Alabama/Georgia game notes

Following the first road victory of the season, a 30-12 win over Arkansas, Alabama returns home Saturday to face nationally-ranked Georgia in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. in the CBS nationally-televised game.

Alabama appeared in the AP rankings for the first time his season at No. 22. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll and No. 7 in the AP writers' poll. This is the Tide's first national ranking since Sept. 1 of last year prior to the UCLA game.

Alabama is 4-1 overall and 1-0 in SEC West play. The Georgia Bulldogs, following a 41-10 win over New Mexico State, is 4-0 overall and 1-0 in SEC East action.

Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color) and Jill Arrington (sidelines) will describe the action to a national audience. 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.

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and needs just one victory 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 one win shy of that mark with 149. In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl. He is 11-6 (.647) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 149-71-2 (.676) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

Mark Richt is in his second season at Georgia and has compiled a 12-4 head coaching record. Richt went 8-4 last season, including a 20-16 loss to Boston College in the Music City Bowl.

The Alabama/Georgia Series

Alabama leads the series with Georgia, 35-22-4, but this will mark only the eighth game played in Tuscaloosa. The Tide is undefeated against the Bulldogs in Bryant-Denny Stadium, including a 29-28 thriller in 1994, the next-to-last meeting between these two teams.

Bama Game Captains

Game captains for the Georgia game are Justin Smiley (guard) on offense and Cornelius Wortham (linebacker), Brooks Daniels (linebacker) and Gerald Dixon (cornerback) on defense.

Crimson Tide Legends

The famous bookends from Alabama's 1992 National Championship team will be on hand this weekend at the CTSM Legends Tent signing autographs prior to the Alabama-Georgia football game. All-Americans Eric Curry and John Copeland, both first-round draft picks off on the school's most dominating defensive units, will return to campus this weekend as part of the Legends Series. The duo help Alabama to a 13-0 record and its 12th national championship in the school's 100th year of football. In addition, Alabama led the nation in rushing defense (55.0 ypg) and total defense (194.2 ypg) in 1992.

Both Teams Ranked for only 4th Time in Series History

Both Alabama and Georgia enter Saturday's game ranked in the latest Associated Press poll. Georgia is 7th in the latest rankings, while Alabama moved into the Top 25 for the first time this season with a No. 22 ranking.
  • Georgia is ranked entering the Alabama game for the first time since 1991.
  • Alabama is ranked for the third straight meeting with the Bulldogs.
  • Georgia enters this weekend's game with its highest ranking against Alabama since the 1976 season. On Oct. 2, No. 6 Georgia shutout No. 10 Alabama, 21-0, en route to the SEC Championship.
  • Alabama is ranked for the 15th time in history when playing the Georgia Bulldogs. The Crimson Tide has compiled a 10-4 (.714) record in its previous 14 games when ranked playing the Bulldogs.
  • Georgia is ranked for the ninth time when playing Alabama. The Bulldogs are 6-2 (.750) against Alabama when ranked in the Top 25.
  • This year's Alabama-Georgia game marks only the fourth time in history that both teams were ranked.
1942 -- No. 2 Georgia 21, No. 3 Alabama 10
1946 -- No. 6 Georgia 14, No. 15 Alabama 0
1976 -- No. 6 Georgia 21, No. 10 Alabama 0
2002 -- No. 7 Georgia (4-0), No. 22 Alabama (4-1)

Alabama/Georgia Notebook

Alabama leads the all-time series, 35-22-4. The first meeting between these two Southern football powers came in 1895, with Georgia posting a 30-6 win in Columbus, Ga. Alabama did not post its first series win until 1904, posting a 16-5 win in Tuscaloosa.
  • Alabama and Georgia are meeting for the first time since 1995. This is the first meeting in Tuscaloosa since Alabama's thrilling, last minute 29-28 win in 1994.
  • Alabama has won the last three meetings and six of the last eight, dating back to 1977, including a pair of shutouts.
  • Alabama won 10-0 in 1991 at Bryant-Denny Stadium and added a 31-0 win in Athens in 1995.
  • Dating back t0 1977, Alabama has won six of the last eight meetings with Georgia.
  • Alabama and Georgia have met only 11 times in the last 30 years.
  • Alabama's longest winning streak over Georgia is six games from 1960-73.
  • Georgia's longest winning streak over Alabama is five games from 1910-16.
  • The Alabama roster lists eight players from the state of Georgia, including quick tackle Lannis Baxley (Waynesboro), strong safety Chris James (Albany), free safety Charles Jones (Waynesboro), snapper Nick Ridings (Marietta), defensive tackle Derrick Sanders (Sandersville), quick guard Justin Smiley (Ellabell), defensive end Leslie Williams (Stone Mountain) and kicker Michael Ziifle (Newnan).
  • Georgia does not have any players from the state of Alabama.

Memorable Alabama/Georgia Games

*Alabama 21, Georgia 6
(Sept. 17, 1960) -- Legion Field
Alabama defeated Georgia in the first-ever televised college football game by ABC Sports. The win was the first of 11 in a row by Alabama, who captured its first of six national championships under legendary coach Paul Bryant.

*Alabama 35, Georgia 0
(Sept.; 22, 1962) -- Legion Field
Alabama sophomore quarterback Joe Namath makes his Crimson Tide debut, leading Alabama to 35-0 win over Georgia. After two running plays to open the game, Namath dropped back and hit Richard Williamson with 51-yard TD pass on his first collegiate attempt for the Crimson Tide. The Namath era of Alabama football was underway.

*Alabama 31, Georgia 3
(Sept. 19, 1964) -- Denny Stadium
Namath completed 16 of 21 passes for 167 yards and added 55 more yards rushing to lead Alabama to an easy win over Georgia. Namath accounted for three TDs in the Bama win, earning him Associated Press Back of the Week honors. Namath's 222 yards of total offense was 57 more yards than the entire Georgia offense (165 yards). The game also marked the head coaching debut of legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley.

*Georgia 18, Alabama 17
(Sept. 18, 1965) -- Athens, Ga.
Georgia upset the defending national champions in the 1962 opener 18-17. A controversial lateral play provided the Bulldogs with winning points in the final quarter. TV replays showed that the Georgia players knee was down and the lateral should not have counted.

*Georgia 21, Alabama 0
(Oct. 2, 1976) -- Athens, Ga.
The famed Junkyard Dogs pitched a shutout over the No. 10 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Sixth-ranked Georgia got a solid game from QB Ray Goff, who led the Bulldogs to the shutout win en route to the SEC Championship.

*Alabama 20, Georgia 16
(Sept. 2, 1985) -- Athens, Ga.
After a blocked punt that led to a Georgia touchdown, Alabama rallied in the final 50 seconds of the game to beat the Bulldogs 20-16 on Labor Day night in Athens. Mike Shula's 21-yard pass to Al Bell with 16 seconds to play provided the Crimson Tide the game winning points.

*Alabama 29, Georgia 28
(Oct. 1, 1994) -- Bryant-Denny Stadium
In the most electrifying night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama rallied from an nine-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Georgia Bulldogs, 29-28. Michael Proctor's 32-yard field goal with just over one minute remaining in the game, provided the Crimson Tide with the winning margin. The shootout featured Alabama quarterback Jay Barker and Georgia signal-caller Eric Zeier. Barker led the Crimson Tide to victory, completing 26 of 34 passes for a career-high 396 yards and two TDs.

*Alabama 31, Georgia 0
(Oct. , 1995) -- Athens
In a defensive tussle, Alabama's pitched a 31-0 shutout against Georgia, holding the homestanding Bulldogs to 213 total yards. Alabama managed only 227 yards offense, but scored three defensive touchdowns to post its first-ever shutout over Georgia in Athens. The Crimson Tide defense limited the Bulldogs to just 71 passing yards (10-for-22) and forced six turnovers, converting two into touchdowns.

Clash of the Titans

From 1971-82, Alabama and Georgia won every Southeastern Conference championship, totaling 12 SEC titles. The two teams were co-champions in 1981.
  • Alabama won SEC titles in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1981.
  • Georgia won SEC titles in 1976, 1980, 1981 and 1982.
  • Since 1982, Alabama and Georgia have won only three SEC Championships, with all three titles belonging to Alabama (1989, 1992 and 1999).

By the Numbers

A historical look at Alabama and Georgia football.
Category        Alabama  Georgia

National Titles    12       5
SEC Titles         21      10
SEC Ranking       1st     3rd
All-Time Wins     749     653
NCAA Ranking      5th    11th
SEC Wins          319     246
Winning Pct.     .717    .633
NCAA Ranking      3rd    14th
Bowl Games         51      37
Bowl Wins          29      19

Statistical Comparison

Here is a statistical comparison of Alabama and Georgia entering Saturday's SEC clash at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The current SEC rankings are in parentheses.
Category             Alabama       Georgia

Scoring Offense     29.8 (8th)    32.5 (5th)
Rushing Offense    248.8 (1st)  112.0 (11th)
Passing Offense    186.4 (8th)   221.8 (5th)
Total Offense      435.2 (2nd)  333.8 (12th)
Time Of Poss.      34:41 (1st)  24:55 (12th)
Red Zone Offense   69.6 (11th)    72.2 (8th)
Scoring Defense     19.4 (6th)    13.0 (1st)
Rushing Defense     83.4 (1st)    90.5 (3rd)
Passing Defense    167.2 (5th)   195.8 (7th)
Total Defense      250.6 (2nd)   286.2 (4th)
Red Zone Defense   68.8 (T3rd)    50.0 (1st)
TO Margin             +1 (6th)      0 (T7th)

*Georgia is the best punt return team in the SEC, averaging 18.9 yards per return in four games this season. The Bulldogs also lead the SEC with two punt return TDs this season.

Father Time

This week's game features a pair of SEC teams at opposite ends of the spectrum concerning time of possession. Alabama leads the SEC in possession time, averaging 34:41 minutes and game, while Georgia is 12th in SEC stats, averaging just 24:55 minutes a game. Last week against Arkansas, the Tide held the ball 33:46 while allowing the Razorbacks just 26:14 time of possession. Against Southern Miss, Alabama held the ball for 39:11 compared to only 20:49 for Southern Miss.
  • Alabama has won the time of possession battle in four of its first five games this season. Only Middle Tennessee had more time of possession than Alabama, holding a slight four second edge in possession time.
  • Alabama's average time of possession is 34:41 through its first five games of the 2002 season.
  • Alabama opponents are averaging only 25:19 time of possession in five games.
  • Alabama's largest advantage of the season was an 18:22 time of possession advantage in a 20-7 win over Southern Miss.

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