Alabama team notes

Alabama has the 7th-toughest schedule among NCAA schools...Junior tailback Santonio Beard was named the SEC "Offensive Player of the Week"...Junior kicker Kyle Robinson is the first left-footed place kicker to score since 1980…

Alabama Quick Notes:

  • Beard carried the ball 13 times for 138 yards and a school-record tying five rushing touchdowns in Bama's 42-7 win over Ole Miss last weekend…
  • The last left-footed kicker to score for the Crimson Tide was Georges Mardini who converted one extra point in the Tide's 42-7 homecoming win over Southern Miss (Oct. 25) in 1980...
  • Alabama has lost seven straight games to Tennessee...
  • UA leads the SEC in rushing defense (83.1) and sacks (24)...
  • Bama is 9-2 in its last 11 games, dating back to last year...

Next Week

Alabama concludes its two-week tour through the state of Tennessee as it travels to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores on Nov. 2 at Vanderbilt Stadium. There is no network TV scheduled, although the game will likely be a pay-per-view game with kickoff at 1 p.m.

Tide Plays 7th-Toughest Schedule

According to a recent NCAA release, Alabama plays the nation's 7th-toughest schedule. Alabama's cumulative opponents have posted a 53-30 record. That breaks down to a 30-12 record of past opponents and a 23-18 mark for future opponents.

Open Date Means Win For Bama

Coming off its only open date of the 2002 season, Alabama played perhaps its best game of the Franchione era, posting a 42-7 win over the Ole Miss Rebels in Homecoming at the Capstone. Alabama is now 2-1 under Coach Fran following an open date, posting wins over Arkansas (2001) and Ole Miss (2002). The lone loss came last year against LSU in a 35-21 setback at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide defense allowed a school-record 611 yards of total offense in dropping its second straight homecoming game. This year, however, was a different story as the Crimson Tide scored on its first two possessions en route to its most lopsided win ofthe 2002 season.
  • Since 1990, Alabama is 15-6-1 (.705) following an open date, which includes the week off before the SEC Championship game.
  • Including only regular-season games, Alabama is 13-3-1 (.794) following an open date since 1990.
  • Tennessee is coming off its second open week of the 2002 season. The Vols dropped a 30-13 game to Florida at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 21 following their other open date this year.
  • Tennessee has had an open date prior to the Alabama game five times in the last seven years.

The Undefeated

As of Monday, Oct. 21, there were only eight undefeated Division I football teams. The list includes Bowling Green (6-0), Georgia (7-0), Miami, Fla. (6-0), Oklahoma (7-0), Ohio State (8-0), Notre Dame (7-0) and Virginia Tech (7-0).

Alabama has played two of those undefeated teams, losing at No. 2 Oklahoma (37-27) on Sept. 7 and losing at home to No. 6 Georgia (27-25) on Oct. 5.

Father Time

Alabama continues to lead the SEC in time of possession, averaging 33:07 per game. The Crimson Tide has won the time of possession battle in four of its seven games this season. The Ole Miss Rebels were the only team to successfully control the ball against the Tide, having 2:50 more in time of possession. The other two games in which Alabama did not win the time of possession battle, the opponents had the ball for only 14 seconds more than the Crimson Tide. Middle Tennessee held a four second edge in time of possession, while Georgia had a 10 second advantage.
  • Alabama held the ball for a season-high 39:11 in its win over Southern Miss.
  • Against Ole Miss, Alabama was held to a season-low 28:35 time of possession.
  • Alabama's average time of possession is 33:07 through seven games of the 2002 season.
  • Alabama opponents are averaging only 26:54 time of possession.
  • Alabama's largest advantage of the season was an 18:22 time of possession advantage in a 20-7 win over Southern Miss.

UA Offense Off To Fast Start

The Crimson Tide offense has scored on its opening possession in six of seven games this season. The Tide did not score on its opening drive against Georgia. Alabama scored touchdowns on its opening possession against Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, Arkansas and Ole Miss 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.
  • After gaining just 11 yards on its first possession, the Tide was forced to punt on its opening possession against Georgia.
  • Against Ole Miss, Santonio Beard scored the first of his record-tying five TDs on the game's first series. His 25-yard TD run capped an nine-play, 85-yard drive.

Sack Attack

The Crimson Tide recorded three sacks (-38) against Ole Miss QB Eli Manning (Oct. 19), equaling the most against the junior quarterback this season. Florida also had three sacks in a 17-14 loss to the Rebels on Oct. 5. Manning has been sacked only seven times this season, with three coming against the Crimson Tide defense.

With those three sacks against Ole Miss, Alabama has retaken the lead in the SEC with 24 sacks (-185) in seven games. Georgia is second in the league with 23 sacks. No other SEC team has more than 18 sacks this season.

  • All 24 of the Crimson Tide's sacks have come in the last six games against Oklahoma (6), North Texas (6), Southern Miss (4), Arkansas (2), Georgia (3) and Ole Miss (3). UA did not have a sack in the season opener with Middle Tennessee.
  • Alabama has had at least three sacks in five of its seven games this season.
  • 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).
  • Alabama is averaging 4.0 sacks per game over its last six games.

Bama Leads SEC In Run Defense

Alabama's run defense returned to form against Ole Miss (Oct. 19), holding the Rebels to four rushing yards (28 attempts) in the game. The four rushing yards by Ole Miss the second-lowest total of the season against the Alabama defense. The Crimson Tide held No. 2 Oklahoma to minus 23 rushing yards at Norman on Sept. 7.
  • Following its performance against Ole Miss, Alabama now leads the SEC and ranks 8th nationally, allowing 83.1 rushing yards per game through games of Oct. 19.
  • In the two games prior to Ole Miss, Alabama allowed 332 rushing yards to Arkansas (171) and Georgia (162), an average of 166.5 yards per game.
  • Prior to the Arkansas game (Sept. 28), Alabama held three straight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards. In those three games, the Crimson Tide allowed only 72 total rushing yards against Oklahoma (-23 yards), North Texas (50 yards) and Southern Miss (35 yards).
  • The four rushing yards by Ole Miss was the fewest by the Rebels since recording one rushing yard against Georgia in 1983.
  • The Ole Miss game marked the eighth 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.

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