158 rushing yards in the loss to Alabama. Nix, who entered the game as the No. 2 rusher in the nation (No.1 among Conference USA rushers), managed only managed only 57 yards on 14 rushing attempts against the Crimson Tide.
- In the last two games, the Alabama defense has allowed only seven points, an average of 3.5 points per game.
- UA opponents have scored 14 total points in those two games. The 14 points are the fewest points allowed in back-to-back games by Alabama since holding Arkansas (Sept. 21) and and Kentucky (Oct. 5) to seven points each in 1996.
- The Alabama defense did not allow a point against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles lone score came on a 54-yard interception return by Michael Boley, cutting UA's lead to 14-7 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. Against North Texas, the defense allowed only one touchdown after an Alabama fumble at its own six-yard line. UNT scored three plays later.
- Southern Miss was held to more than 200 yards below its season average against Alabama. UA held USM to 35 rushing yards on 26 attempts. The Golden Eagles entered the game with 237.1 rushing yards per game, second-best in Conference USA.
- Alabama's defense forced seven fumbles in the game against Southern Miss. Senior defensive tackle Kenny King forced two fumbles, sophomore defensive end Antwan Odom and redshirt freshman cornerback Charlie Peprah added one each. UA forced four of those fumbles in the first quarter. Of the seven forced fumbles, Alabama recovered four.
- The Crimson Tide forced five turnovers in the game, including three in the second half. BYU was the last Alabama opponent to fumble five or more times in a game, losing two fumbles in the Crimson Tide's 38-31 win in the 1998 season opener here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
- In addition, the five turnovers are the most by the Alabama defense since forcing five turnovers against Vanderbilt on Sept. 14, 1996. In that game, the UA defense recorded three interceptions and recovered two fumbles.
- Alabama held Southern Miss to minus 15 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.
- North Texas is the first team to have less than 200 yards total offense against Alabama since limiting Vanderbilt to 124 yards total offense on Sept. 11, 1997 in Nashville. Vandy managed 66 yards rushing and 58 passing yards in the 20-0 loss to Alabama.
- North Texas completed only 10 of 19 passes for 91 yards against Alabama. The 10 completions are the fewest by an Alabama opponent since UTEP completed 8 passes in a 56-7 loss to Alabama last year (Oct. 6) at Legion Field. The 91 passing yards are the fewest against Alabama since Florida threw for 83 yards in the 1999 SEC Championship game in Atlanta. The 83 passing yards were the fewest ever by a Steve Spurrier-coached team.
- After an opening drive that saw North Texas run 14 plays for 66 yards (4.7 yards per play) before Antwan Odom blocked a field goal attempt, 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 Crimson Tide defense held Oklahoma to minus 37 rushing yards combined in the second and third quarter on Sept. 7. The Sooners ran seven times for minus 11 yards in the second quarter and six rushing attempts for minus 26 yards in the third quarter.
- In the third quarter alone, Alabama limited Oklahoma to minus 18 yards total offense on nine total plays, an average -0.5 yards per play.
- The six sacks against Oklahoma are the second-most by an SEC team this season. Arkansas recorded seven sacks in its win over Boise State on Sept. 7.
- In the second and third quarter against North Texas, the Crimson Tide held the Mean Green to 15 rushing yards on 22 attempts, an average of 0.68 yards per carry.
- Alabama held Oklahoma and North Texas to minus 15 yards rushing in the second half.
- Alabama held Oklahoma to minus 14 yards rushing (8 attempts) in the second half at Norman on Sept. 7.
- Alabama held North Texas to minus one yard rushing (16 attempts) in the second half of its 33-7 win at Bryant Denny Stadium.
- In the fourth quarter, North Texas had just five yards total offense on nine snaps against the UA defense.
- Alabama held Middle Tennessee to zero rushing yards (5 attempts) in the first quarter as the Crimson Tide built an impressive 22-0 lead.