The University of Alabama, founded in 1831, was the first university chartered in the State of Alabama. Their school colors were originally crimson and yellow but were quickly changed to crimson and white. Bama first played football in 1892, beating the Birmingham High School All-Stars 56-0.
Their varsity team in the beginning was called the "Crimson White." In a 6-6
tie with Auburn in 1907, a sports writer for the Birmingham Age-Herald
described the muddy, wet scene of Alabama players as a "sea of Crimson
Tide." The nickname Crimson Tide caught on and has been used since.
The use of
an elephant as a mascot resulted from the Ole Miss game of 1930. Alabama
coach Wallace Wade started the game using his second team against the
Rebels. He brought his varsity out of the dressing room at the end of the
first quarter. As the varsity entered the stadium, someone in the stands
shouted, "hold your horses, the elephants are coming." The much bigger
varsity mauled the Rebels that day 64-0, thus a tradition of using a "red
elephant" as their mascot began at Alabama.
The Crimson Tide has one of the best winning traditions in college football
history, having won 769 games, lost 299 and tied 44. Alabama lays claim to
12 national championships, 21 SEC championships and have had 91
All-Americans honored 102 times. They play in Bryant-Denny Stadium that
seats 81,018 and are adding 10,000 more seats to be ready in 2006 when the
Rebels go back there.
The Tide's biggest margin of victory was in 1922,
defeating little Marion Institute 110-0, their most lopsided loss was to
Vanderbilt in 1906, 78-0. Alabama has played in six Rose Bowls and a NCAA
record 52 Bowl games. The only team in the SEC that Alabama does not have a
winning record against is Arkansas. Their 24-13 win this season brought
their record to 9-9 versus the Hogs.
Former Alabama player Bear Bryant later coached the Tide to the best
coaching record in Bama history. Bryant won 232 games, lost only 46 and tied
9. A former Bama All-American Johnny "Hurri" Cain coached many years at Ole
Miss under Johnny Vaught. in 1932, Cain punted 19 times in the Tennessee
game averaging 48 yards per punt. Alabama has had 27 10 or more wins
seasons, last going undefeated at 13-0 and winning the national championship
Alabama comes into the game Saturday with a 5-0 record and 3-0 in the SEC,
their best start since 1996. The Crimson Tide opened the season with wins
over Middle Tennessee 26-7 and Southern Mississippi 30-21. They went on the
road to defeat South Carolina 37-14, came back home for wins over Arkansas
24-13 and nationally ranked Florida 31-3.
This will be the 53rd meeting between Ole Miss and Alabama dating back to
1894, a game won by the Rebels in Jackson, 6-0. Alabama has a lopsided lead
in this series, 41-9-2, and one of the Rebels win was a 19-14 forfeited in
1993. The Rebels have won the last two games played in Oxford, 27-24 in 2001
and 43-28 in 2003. Last year the Crimson Tide prevailed in Tuscaloosa 28-7.
The head football coach at Alabama is former Tide quarterback Mike Shula.
Shula, the son of former NFL great Don Shula, is in his 3nd year as the head
coach with a 15-15 record, taking over a Tide team in 2003 that was on NCAA
probation. The 1987 graduate of Alabama played under Ray Perkins and helped
lead the Tide to a 32-15-1 record during his years as a player. Shula later
coached in the NFL at Chicago, Tampa Bay and Miami before taking over at
The Alabama offense is a multiple 2-back set that is currently ranked 5th in
SEC averaging 402 yards of offense per game. Their offensive coordinator is
Dave Radar, a 1979 graduate of Tulsa with 22 years coaching experience. He
was the quarterbacks coach at Bama when Shula played. Radar has seven
returning starters on offense and will start three seniors, four juniors,
two sophomores and two red shirt-freshmen. The Tide is scoring an average of
29.6 points per game and converts third downs at a 41.4% rate. The offensive
line averages 287 pounds, tackle-to-tackle. Their key offensive players
- QB # 12 Brodie Croyle, Sr., 6-2, 200 - completed 76-of-126 passed for
1111yards, 60.3%, 9 TD's, 2 INT's, rushed for 5 yards.
- RB # 34 Kenneth Darby , Jr., 5-11, 205 - 92 carries for 513 yards, 5.6
average, 1 TD, long 33yards.
- FB # 29 Tim Castille , Jr., 5-11, 236 - Designated TD maker with 6 rushing
- WR # 22 D.J. Hall, So., 6-3, 190 - 12 catches for 231 yards, 19.2 average.
-WR #81 Keith Brown, So., 6-3, 192 - 11catches for 269 yards, 24.5 average.
- C # 74 JB Closner, Sr., 6-4, 290 - returning starter.
- RT # 58 Kyle Tatum, Sr., 6-8, 290 - returning starter.
Note: The Crimson Tide lost Tyrone Prothro in the Florida game with a nasty
broken leg. Prothro led the SEC with 691 all-purpose yards, was their best
receiver, kickoff return and punt return man.
Defensively the Crimson Tide runs a 4-3-4 and is the number one defense in
the SEC, allowing just 251 total yards per game. Their defensive coordinator
is Joe Kines, a veteran of 38 years of coaching. Kines has been the defensive
coordinator at four SEC schools, Florida, Arkansas, Georgia and now the
second time at Alabama. The Tide defense is giving up only 11.6 points per
game, only 98 yards rushing per game and third down conversions at a 25%
rate. Kines has nine starters back on defense with a defensive line that
averages 275 pounds per man across the front four. He will start seven
seniors, three juniors and one sophomore against Ole Miss. The key Bama
defensive players include:
- SLB # 35 DeMeco Ryans, Sr., 6-3, 232 - 20 solo tackles + 19 assist = 39
- FS # 41 Ramon Harper, Sr., 6-1, 200 - 17 solo tackles + 14 assist = 31
- WLB # 42 Juwan Simpson, Jr., 6-3, 222 - 12 solo tackles + 15 assist = 27
- DE # 47 Mike Anderson, Sr., 6-5, 253 - 11 solo tackles + 7 assist = 18
- MLB # 8 Freddie Roach, Sr., 6-2, 248 - leads SEC with 8 pass breakups.
- LCB # 2 Simeon Castille, So., 6-1, 188 - has 6 pass breakups.
- SS # 26 Charlie Peprah, Sr. 5-11 193 - Started 38 consecutive games for
Note: Not a single Alabama defensive back is in top 25 among SEC tacklers,
ballcarriers are not getting past the defensive line and linebackers to the
The special teams players Alabama may use include:
Punter # 25 Jeremy Schatz, Sr. - 15 punts for a 41.9 average, # 2 in SEC.
Punt Return # 22 D J Hall, So. or # 5 Brandon Brooks, Sr.
Place Kicker # 86 Jamie Christensen, So. - 6-of-8 FG's & 14-15 PAT, long 41
KO Return # 22 D J Hall, So. or # 5 Brandon Brooks, Sr.
THOUGHTS - The Rebels have to build off the second half effort against The Citadel offensively. It will be imperative to eliminate costly penalties and things they can control in their own execution. Alabama's defense feasts on mental and physical errors. . .
The Rebel defense must slow down the running game of Darby and find a way to pressure Croyle and
not let Croyle throw over the top to Hall and Brown. It
would be great to hang the 300th loss on the Crimson Tide Saturday, but it will certainly take a near-flawless effort on the part of the team to do so. The Rebels, however, are due to play a game more up to their potential.
Bama scouting report
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