Tide team notes

Alabama has outscored the opposition 49-9 in the first quarter this season. The Crimson Tide piled up 218 yards en route to a 14-0 lead at Arkansas last weekend. In the season opener, Alabama managed 198 total yards and built a 22-0 lead against Middle Tennessee.

Alabama has shutout four of its five opponents in the first quarter this year. Oklahoma is the only team to score in the first quarter against Alabama this season, scoring all nine points on a touchdown and safety en route to a 37-27 win in Norman. The average score of the first quarter this season is 9.8 to 1.8 points in favor of Alabama. In the second quarter, Alabama has been outscored 39-26 in five games.

Next Week

Alabama will enjoy its only open date of the 2002 season next week. The Crimson Tide football team returns to action Saturday, Oct. 19 when they host the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama will host Georgia Military on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. in the school's first JV game since 1981.

October Record

Alabama has compiled a 305-93-22 (.752) all-time record (420 games) during the month of October. The Crimson Tide's first game in the month of October was a 4-0 loss to Birmingham Athletic Club on Oct. 14, 1893. UA's first win in the month of October came three years later, posting a 30-0 win over Birmingham Athletic Club on Oct. 24, 1896.
  • Alabama posted 26-game winning streak in the month of October from 1914-22.
  • Two of the school's most lopsided wins have taken place in the month of October. On Oct. 13, 1902, Alabama beat Marion Institute 81-0. On Oct. 15, 192, Alabama shutout Bryson (Tennessee), 95-0 in Tuscaloosa.
  • The worst loss in Crimson Tide history also took place in October as Vanderbilt beat Alabama 78-0 on Oct. 20, 1906.
  • Entering the 2002 season, Alabama is 9-10 (.474) in its last 19 games in the month of October.

On This Date

The Crimson Tide has compiled an 11-1-1 (.885) all-time record in games played on Oct. 5. Alabama has not played on Oct. 5 since a 35-7 win over Kentucky at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the 1996 season.

Alabama on the Tube

Alabama has compiled a 143-83-5 (.630) all-time record on television in since its first televised game in 1951. The Crimson Tide has made 231 TV appearances since 1951. In regular-season televised games, Alabama has compiled a 119-67-3 (.636) record. The Crimson Tide has already made four TV appearances this season, winning three of those four games, including Middle Tennessee (W 39-34), Oklahoma (L 37-27), Southern Miss (W, 20-7) and Arkansas (W, 30-12). The Crimson Tide will face Georgia on CBS this week and will play at Hawaii (Nov. 30) on ESPN to close out the 2002 season.

SEC Openers

Alabama opened its 2002 Southeastern Conference schedule with a 30-12 win in Fayetteville against the Arkansas Razorbacks, marking the second straight year Alabama opened SEC play on the road. 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 now 45-21-2 (.672) all-time in SEC openers.
  • The Crimson Tide has now won 11 straight SEC openers with 10 of those wins against Vanderbilt and one against Arkansas.
  • The 11-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.
  • Alabama last lost an SEC opener against Florida, 35-0, on Sept. 14, 1991 in Gainesville.
  • Alabama did 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 opened 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.

Offensive Prowess

Since 1970, the Alabama Crimson Tide offense has produced 44, 500-plus yard games, including four under Coach Fran. The most recent 500-yard game came against Arkansas (Sept. 28, 2002) as the Crimson Tide piled up 552 yards, the second-highest output in the Franchione era.
  • The Arkansas game marked the second time this season, Alabama racked up 500 yards in total offense. The Crimson Tide had 534 yards in a 33-7 win over North Texas (Sept. 14, 2002) earlier this season.
  • In addition, the Arkansas game marked the fifth time in 17 games under Coach Fran, Alabama has racked up 500 yards total offense.
  • The last five, 500-yard games prior to Coach Fran's arrival took place from 1992-99, a span of 105 games.
  • Last year, the Crimson Tide racked up 500+ yards against South Carolina (516), UTEP (588) and Auburn (549).
  • The 500-yard efforts against South Carolina and UTEP marked the first time since 1991 that Alabama had notched back-to-back 500-yard games. The Crimson Tide rushed for 285 yards and passed for 231 in its 37-36 loss at South Carolina.
  • In a 56-7 blowout win over UTEP, Alabama ran for 360 yards and passed for 228 yards against the Miners.
  • Against Auburn, Alabama piled up 360 rushing yards, and added 221 yards through the air. Santonio Beard (20-199-2) and Ahmaad Galloway (14-127) both had 100 yards rushing in the 31-7 win on the Plains.
  • Alabama has not posted three straight 500-yard games since the 1991 season when the Crimson Tide eclipsed the 500-yard barrier against Vanderbilt (538), UT Chattanooga (587) and Tulane (572).

UA Offense Off to a Fast Start

The Crimson Tide offense has scored on its opening possession in each of its first five games this season. Alabama scored touchdowns on its opening possession against Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss and Arkansas and tallied field goals 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.
  • Against Southern Miss, Ahmaad Galloway scored on a six-yard scamper to cap an 11-play, 89-yard drive.
  • Junior tailback Shaud Williams scored on the first play of the game against Arkansas, an 80-yard burst up the middle. It marked the first time since 1973 that Alabama scored on the first play of the game when Wayne Wheeler took a Gary Rutledge pass and rambled 80-yards for a touchdown.

Balanced Attack

After five games this season, the Alabama offense is clicking, averaging 435.2 yards per game, numbers that rank second in the SEC and tied for 17th nationally. After the second-best rushing total in the Franchione era (351 yards) against Southern Miss, the Alabama offense is averaging 248.8 yards rushing and 186.4 yards per game passing.

"The beauty for us offensively is we're not locked in to any one person touching the ball a whole bunch of times more than anybody else," Franchione said. "The receivers have given us a pretty solid performance in the passing game to date and are getting better every week. We could not be this balanced if they were not doing the things they're doing."

Through five games this season, 11 different players have rushed the football for UA thus far. In addition, 11 different receivers have at least one pass reception after four games, including receptions by four different tight ends.

More Offense

Alabama's offense has posted some impressive numbers this season. In addition to leading the SEC in rushing, the Alabama offense also ranks among the league leaders in several categories after five games.

Alabama is third in the SEC this season with 11 rushing TDs. Only Auburn (16) and Florida (14) have more rushing TDs than Alabama.

Improvement on Both Sides of the Ball

It is not easy to make marked offensive improvements, but the Tide offense is pretty much on track with where it was at this time last year. Currently, Alabama is averaging 435.2 yards per game, compared to 433.6 a year ago. But more importantly, Alabama's record is 4-1 at this juncture, compared with a 3-2 mark a year ago. On defense, the Crimson Tide has made its greatest improvement, allowing 68 fewer yards per game than this time last year. Through five games, the Crimson Tide defense has allowed 250.6 yards per game compared to 318.6 yards per game last year.

Tailback by Committee

Despite the loss of senior Ahmaad Galloway, the Crimson Tide offense still has the luxury of some fine, talented tailbacks. In the win over Arkansas, Alabama used the trio of Beard, Williams and Hudson to roll up 267 rushing yards against the nation's No. 1 rushing defense. Beard ran for 134 yards, while Williams added 119 yards.
  • Arkansas entered the game with the nation's top-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 75 rushing yards (37.5 avg) in wins over Boise State and South Florida.
  • The Crimson Tide eclipsed that total on the very first play from scrimmage as Williams raced 80-yards to give Alabama a 7-0 lead just 19 seconds into the game.
  • After allowing 267 rushing yards to Alabama, the Arkansas defense fell to 36th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 114 yards per game.
  • Williams has posted back-to-back 100-yard games for Alabama and is averaging 127 rushing yards per game against Southern Miss (135) and Arkansas (119).
  • Alabama's four tailbacks this season have 172 carries for 1,001 yards and eight TDs.
  • The four tailbacks/A-backs have accounted for two-thirds of the rushing attempts, 80.4 percent of the rushing yards and 72.7 percent of the rushing TDs.
  • Williams' 135 rushing yards against Southern Miss are the most by an Alabama back this season and sixth-best total in the SEC. Williams' 119 yards against Arkansas is the 9th best rushing total in the SEC this season.
  • Beard's 134 rushing yards at Arkansas is second-best at Alabama this season and is the 7th highest rushing total in the SEC this year.
  • Williams 80-yard TD run at Arkansas is the longest run from scrimmage in the SEC this season. In addition, it was the third-longest rushing attempt by an Alabama player since 1990.

Sack Attack

Alabama leads the SEC with 18 quarterback sacks in its first five games. All 18 of the Crimson Tide's sacks have come in the last four games against Oklahoma (6), North Texas (6), Southern Miss (4) and Arkansas (2). UA did not have a sack in the season opener with Middle Tennessee.

The six sacks against Oklahoma and North Texas are the second-most in the SEC this season. Arkansas had a league-best seven sacks in its win over Boise State (Sept. 7).

On the offensive side of the ball, Alabama is among the fewest sacked teams in the SEC, allowing only seven sacks (-41) after five games.

Bama Among NCAA Leaders in Rushing Offense and Defense

Alabama is one of three Division I schools to rank among the nation's Top 10 in both rushing offense and rushing defense. The Crimson Tide has the nation's 7th best rushing offense and ranks 7th in rushing defense to join Iowa and Bowling Green as the only teams to crack the Top 10 in both statistical categories.

Alabama leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally, averaging 248.8 rushing yards per game.

Eight is Enough

Beginning with the Sept. 28 game against Arkansas, the Crimson Tide is in the midst of playing eight straight SEC opponents for the first time in school history. Alabama opened the season with four consecutive non-conference games against Middle Tennessee (Aug. 31), Oklahoma (Sept. 7), North Texas (Sept. 14) and Southern Miss (Sept. 21). After its current stretch of eight straight SEC games, Alabama will close the 2002 regular season with a non-conference game at Hawaii on Nov. 30.

The current eight-game conference schedule did not begin until the 1992 season. Since then, Alabama closed out the 1992, 1994 and 1996 seasons with five consecutive regular-season conference games.

Road Record

Following the 30-12 win over Arkansas on Sept. 28, Alabama has compiled a 219-112-12 (.656) all-time record in 343 road games. Under Coach Fran, Alabama is 3-3 (.500) in road games, winning at Vanderbilt and Auburn last year and at Arkansas in 2002. The Crimson Tide is 1-1 on the road this season, dropping a 37-27 decision at No. 2 Oklahoma on Sept. 7 and then winning at Arkansas. 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 55-27-1 (.665) 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 victory at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8, 2001.

Road Warriors

In 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 that year, 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.
  • Arkansas entered to the Alabama game with a 25-3 record at home under Houston Nutt.
  • In addition, the Crimson Tide's 30-12 win over the Razorbacks snapped Arkansas' eight-game home winning streak.
  • 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.

Bama Leads SEC in Rushing

The Crimson Tide rushing offense is back atop the leader board in the SEC. Through five games, Alabama leads the SEC and ranks 7th nationally with 248.8 rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide offense has 258 rushing attempts for 1,244 yards and 11 TDs this season.
  • Alabama has rushed for 1,244 yards, while its opposition has managed only 417 rushing yards. The Crimson Tide offense holds a 3:1 rushing yard advantage over its opponents through five games this season.
  • Alabama is attempting to pace the league in rushing offense in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1978-79. The Crimson Tide also led the league in rushing offense for four consecutive years from 1971-74.
  • In its last three games, Alabama has rushed for 954 yards (170 attempts), accounting for more than 77 percent of its rushing yards (1,244 ) this season.
  • Alabama is averaging 318 rushing yards per game over its last three games.
  • The Crimson Tide has rushed for more than 350 yards in wins over North Texas (Sept. 14) and Southern Miss (Sept. 21).
  • Against North Texas, Alabama ran for 336 yards en route to a 33-7 victory.
  • Against Southern Miss, Alabama ran for a season-high 351 yards in a 20-7 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.
  • Alabama rushed for 351 yards in its win over Southern Miss marking the first time in 111 games the Golden Eagles allowed 300 or more rushing yards. Alabama became the first USM opponent to rush for over 300 yards since Oct. 10, 1992 when Northern Illinois had 303 yards.
  • Last week at Arkansas, the Crimson Tide rushed for 267 yards en route to 552 yards of total offense.
  • Alabama averaged a season-high 7.7 yards per rushing attempt in the win at Arkansas.

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