Alabama Football vs. Western Kentucky Postgame Notes
ALABAMA IN HOME OPENERS: With the win over Western Kentucky, the Alabama football team is 98-16-3 all-time in home opening games. UA lost its very first home contest, a 4-0 defeat to the Birmingham Athletic Club in 1893. From 1904-48, the Crimson Tide compiled a 43-game unbeaten streak in home openers, including two ties and two missed seasons due to World War I (1918) and World War II (1943). Since 2004, UA has played its last nine home openers in Bryant-Denny Stadium after capping off the Legion Field era with a 40-17 win over South Florida on August 30, 2003. The Crimson Tide has won 11 consecutive home openers dating back to a win over Middle Tennessee State in 2002. Under head coach Nick Saban, UA has won all six home openers. Alabama's last loss in a home opener came in 2001, falling to No. 17 UCLA, 20-17. *Four of the 97 wins in home openers have been vacated by NCAA rulings.
TIDE 51-3 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: Alabama defeated Western Kentucky, 21-0, on Saturday. With the victory, Crimson Tide is 51-3 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban.
OUT IN FRONT: Alabama has made a habit of getting out early and playing with the lead. The Crimson Tide has not trailed after the first quarter in its last 16 games, starting with the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State. During those 16 games, or 960 minutes of game action, UA has trailed for only 25 minutes and 12 seconds, which means the Tide has held the lead or been tied for 934 minutes and 48 seconds. UA's only loss during that stretch was to LSU last season in overtime of a game that Alabama had led or been tied until overtime. In fact, Alabama has not trailed in regulation since a 3-0 deficit at the 2:26 mark of the first quarter against Tennessee last season. That streak spans parts of eight games, which totals 467 minutes and 26 seconds.
ALABAMA UNDER SABAN IN SEPTEMBER: Alabama has been very successful in the opening month of the season under head coach Nick Saban. Now in his sixth season at Alabama, the Crimson Tide sports a 22-2 record in September following the win against Western Kentucky. Since 2008, Alabama is a perfect 19-0 in September games.
ALABAMA'S TV RECORD: Alabama has compiled a 193-126-4 all-time record in 323 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts.
AGAINST NONCONFERENCE OPPONENTS UNDER SABAN: With the victory over Western Kentucky, Alabama improved to 23-3 against nonconference opponents under head coach Nick Saban. Alabama has now won 16 in a row against out of league opposition. Over the Saban tenure, the Tide has outscored those opponents, 979-302.
QUICK STRIKE: Alabama opened the game with a Christion Jones touchdown reception just 1:53 seconds into the contest. The touchdown was the quickest score for the Crimson Tide to start a game since a Darius Hanks touchdown grab at Duke on Sept. 18, 2010, just 1:19 in the game. The quickest score last season came on a Michael Williamstouchdown, 3:05 into the game.
MCCARRON PASSES WITHOUT AN INTERCEPTION: AJ McCarronequaled Freddie Kitchens for the sixth-most consecutive passes without an interception in UA history. McCarron entered the season with 95 straight passes without a pick and finished the season-opener against Michigan with 21 attempts and added 19 attempts against Western Kentucky, bringing his total number of consecutive passes without an interception to 135. This is McCarron's second run in this particular category as he went 152 straight attempts last season before throwing an interception. Brodie Croyle's mark of 190 consecutive attempts without an interception remains an Alabama record.
FIRST HALF SCORING: Alabama has helped its own cause over the last few seasons by not trailing while entering the locker room at the half. The Tide has either held a lead or been tied entering the intermission in 22 straight games. Over that span UA has outscored the opposition 408-90. The last time the Tide trailed at the half was at South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010.
SCORING STREAK CONTINUES: With its first touchdown of the game at the 13:07 mark of the opening quarter, Alabama raised its current total of games in which it scored to 144. The 144 straight games mark the longest streak in program history.
TOUCHDOWN TANDEM: Alabama receivers Kevin Norwood and Christion Jonesare the first tandem in over 60 years to catch two touchdowns each in the same game. The two touchdowns were career firsts for Jones while Norwood hauled in his second and third career TD grabs. Back in Nov. 11, 1950, versus Southern Miss, seven touchdown passes were thrown; three were caught by Al Lary and two by Ed Lary, in a 53-0 rout.
MCCARRON EQUALS CAREER HIGH: Alabama junior quarterback AJ McCarrontied a career high with four touchdown passes in the win against Western Kentucky. McCarron became the first quarterback in school history with multiple four touchdown passing performances. In his last five games, the signal-caller has thrown 12 touchdowns with no interceptions.
FORCED FUMBLES: The three forced fumbles in the first half for the Crimson Tide defense are the most in a single game since the season opener against Western Carolina on Sept. 1, 2007. Alabama forced two fumbles three times last season and has now forced a fumble in four of its last five games.
GROUND DEFENSE: Limiting opposing running backs to less than 100 yards is nothing new for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has surrendered only 10 individual 100-yard rushing games dating back to the 2005 season, a mark that leads the nation. Since head coach Nick Saban'sarrival, the Tide has allowed just five players to rush for more than 100 yards in a game.
FIRST HALF DEFENSE: With Western Kentucky unable to get on the scoreboard in the first half, the Crimson Tide has now allowed seven points or less in 18 of its last 19 first halves of play.
10 POINTS OR LESS: Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 34 times since the start of the 2007 season. Alabama was successful in holding opponents under 10 in 13 games in 2011. In 2010, the Tide held opponents to 10 points or less eight times and limited opponents to that mark seven times in 2008 and 2009. In 2007, Alabama posted two games in which it held opponents to that mark. Alabama has shutout the opposition seven times during the Saban tenure.
HOLDING OPPONENTS UNDER 300: In head coach Nick Saban's69-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 300 yards of total offense 41 times, or 59.4 percent of the time.
NEXT GAME: Alabama hits the road for its first Southeastern Conference matchup of the season next week when it heads to Fayetteville to take on the eighth-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. The game will be televised on CBS with kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m.CT. The Crimson Tide has won the last four meetings and leads the overall series 12-8, however the game will be the 23rd between the two programs as Alabama had to forfeit one game and vacate another two due to NCAA rulings.