Alabama/Hawai'i game notes

The Alabama Crimson Tide (9-3, 6-2 SEC) makes its first-ever, regular-season trip to the island of Ohau to face the Hawai'i Warriors (9-2, 7-1 WAC) in the final game of the 2002 season.

The 2002 season will go down as one of the most successful ones in Crimson Tide annals. Alabama, just two years removed from a 3-8 season (2000), seeks its NCAA-leading 27th 10-win. UA was denied that chance last week with a 17-7 loss at home to arch-rival Auburn.

Hawai'i won its sixth straight game, with a come-from-behind win over Cincinnati (20-19) last Saturday at home.

This weekend's game will be televised by ESPN, the Crimson Tide's fourth prime-time appearance on the all-sports cable network this season. Handling the announcing duties for ESPN will be Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Mike Gottfried (analyst) and Adrain Karsten (sideline). The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (color analyst) and Tom Roberts (sidelines) describing the action.

Alabama Quick Notes:

  • Alabama plays its first-ever regular season game in the state of Hawai'i this weekend at Aloha Stadium...
  • Alabama is the first SEC team to play at UH since Tennessee in 1975...
  • The Crimson Tide leads the SEC and ranks sixth in the nation with 41 sacks this season... UA averages one sack every 7.9 pass attempts...
  • Hawai'i has given up the fewest sacks in the WAC, allowing 12 sacks in 572 pass attempts...
  • UH allows one sack every 47.7 pass attempts...
  • Bama is 13-3 (.813) in its last 16 games, tying Georgia and LSU for the best record in the SEC since Nov. 10, 2001...
  • Alabama seeks its NCAA-leading 27th, 10-win season this weekend...
  • UA has not won 10 games since 1999 (10-3)...
  • UH has won six consecutive games and has not won seven straight games since 1984...
  • Hawai'i has not won 10 games in a season since 1992 (11-2).

The Head Coaches

Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione (16-8, .667) 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. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 154-73-2 (.677) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.

Hawai'i head coach June Jones (29-18, .617) is in his fourth season with the Warriors. Prior to taking over the Hawai'i program, Jones spent the previous 15 seasons in professional football, including stints in the USFL, CFL and NFL. From 1993-96, Jones served as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. In 1998, he was the interim head coach of the San Diego Chargers. A native of Portland, Ore., the 49-year old Jones was named the 1999 WAC "Coach of the Year" after leading the Warriors to a 9-4 record and win over Oregon State in the Jeep Ohau Bowl.

The Series

This is the first-ever meeting between Alabama and Hawai'i.

Game Captains

Alabama's permanent captains will serve as game captains at Hawai'i. Senior punter Lane Bearden (Helena, Ala.), senior tailback Ahmaad Galloway (Millington, Tenn.), senior defensive tackle Jarret Johnson (Chiefland, Fla.), senior nose tackle Kenny King (Daphne, Ala.), senior defensive end Kindal Moorehead (Memphis, Tenn.) and senior quarterback Tyler Watts (Pelham, Ala.).

Seniors Play Final Game

The Hawai'i game marks the final game for 25 Alabama seniors. Coach Fran has mentioned numerous times that this is a "special groups of seniors that is laying the foundation for the future of Crimson Tide football."
  • Compiled a 29-19 (.604) record.
  • 1999 SEC Champions with a 10-3 record.
  • Beat Florida twice during 1999 season, including 40-39 win at the Swamp to snap Gators 31-game home winning streak.
  • Only senior class in school history to win twice at Auburn, winning in 1999 (28-17) and 2001 (31-7).

Travel Plans

The Crimson Tide will depart Tuscaloosa on Thanksgiving morning and arrive in Honolulu that afternoon. The travel party will depart Honolulu on Monday, Dec. 2 and arrive back to Tuscaloosa early Tuesday morning (Dec. 3).

Thursday, Nov. 28
*Depart Tuscaloosa at 3:45 AM for Bham
*Take charter flight from Bham to Honolulu
*Practice at Aloha Stadium (3:30 PM, HST)

Friday, Nov. 29
*Alabama visits Pearl Harbor (1:30 PM, HST)
*Practice (TBA) is closed to all media

Saturday, Nov. 30
*Alabama at Hawai'i (6:47 PM, CST) (2:47 HST)

Sunday, Dec. 1
*Alabama in Hawai'i
*No Interviews with players or coaches
*No Sunday Teleconference

Monday, Dec. 2
*Depart Honolulu for Tuscaloosa
*No Interviews with players or coaches

Tuesday, Dec. 3
*Arrive in Tuscaloosa (AM)

Alabama-Hawai'i Notebook

  • Alabama will be making its second trip to the island of Ohau for the college football game. In 1985, the Crimson Tide defeated the Southern California Trojans, 24-3, in the Aloha Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Gene Jelks (offense) and Cornelius Bennett (defense) were named the Aloha Bowl's most valuable players.
  • Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 5-0 (1.000) in his head coaching career against Hawai'i. He was 3-0 while at New Mexcio and then posted a 2-0 record while at TCU.
  • This will be Coach Fran's third trip to Honolulu as a head coach. He is 2-0 in his two previous games at Aloha Stadium, winning in 1994 and 1999.
  • Alabama will be the third different team Coach Fran has brought to Hawai'i in his head coaching career.
  • Coach Fran has served as head coach for two different teams in the WAC, working at New Mexico (1992-97) and TCU (1998-2000).
  • In 1997, Coach Fran was named the WAC Mountain Division Coach of the Year.
  • UH head coach June Jones has never faced Alabama.
  • However, Jones does have several ties with the Crimson Tide football program. In 1998, he served as interim head coach for the San Diego Chargers. When Jones left the NFL to become head coach at UH, he was replaced at San Diego by former UA player Mike Reilly, who played on the defensive line for Coach Paul Bryant from 1966-68.
  • Jones other tie with Alabama came in 1996, his final year as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, where he coached former UA great Cornelius Bennett. The 1996 season was Bennett's first in Atlanta, after 10 years with the Buffalo Bills.
  • UH Director of Athletics Herman Frazier is the former AD at UAB.
  • UH defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa was the linebackers coach and special teams coach at Boston College during the Doug Flutie era.
  • UH offensive assistant coach Tyson Helton, is the son of former University of Houston head coach Kim Helton.
  • The younger Helton played quarterback for his father at Houston and lists his first collegiate start for the Cougars against the Crimson Tide. "I had some great experiences as Houston, but my most memorable was my first start at Alabama in front of about 90,000 fans dressed in red and white," Helton said.
  • Helton's start against the Crimson Tide came in the coaching debut of former UA head coach Mike DuBose on Aug. 30, 1997 at Legion Field. Alabama won 42-17.
  • Alabama offensive coordinator Les Koenning was Houston's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Helton's senior year (1999). The Cougars also lost to Alabama on Sept. 11, 1999 (37-10) at Legion Field.

Alabama vs. the WAC

Alabama has compiled an 8-6 (.571) all-time record against the current schools that comprise the Western Athletic Conference. The Crimson Tide has faced only five of the current 10-team field. The last time Alabama faced a team from the WAC was Oct. 6, 2001 when the Crimson Tide defeated UTEP 56-7 at Legion Field. The results are as follows.

Hawai'i vs. the SEC

Hawai'i has compiled a 2-4 (.333) record against the current SEC field, dating back to its meeting with Kentucky in 1958. UH has played only three teams while in the SEC and Alabama will be the fourth this Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
  • Hawai'i hosted South Carolina in 1977 and 1981 while an independent. Arkansas played in Honolulu in 1987 while a member of the Southwest Conference.
  • Alabama will become the first SEC team to face Hawai'i since Dec. 4, 1975 when Tennessee traveled to the islands and posted a 28-6 win.
  • In addition, Alabama and Tennessee are the only two SEC teams to ever play Hawai'i in Honolulu.

Peter Kim

Former Alabama kicker Peter Kim currently resides in Honolulu and serves as the CEO of the Yummy Management Company. Kim opened his Yummy Korean BarBQ in 1987 and now has 32 restaurants with licensing operations spread over eight concept lines from Korean and Italian food to chicken, ribs and pizza. He was selected Hawaii Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998. He had the contract for concessions at Aloha Stadium for a couple of years. While he had the contract, he called some of his concession stands "Bear's Drive-In plate lunch stands" in honor of Coach Bryant.
  • As a freshmen in 1978, Kim kicked for the University of Hawai'i. His last appearance at Aloha Stadium saw him kick a 37-yard FG that gave UH the early lead over Southern California.
  • Kim lettered at UA in 1978 for former coach Dick Tomey, who will serve as the color analyst for Monarch Radio Sports on Saturday night in Honolulu. Tomey, a former head coach at Arizona, currently resides in Honolulu.
  • Kim transferred to Alabama in 1979 and played for the Crimson Tide from 1980-82 under Coach Paul Bryant.
  • He lettered all three years with Alabama, making him the only player in history to letter for both Alabama and Hawai'i.
  • Kim will be in attendance this Saturday at Aloha Stadium to watch the Crimson Tide.

Good Against Good

The Alabama-Hawai'i game will feature the nation's third-best offense (UH) against the nation's third-best defense (UA).
  • UH averages 503.7 yards per game this season. Only Boise State (516.8) and Marshall (508.4) have piled up more yardage than the Warriors.
  • UA allows only 248.8 yards per game this season. Only Kansas State (243.9) and TCU (245.9) have held the opposition to fewer yards this season.

Bama Sports Nation's Third-Best Defense

After 12 regular season games, the Alabama defense ranks third in nation in total defense, allowing 248.8 yards per game.
  • After posting a 31-0 shutout at No. 14 LSU (Nov. 16), the Alabama defense moved to first in the nation, allowing just 244.3 yards per game.
  • UA limited LSU to 196 total yards, a far cry from last year's performance against LSU. In 2001, LSU completed 35 of 44 passes for 528 yards, establishing school records against UA in completions and passing yards. In addition, LSU racked up 611 total yards, also the most ever allowed by the Crimson Tide defense.
  • The LSU game marked the third time this season that Alabama has held an opponent to less than 200 total yards. North Texas (141) and Vanderbilt (162) also had less than 200 total yards against Alabama.
  • LSU completed only nine passes for 65 yards against Alabama. The nine completions are the fewest allowed by Alabama since UTEP completed eight passes against the Crimson Tide on Oct. 5, 2001.
  • The 65 passing yards are the fewest against Alabama since the 1997 season, when Vanderbilt completed just six passes for 56 yards in a 20-0 shutout loss to the Crimson Tide.
  • Entering the Hawai'i game, Alabama ranks in the Top 10 in all four major statistical defensive categories.
  • The last time that happened was the 1992 season when UA ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense and total defense entering the SEC Championship game with Florida.
  • Alabama leads the SEC and ranks 8th nationally in rushing defense, allowing 87.8 yards per game.
  • The Crimson Tide is fourth in the SEC and ninth nationally in passing defense.
  • In terms of scoring defense, Alabama ranks first in the SEC and sixth nationally.

UH Sports Nation's Third-Best Offense

After 11 regular season games, the Hawai'i offense ranks third in the nation, averaging 503.6 yards per game.
  • The Warriors have posted six, 500-yard games this season, including a season-high 674 yards in a 59-34 win over Nevada on Oct. 12.
  • UH was held to a season-low 331 total yards in last week's 20-19 win over Cincinnati at Aloha Stadium.
  • UH has passed for 400 or more yards five times this season, including a season-best 520 yards against Nevada.
  • Sophomore quarterback Timmy Chang has completed 276-of-496 passes this season for 3,541 yards. In 11 games, he has 20 TDs and 14 interceptions.
  • Chang is the school's all-time leader in passing yards (7,682) and total offense (7,610) in just 24 career games.
  • Chang has 16, 300-yard passing games in his 24-game career UH.
  • UH has had a WAC-high six different players post 100-yard receiving days this season.
  • The Warriors are led by speedy receiver Justin Colbert, who has 71 catches for 996 yards (14.0 per catch) and six TDs.
  • The senior needs four yards for 1,000 receiving yards this year.
  • In addition, Colbert has caught a pass in 23 straight games, the current streak in WAC.
  • UH and San Jose State are the only WAC schools not to have a 100-yard rusher this season.
  • Entering the Alabama game, Hawai'i ranks in the Top 10 in three of the four major statistical defensive categories.
  • Hawai'i scored at least 30 points in 10 of 11 games this season, with the Cincinnati game being the lone exception.
  • Dating back to last year, UH has scored 30 or more points 13 times in the last 14 games, including 13 consecutive games from Nov. 17, 2001 through Nov. 2, 2002.

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