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Football vs. Virginia Tech Postgame Notes



Sept. 5, 2009


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Saturday, September 5, 2009
The Georgia Dome - Atlanta, Ga.

INGRAM HAS CAREER RUSHING NIGHT - EARNS MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER HONOR Sophomore running back Mark Ingram earned Offensive Most Outstanding Player honors with his career-best 150-yard rushing performance against Virginia Tech. His previous single-game career-best rushing yardage outing at Alabama was a 113-yard effort against Arkansas State in 2008. He also set a single-game high for rushing attempts with 26, eclipsing his previous high of 17 set against Clemson and Mississippi in 2008. Ingram added a crucial 18-yard touchdown catch from Greg McElroy that gave Alabama a 34-24 lead with 10:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, a 74-yard march on which Ingram had runs of 39 and 9 yards before the touchdown catch.

DEFENSE STIFLES VIRGINIA TECH OFFENSE Alabama returned eight starters from a 2008 defense that finished third nationally in total defense, allowing just 263.5 yards per game. The 2009 unit had an excellent debut against Virginia Tech, holding the Hokies to 154 total yards (63 rushing, 91 passing) and 12 first downs. The Tide held Tech to 2 for 12 on 3rd Down Conversions and racked up 5 sacks of Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor. In 2008, Alabama finished second nationally in rush defense, surrendering just 74.14 ypg. The Tide's scoring defense was seventh nationally (14.29) while the pass efficiency defense was 14th (106.68).

STATISTICAL DOMINATION IN A METHODICAL VICTORY The stats sheet would belie the competitive nature of Alabama's win over Virginia Tech as the Crimson Tide dominated play for much of the night. Alabama outgained Tech in total yards, 498 to 155, including a 268 to 64 advantage in rushing yards and a 230 to 91 edge through the air. Alabama had the ball for 37:02 of possession time compared to Tech's 22:58.

TIFFIN TIES SINGLE-GAME HIGH WITH 4 FIELD GOALS Senior placekicker Leigh Tiffin converted 4 of 5 field goal attempts against Virginia Tech, making good on attempts from 49, 34, 43 and 20 yards. That matched his single-game best at Alabama, previously achieved Tennessee, Oct. 20, 2007; Mississippi State on Nov. 10, 2007; Clemson on Aug. 30, 2008) and ranks second in Alabama history (6 by Philip Doyle vs. Southwestern Louisiana on Oct. 6, 1990) Tiffin made three field goals in the first quarter to give Alabama a 9-7 lead after the opening period. The four field goals give Tiffin 57 in his Alabama career, ranking him 4th all-time in Crimson Tide history behind Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90), Michael Proctor (65 from 1992-95) and Tiffin's father, Van Tiffin (59 from 1983-86).

MAZE'S CAREER-LONG CATCH SETS UP GO-AHEAD SCORE Sophomore Marquis Maze's 48-yard catch of a Greg McElroy pass to the Virginia Tech 6-yard line set up Mark Ingram's 6-yard touchdown run on the next play to give Alabama a 22-17 lead with 12:23 left in the fourth quarter. The catch was the longest of Maze's Alabama career and spearheaded a 2-play, 54-yard drive that put the Crimson Tide ahead. Alabama extended the lead to 24-17 when McElroy connected with senior tight end Colin Peak for a two-point conversion.

EXPLOSIVE UPCHURCH KEYS RUSHING ATTACK Senior tailback Roy Upchurch gave the Alabama offense a lift in the first half and ended the night with some impressive numbers in a reserve role. Upchurch's nifty 19-yard run with 3:09 remaining in the second quarter was Alabama's first touchdown of the 2009 season and gave the Tide a 16-10 lead, capping Alabama's first impressive possession of the game. Later, Upchurch had a 34-yard run to the Tech 44-yard line with 46 seconds left in the second quarter and ended the first half with 53 yards rushing and a touchdown on two carries. He ended the game with an average of 11.5 yards per carry, rushing for 80 yards on only 7 attempts.

ROGERS' FUMBLE RECOVERY Senior cornerback Chris Rogers' caused and recovered a Virginia Tech fumble with 12:14 remaining in the fourth quarter with Alabama holding a 24-17 lead to set up a field goal by Leigh Tiffin that gave Alabama a 27-17 lead with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter. The fumble recovery was the second of Rogers' Alabama career. His first came against Oklahoma State in the 2006 Independence Bowl.

DEADERICK SEES ACTION Senior defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick completed a miraculous return to activity with an appearance in tonight's game just 5 days after being shot by an unknown assailant on Monday night, August 31, in Tuscaloosa. Deaderick, who suffered non-life threatening injuries to his left forearm and hip in the incident, was cleared for action by team doctors. He saw his first action on special teams with 6:35 left to play in the first quarter on Virginia Tech's point-after conversion following a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that tied the game at 6-6. Deaderick saw action on defense with 3:00 left in the first quarter.

9 FIRST-TIME STARTERS FOR ALABAMA Nine Alabama players (6 on offense, 3 on defense) made their first career starts for the Crimson Tide against Virginia Tech. On defense, senior linebacker Eryk Anders, sophomore defensive back Mark Barron and sophomore defensive lineman Marcell Dareus were first-time starters. On offense, junior left tackle James Carpenter, sophomore center William Vlachos, sophomore right guard Barrett Jones, senior tight end Colin Peek, sophomore tight end/H-back Brad Smelley and junior quarterback Greg McElroy made their first starts.

TECH KICKOFF RETURN ERASES EARLY LEAD Virginia Tech erased a 6-0 Alabama lead in the first quarter when Dyrell Roberts took a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. It marked the first kickoff return for a touchdown allowed by Alabama since Clemson's C.J. Spiller scored on a 96-yard kickoff return on August 30, 2008, also in the Georgia Dome.

ARENAS GETS A SACK Senior cornerback Javier Arenas was credited with a quarterback sack of Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the first quarter, the third sack of his career, to force a Tech punt. He previously had sacks against Tennessee and Western Kentucky. Arenas got the sack when Taylor was flushed out of the pocket and threw a pass when in Arenas' grasp, incurring an intentional grounding penalty on the play.

HANKS NABS CAREER-LONG RECEPTION Junior wide receiver Darius Hanks' leaping grab of a Greg McElroy pass in the first quarter went for 37 yards to the Virginia Tech 17-yard line to set up a 34-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin was the longest reception of Hanks' Alabama career, surpassing an 18-yard catch of a McElroy pass in 2008 against Auburn.

GAME CAPTAINS Tonight's game captains for Alabama were senior cornerback Javier Arenas, senior offensive guard Mike Johnson and junior linebacker Rolando McClain. Alabama won the coin toss and elected to defer. Virginia Tech elected to receive the opening kickoff.

11TH NATIONAL TV EXPOSURE IN ALABAMA'S LAST 15 GAMES The Virginia Tech game was Alabama's 11th national TV broadcast in its last 15 games. In 2008, Alabama had 10 of its 14 games broadcast nationally, including five games on CBS, three games on ESPN, one on ABC and one on FOX. The 10 nationally broadcast games last year were tied with Notre Dame for the most in the nation.

THE ALABAMA-VIRGINIA TECH SERIES With the victory, Alabama holds a commanding 11-1 edge in the series with Virginia Tech.

SEASON OPENERS With the victory, Alabama has compiled a 91-21-3 record in season openers, including an eight-game winning streak. Since 1977, Alabama is 29-4 in its last 33 season openers and the Tide has posted a 17-2 opening day record since 1991.

ALABAMA VS. ACC OPPONENTS With the win over Virginia Tech, Alabama has compiled a 78-33-1 against the current ACC field. Virginia Tech marks Alabama's fourth ACC opponent in the last four years, joining Duke (2006), Florida State (2007) and Clemson (2008). The Crimson Tide's record against the ACC field includes Boston College (1-3), Clemson (12-3), Duke (2-1), Florida State (2-1-1), Georgia Tech (28-21-3), Maryland (2-1), Miami, Fla. (14-3), North Carolina (1-0), North Carolina State (5-0) and Virginia Tech (11-1). Alabama has never faced Virginia or Wake Forest in football.

ALABAMA CONTINUES OPENING DAY SCORING SPREE Scoring 34 points against Virginia Tech, Alabama has scored 302 points in its last eight season openers, an average of 37.8 points per game in wins over Middle Tennessee (39-34), South Florida (40-17), Utah State (48-17), Middle Tennessee (26-7), Hawaii (25-17), Western Carolina (52-6), Clemson (34-10) and Virginia Tech (34-24).

ALABAMA IN GAMES IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA With the victory over Virginia Tech, Alabama inproved to 30-28-3 all-time in games played in the state of Georgia. The Crimson Tide owns a 17-16-3 record in the city of Atlanta, and has won seven of its last 10 games in Atlanta. The Tide owns a 12-10 record in games played in Athens. Alabama is 0-2 in games played in Columbus.

NEUTRAL SITES With the victory over Virginia Tech, Alabama is 64-46-4 in neutral site games. The list includes all Alabama-Auburn games not played on campus, including Legion Field from 1948-88.

DOME SWEET DOME The win over Virginia Tech improved Alabama to 9-5-1 all-time in domed stadiums after a 1-2 record in 2008. UA is 1-3 (.250) in its four SEC Championship game appearances at the Georgia Dome. In addition, UA is 6-2 (.750) in games played at the Louisiana Superdome, including a 5-2 (.714) mark in Sugar Bowl games.

ALABAMA'S TV RECORD Alabama has compiled a 178-115-5 all-time record in 298 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts. The Crimson Tide owns a 152-96-3 (.612) record in 251 regular-season televised games.

SABAN NOW 11-3 IN SEASON OPENERS Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is 11-3 in his collegiate season openers, including a 3-0 record at Alabama. He led Alabama to a 52-6 win over Western Carolina on Sept. 1, 2007, in his inaugural game with the Crimson Tide and a 34-10 win over Clemson in 2008 before the 34-24 win over Virginia Tech to open the 2009 campaign. Saban won his very first collegiate game on Sept. 8, 1990, as he led Toledo to a 20-14 win over Miami (Ohio). He was 3-2 in season openers at Michigan State and 4-1 in season openers at LSU.

SABAN VS. ACC OPPONENTS Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 4-2 in his career against ACC teams. He has posted wins against Boston College (1995), Georgia Tech (2000), Clemson (2008) and Virginia Tech (2009) while suffering losses to Virginia Tech (2002) and Florida State (2007). He is 2-1 against ACC teams at Alabama, including a 34-10 win over Clemson in the 2008 Chick-fil-a College Kickoff and Saturday's 34-24 win over Virginia Tech.

NEXT GAME Alabama opens the home portion of its 2009 football schedule on Saturday, Sept. 12, against the Florida International Panthers at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It will be the second time that FIU and Alabama have met on the football field, with the Tide claiming a 38-3 win at home in 2006. The game is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be televised on a pay-per-view basis.