Alabama team notebook

Following the 34-14 win over Tennessee on Oct. 26, Alabama has compiled a 220-112-12 (.657) all-time record in 344 road games. Under Coach Fran, Alabama is 4-3 (.571) in road games, winning at Vanderbilt and Auburn last year and at Arkansas and Tennessee in 2002.

The Crimson Tide is 2-1 on the road this season, dropping a 37-27 decision at No. 2 Oklahoma on Sept. 7 and then picking up wins at at Arkansas and Tennessee. The above record does not include neutral site games, bowl games or the Alabama-Auburn game played at Legion Field from 1948-88.

Second Straight Win Over Top 25 Foe

In its last two games, Alabama has beaten No. 21 Ole Miss (42-7) and No. 16 Tennessee (34-14) marking the first time since 1999 that Alabama has beaten a Top 25 team in consecutive weeks.
  • During the 1999 season, the Crimson Tide beat three consecutive ranked teams from Sept. 25-Oct. 16. Those three wins came against No. 15 Arkansas (35-28), No. 3 Florida (40-39, OT) and No. 22 Ole Miss (30-24). The Florida and Ole Miss games were both on the road.
  • The wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee marks only the 10th time in school history Alabama has beaten a Top 25 team in consecutive weeks.
  • Also, Alabama scored 76 points in its wins over No. 21 Ole Miss and No. 16 Tennessee, marking the most points ever scored in consecutive games against Top 25 teams. The previous high was 75 points in back-to-back wins over Arkansas and Florida in 1999.

Next Week

Alabama returns home to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in 1 p.m. game from Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will not be televised, marking the first time since 1995 (at Ole Miss) that an Alabama game has not been broadcast live by network, cable or pay-per-view television.

Bama Notches 750th All-Time Win

Alabama's 34-14 win at Tennessee on Oct. 26 was the school's 750th all-time victory. Presently, Alabama ranks fifth on the all-time win list and is third in all-time winning percentage.

Tennessee Foes

Vanderbilt becomes Alabama's third opponent this season from the state of Tennessee. In addition to the Commodores, the Crimson Tide had also faced Middle Tennessee (W 39-34) and Tennessee (W 34-14).
  • Alabama has compiled a 130-55-14 (.688) all-time record against schools from the state of Tennessee.
  • The 2002 Vanderbilt game will be the Crimson Tide's 200th all-time game against a team from Tennessee.

More Scheduling Quirks

The 2002 Alabama-Vanderbilt game features several scheduling quirks. This will be the last time the two teams are scheduled to meet as common SEC opponents, snapping the 50-year streak these two teams have met in football. Other scheduling oddities include:
  • For the first time since 1991, Alabama did not open the SEC portion of its football schedule with Vanderbilt. The Commodores served as the Crimson Tide's SEC opener for 10 consecutive years from 1992-2001 before being replaced this season by Arkansas on Sept. 28 in Fayetteville. The Crimson Tide defeated the Razorbacks 30-12 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium for its 11th consecutive win in SEC openers. The last loss was a 35-0 defeat at Florida on Sept. 14, 1991.
  • Alabama and Vanderbilt are meeting in Nashville for the second consecutive season. The Crimson Tide posted a 12-9 win over the Commodores on Sept. 8, 2001 here at Vanderbilt Stadium, marking the first win in the Dennis Franchione era of Alabama football. The back-to-back meetings at Vanderbilt Stadium marks the first time since 1904-06 the Crimson Tide has played consecutive seasons in Nashville. Alabama and Vanderbilt met two straight times in Nashville in 1951 and 1953, but the two teams did not face each other during the 1952 season.
  • With a Nov. 2 playing date, this the latest Alabama and Vanderbilt have met since Nov. 16, 1946 when the Crimson Tide posted a 12-7 win at Legion Field.
  • From 1947-71, Alabama and Vanderbilt met either the first or second weekend in October. From 1971-2001, the two teams met in the month of September.

Bama Owns 17-Game Winning Streak

Alabama has won the last 17 on-the-field meetings with Vanderbilt, dating back to the 1984 season. The Crimson Tide did forfeit its 17-6 win over the Commodores in 1993 due to NCAA sanctions.

Tide Streaking in Nashville too

Alabama has won the last 16 meetings with the Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium, dating back to the 1969 season. Quarterback Watson Brown engineered a 14-10 upset over Alabama on Oct. 11, 1969. The win was Vandy's first in the series since a 32-7 win in Mobile during the 1956 season.

Alabama had its 14-game winning streak at Vanderbilt Stadium with a 38-7 loss to Virginia Tech in the Dec. 28, 1998 Music City Bowl, the only year the bowl was played on Vanderbilt's campus.

November Record

Alabama has compiled a 244-112-14 (.678) all-time record in the month of November. The Crimson Tide enters the 2002 season riding a three-game winning streak in the month of November, posting wins over Miss. State, Auburn and Southern Miss last season.

On This Date

Alabama has compiled a 10-4 (.714) all-time record on Nov. 2. The Crimson Tide enters the 2002 season having won its last six games on this date. The last time Alabama played on Nov. 2 was a 13-7 win over Miss. State during the 1991 season in Tuscaloosa. Alabama's last road game on this date was a 14-13 win at Georgia in 1957.

Alabama and Vanderbilt have met once previously on Nov. 2 with Vandy claiming a 13-0 shutout win here in Nashville in 1929.

East and West

Since the SEC split into two divisions prior to the 1992 season, Alabama has compiled a 57-30-1 (.653) record in regular-season conference games. Factor in the Tide's four appearances in the SEC Championship game and UA's record is 59-32-1 (.647), after splitting four championship game tilts with Florida.

Alabama has compiled a 35-17 (.673) record against SEC Western Division teams.

Bama Ranks 2nd in SEC in Rushing Offense

The Crimson Tide rushing offense ranks second in the SEC this week, averaging 219.9 rushing yards per game. That figure ranks 16th nationally among Division I schools through games of Oct. 27.
  • Arkansas leads the SEC with 272.9 rushing yards per game, following its SEC-best 414 yard performance at Auburn on Oct. 12.
  • 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.

Bama Leads SEC in Run Defense

For the second straight week, Alabama held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. On Oct. 26, Alabama held Tennessee to 59 rushing yards. It was the lowest rushing total by the Volunteers against the Crimson Tide since the 1987 season when UT managed only 51 rushing yards in a 47-30 loss at Legion Field. One week prior to the Tennessee game, Alabama held Ole Miss (Oct. 19) to four rushing yards (28 attempts), marking the second-lowest rushing total of the season by an Alabama opponent. Earlier this season (Sept. 7), UA held No. 2 Oklahoma to minus 23 rushing yards at Norman on Sept. 7.
  • Following its performance against Tennessee, Alabama continues to lead the SEC and ranks 6th nationally, allowing 80.1 rushing yards per game through games of Oct. 26.
  • 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 Tennessee game marked the ninth 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.

Defense Forcing Turnovers

The Alabama defense has forced 21 turnovers in eight games this season, an average of 2.6 per game.
  • Dating back to the 2001 season, Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 13 consecutive games. In those 13 games, Alabama has forced 30 turnovers, an average of 2.3 per game. The last time the Alabama defense did not force a turnover came in a 35-24 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21, 2001 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Alabama and Tennessee combined for eight turnovers this season, including seven in the first half. Last year, neither Alabama nor Tennessee committed a turnover in Tuscaloosa.
  • The Alabama defense has 10 interceptions this season (226 return yards, 2 TDs), after forcing only six interceptions in 11 regular season games last year.
  • Alabama's 226 return yards are the most since the 1999 (19 INTs) season when the Crimson Tide had 300 interception return yards. The school record is 402 yards set during the 1991 season.
  • Alabama has also recovered 11 fumbles in eight games this season (75 return yards, 1 TD). The Crimson Tide recovered only 13 fumbles in 11 games last year.
  • The Crimson Tide is coming off its best game of the 2002 season in terms of forcing turnovers. Alabama forced six turnovers in its win at Tennessee, resulting in a season-high 24 points. The Crimson Tide had three interceptions and three fumbles in the UT win.
  • The six forced turnovers are the most by Alabama since the 1995 season when Georgia and Vanderbilt each had six turnovers against the Crimson Tide. On Sept. 29, 1995, Georgia fumbled three times and threw three interceptions in a 31-0 loss to Alabama in Athens. On Sept 2, 1995, Vanderbilt lost one fumble and threw five interceptions in a 33-25 loss at Nashville. The Crimson Tide had seven turnovers in the win at Vandy.
  • In addition, the six forced turnovers at Tennessee equal the second-most in the SEC this season. Auburn forced six turnovers at Miss. State (Sept. 19) and Miss. State forced six turnovers against Troy State (Oct. 12). Arkansas heads the list by forcing seven turnovers in its win over Boise State (Sept. 7).

Defense Scores Third Touchdown at Tennessee

Alabama has scored three defensive touchdowns in its first eight games this season when senior cornerback Gerald Dixon scored his first collegiate touchdown with a 66-yard fumble return against Tennessee. Dixon's fumble return came with 11:23 left in the first quarter to give Alabama a 7-0 lead. Dixon's fumble return was his first career fumble recovery at Alabama.
  • Prior to the Tennessee game, the last time an Alabama player scored on a fumble return came when Reggie Myles scooped up a fumble against Arkansas on Sept. 22, 2001. Myles 41-yard return gave the Crimson Tide a 14-3 lead in the second quarter against the Razorbacks.
  • Dixon's fumble return for a touchdown is the third defensive touchdown by the Crimson Tide this season. In the season opener (Aug. 31) against Middle Tennessee, redshirt freshman middle linebacker Freddie Roach scored on a 41-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to give the Crimson Tide a 39-27 lead.
  • Against Georgia, redshirt freshman Charlie Peprah recorded a 35-yard interception return with just over eight minutes left in the game to give the Crimson Tide its only lead against the Bulldogs 25-24.
  • Alabama has two interception returns for touchdowns this season and is one short of the single-season school record of three set in 1991 and 1992. Roach had a 41-yard interception return in the win over Middle Tennessee and Peprah added a 35-yard interception in the loss to Georgia.
  • The Crimson Tide nearly tied the school record against Tennessee when Peprah picked off a pass at the UT 49-yard line and returned the ball 48 yards to the one-yard line, just missing his second TD of the season.

Sack Attack

The Crimson Tide added four more sacks to its season total at Tennessee, increasing its SEC lead to 28 sacks in eight games this season. Alabama did not have a sack in its season opening win over Middle Tennessee, but has averaged a league-best four sacks per games since.
  • The Crimson Tide sacked UT's Casey Clausen four times (-28) in a 34-14 win at Knoxville (Oct. 26).
  • Alabama recorded three sacks 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.
  • All 28 of the Crimson Tide's sacks have come in the last seven games against Oklahoma (6), North Texas (6), Southern Miss (4), Arkansas (2), Georgia (3), Ole Miss (3) and Tennessee (4). UA did not have a sack in the season opener with Middle Tennessee.
  • Alabama has had at least three sacks in six of its eight 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).

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