Alabama/Vanderbilt game notes

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team (6-2, 3-1 SEC) hits the road to Tennessee for the second straight week, this time to Nashville. Alabama and Vanderbilt will meet for the 80th time with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.

Alabama Quick Notes:

  • Alabama is 10-2 in its last 12 games, with its only two losses coming to Okalhoma and Georgia, who are a combined 15-0 this season and ranked in the Top 5 in both polls...
  • In addition, Alabama is 6-1 in its last seven SEC games, dating back to last year...
  • Alabama and Georiga are the only two teams with undefeated SEC road records this season...
  • UA also seeks its fourth straight SEC road for the first time since 1999...
  • The Crimson Tide defense has forced at least one turnover in 13 straight games, dating back to last year...
  • Santonio Beard needs two rushing TDs at Vandy to set the UA record for most TDs over a three-game stretch...

Alabama and Vanderbilt

The Tide comes off a 34-14 win over Tennessee last weekend, while Vanderbilt (2-6, 0-4) beat Connecticut, 28-24. Alabama was ranked 12th in this week's AP poll.

For the first time since 1995, the Alabama-Vanderbilt game will not be shown on network television, but will be aired on a pay-per-view basis. 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 is part of an elite college coaching group with 150 or more career wins. Currently, there are only seven active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione joined that group following a 42-7 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 19. 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 13-7 (.650) in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 151-72-2 (.676) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson, in his first season with the Commodores, is 62-42 in eight-plus seasons as a head coach. Prior to his arrival at Vanderbilt, Johnson was head coach at Furman for eight seasons where he led the Paladins to a 60-36 overall mark, a pair of Southern Conference titles and a 1-AA national runner-up finish.

Alabama/Vanderbilt Series History

Alabama and Vanderbilt meet for the 80th time this weekend in Nashville, with the Crimson Tide holding a 57-19-4 (.728) lead in a series that dates back to 1904. These two SEC rivals have met every year since 1952. The Commodores posted a 30-0 win over the Crimson Tide in that initial meeting in Nashville in 1904. In fact, Vandy won the first five games in the series with Alabama, outscoring the Crimson Tide, 165-14, in those five meetings. Vanderbilt also posted shutouts in each of the first three meetings, including the most-lopsided win ever against the Crimson Tide with a 78-0 win in 1906.

After spotting the Commodores a 5-0 series lead, Alabama did not pick up its first series win until a 14-7 victory in Birmingham in 1920. Prior to 1960, Alabama and Vanderbilt battled on even terms, with the Crimson Tide holding a slight 17-16-4 (.514) series lead. Since 1961, Alabama has had the upperhand, posting a 40-2 (.952) record in the last 42 meetings.

Alabama enters the 2002 season with a 17-game winning streak over Vanderbilt, the Tide's longest active winning streak over any opponent. Vanderbilt has not beaten Alabama since posting a 30-21 victory over the Crimson Tide on Sept. 29, 1984 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, snapping Bama's school-record 26-game Homecoming winning streak.

Game Captains

Game captains for the Vanderbilt game are Justin Smiley (offensive guard) and Sam Collins (split end) on offense and Kindal Moorehead (defensive end) and Waine Bacon (safety) on defense.

Bama/Vandy Sites

The Crimson Tide and Commodores have met at four different sites in the series 80-game history. In the state of Alabama, the teams have met in Birmingham, Mobile and Tuscaloosa. Nashville is the only Tennessee city to host the Alabama-Vanderbilt game.

Old Rivals Say Farewell, for Now

This is the 50th consecutive year Alabama and Vanderbilt have played each other in football. That streak will end at the conclusion of the 2002 season as the SEC realigned its football schedule and the Commodores and Crimson Tide will no longer be common opponents. Rather than meeting every year, the two teams will now meet on a rotating basis with four other teams from the Eastern Division. Tennessee will remain as Alabama's permanent non divisional opponent.

Instead of playing Vanderbilt next year, Alabama will face the Kentucky Wildcats as one of its two rotating SEC Eastern Division foes. The Crimson Tide will play Georgia and Kentucky nest year, before meeting Kentucky and South Carolina in the 2004 season.

Alabama/Vanderbilt Notebook

  • Alabama and Vanderbilt are meeting for the 50th consecutive year this Saturday in Nashville.
  • Alabama coach Dennis Franchione is 1-0 in his career against Vanderbilt, which happened to be his first career win with the Crimson Tide.
  • The Crimson Tide posted a 12-9 win here last year on Sept. 8, 2001 giving Coach Fran his first career win as Alabama's head coach.
  • Last year's win over Vanderbilt also snapped a six-game losing streak for Alabama, dating back to a 45-7 win over Ole Miss on Oct. 14, 2000. Bama lost its last five games of the 2000 season and then lost its 2001 season opener to UCLA.
  • Coach Fran is the second Alabama coach in history to record his first win for the Crimson Tide against Vanderbilt. In addition to Coach Fran, former Alabama coach Gene Stallings notched his first win for the Crimson Tide with a 59-28 win on Sept. 29, 1990 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Vanderbilt head coach Bobby Johnson has never faced Alabama in his coaching career.
  • he first-year Vanderbilt skipper is a 1973 graduate of Clemson University, where he played football for coach Cecil "Hootie" Ingram. Ingram, who resides in Tuscaloosa, was a football and baseball standout for the Crimson Tide in the 1950s and was later the Director of Athletics for the Crimson Tide from 1989-95.
  • Alabama's Director of High School Relations Randy Ross is a former Vanderbilt assistant coach. Ross served as the quarterbacks coach under Watson Brown from 1987-89 before joining the Alabama staff in 1990.
  • Alabama has four players on its roster from the state of Tennessee. The list includes Dennis Alexander (OL, Memphis), Santonio Beard (TB, Nashville), Ahmaad Galloway (TB, Millington) and Kindal Moorehead (DL, Memphis).
  • The Vanderbilt roster lists 11 players from the state of Alabama, including Brett Beard (Birmingham), Grant Bingham (Mountain Brook), Jason Caldwell (Hoover), Dustin Dunning (Hoover), Luke Hammond (Wetumpka), Ronald Hatcher (Birmingham), Markessus House (Birmingham), Abtin Iranmanesh (Madison), Patrick Johnson (Athens), Paul Meadows (Hoover) and Andrew Pace (Mountain Brook).
  • Alabama sophomore DT Ahmad Childress played two games in his high school career at Vanderbilt Stadium, but came up on the short end of the stick both times. As a junior in 1999, Whites Creek HS lost in the state championship game of the Tennessee High School playoffs. As a senior in 2000, Whites Creek lost a regular season game to Father Ryan at Vanderbilt Stadium.
  • Alabama defensive coordinator Carl Torbush and Vanderbilt offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell were on the same coaching staff at North Carolina during the 2000 season. Caldwell served as the offensive line coach for the Tar Heels during Torbush's last year as head coach at UNC.
  • During Torbush's tenure at North Carolina (1988-2000) as defensive coordinator and head coach, five current Vanderbilt coaches were working at various schools in the ACC.
  • Vanderbilt wide receiver Dan Stricker has 10 receptions for 237 yards and one touchdown in three career games against Alabama. He is averaging 23.7 yards per catch against the Tide.
  • Stricker's best game against Alabama came in 2000, where he hauled in five passes for 121 yards in a 28-10 loss.
  • Stricker's lone career TD catch gave the Commodores a 17-14 lead here in Nashville in 1999, before Alabama rallied with two fourth quarter scores and a 28-17 win.
  • The 2001 game marked the first time since 1958 that Alabama did not score a touchdown against Vandy. The Crimson Tide and Commodores played to a scoreless tie during the 1958 season.
  • The Crimson Tide's 12-9 win over Vanderbilt last year marked the team's first win without scoring a touchdown since the 1990 season. Phillip Doyle kicked three field goals, including the 47-yard game-winner as time expired to beat Tennessee 9-6 on Oct. 20, 1990 in Knoxville.
  • From 1957-59, the Crimson Tide and Commodores played to three straight ties. The scores were 6-6 (1957), 0-0 (1958) and 7-7 (1959).
  • In 1998, Alabama set the school record for most safeties in a game with two against Vanderbilt in a 32-7 win at Legion Field.
  • The Crimson Tide duplicated that feat with another pair of safeties in a 28-10 win during the 2000 season at Legion Field.
  • Vanderbilt has scored 10 points or less in seven of the last 10 meetings against the Tide.
  • Vanderbilt and Alabama have the top two single-game penalty yards in the SEC this season. The Commodores were penalized 141 yards in their loss to Middle Tennessee (Oct. 12), while the Crimson Tide was flagged for 126 yards against the Blue Raiders in the season opener (Aug. 31) at Legion Field.

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