Oct. 3, 2009
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ALABAMA OVER 30 POINTS AGAIN
With their scoring output today, Alabama eclipsed 30 points for the fifth straight game to start the 2009 season. That marks the first time that has ever happened in Alabama football history and the first time it has occurred during any stretch of a season since 1979. Only twice in Alabama history has a Crimson Tide team scored 30 or more points in more than 5 consecutive games: 7 in 1971, and 6 in 1975. This is the fifth time in Alabama history that Alabama has notched 30 points or more in five straight games during any stretch of a season, having also done so in 1920, 1973, 1978 and 1979.
THE ALABAMA-KENTUCKY SERIES
With the victory, Alabama leads the series with Kentucky, 35-2-1 and holds a 15-2 series lead in games played in the state of Kentucky. Alabama is 14-2 in games played in Lexington and also posted win over the Wildcats in Louisville in 1945. UK has not beaten the Tide since Tim Couch led the Cats to a 40-34 overtime win in 1997. The Crimson Tide is 20-0-1 all-time against the Wildcats in the state of Alabama, including a 9-0 record in Tuscaloosa following last year's 17-14 win on Oct. 4, 2008 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
ALABAMA'S TV RECORD
With the victory, Alabama has compiled a 181-115-5 record in 301 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts. The Crimson Tide owns a 156-96-3 record in 255 regular-season televised games.
TODAY'S GAME CAPTAINS & COIN TOSS
Alabama's game captains for the Kentucky game were senior deep snapper Brian Selman, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, senior cornerback Javier Arenas and junior linebacker Rolando McClain. Alabama won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Kentucky chose to defend the West end zone.
TIDE SCORES ON OPENING DRIVE
Alabama took the opening kickoff and marched to a touchdown for a 7-0 lead on an 11-yard run by Mark Ingram with 14:03 left in the first quarter. Alabama has now scored on its opening possession in four of the first five games of the 2009 season, having marched to two field goals and two touchdowns this season. In the Nick Saban Era, Alabama has scored on its opening possession in 19 of 31 games. Over those 31 games, the Crimson Tide has started games by scoring 10 touchdowns and has kicked nine field goals. Alabama scored on its first possession in nine of its 13 games in 2007 and six of its 14 games last season.
FAST STARTING TIDE
With the touchdown on Alabama's opening drive accounting for the Crimson Tide's lone score of the first quarter against Kentucky, Alabama has scored on nine of its 16 first quarter possessions this season (five field goals and four touchdowns). The Crimson Tide has run 92 first quarter plays this season and totaled 506 yards after being held to 26 yards on nine plays in the first quarter against Kentucky.
OFFENSE AWAKENS WITH 97-YARD TOUCHDOWN DRIVE
Alabama's offense broke out of its early doldrums with a 13-play, 97-yard drive in the second quarter that extended the Crimson Tide's lead to 14-6 late in the first half. It marked the second straight game that Alabama has constructed a march of more than 95 yards. Last week against Arkansas, Alabama moved 99 yards in 13 plays for its final touchdown in a 35-7 victory over the Razorbacks. Through the first half of the Kentucky game, Alabama has marched 80 yards or more seven times and 90 yards or more three times this season. On the three 90+-yard drives, quarterback Greg McElroy has completed 14 of 16 passes for 174 yards
TE Colin Peek
*Senior tight end Colin Peek capped a 13-play, 97-yard touchdown drive with a three-yard catch, his first touchdown reception in an Alabama uniform.
*A transfer from Georgia Tech who saw action in 2005 and 2007 for the Yellow Jackets, Peek's touchdown was the second of his collegiate career. Peek's first scoring catch came for Georgia Tech against Georgia on a 17-yard pass from Taylor Bennett on November 24, 2007.
*That was one of several highlight plays for Peek on a day in which he compiled career-best numbers for catches and yards with 6 receptions for 65 yards. His previous career highs came during his time at Georgia Tech: a 5-catch outing vs. Boston College in 2007 and a 49-yard outing vs. Army in 2007.
QB Greg McElroy
*After making 25 pass attempts without an interception against Kentucky, junior quarterback Greg McElroy has not thrown an interception in 106 pass attempts, dating back to a second-quarter pick against Virginia Tech in the opener.
RB Mark Ingram
*Sophomore running back Mark Ingram rushed for 140 yards on 22 carries against Kentucky, his second 100-yard outing of the season (he also had 150 vs. Virginia Tech on Sept. 5).
*In addition to rushing for 487 yards through five games this season, Ingram has added 14 receptions for 147 yard and three scores.
*Ingram has at least one rushing touchdown in eight of his last nine games and one in each game in 2009. Ingram has scored at least one touchdown in 14 of his 19 games for the Tide. He has 21 career touchdowns (three receiving), including a freshman record 12 (all rushing) in 2008.
*Ingram has not lost a fumble in 226 career rushing attempts and 21 career receptions for a total of 230 career touches. He has only put the ball on the ground one time (at LSU in 2008), which was recovered by the Tide.
RB Trent Richardson
*True freshman running back Trent Richardson has enjoyed an impressive debut in his first four games with the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium. He rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against FIU and followed that up with 87 yards on 11 carries (7.9 ypc) against North Texas and 65 yards and a score vs. Arkansas. Richardson scored on runs of nine and 35 yards in the second half vs. FIU, plunged in from one-yard out against North Texas and then broke five tackles en route to a 52-yard touchdown vs. Arkansas.
*The Alabama defense forced four Kentucky turnovers today. For the season, the Crimson Tide has forced eight turnovers (three fumbles and five interceptions). In 2008, Alabama had 15 interceptions for the season. In the second quarter, linebacker Courtney Upshaw plucked a fumble out of the air and ran 45 yards for a touchdown. In the third quarter, linebacker Rolando McClain intercepted a pass and returned it 21 yards to the Kentucky 38 to set up a touchdown. Later in the period, linebacker Eryk Anders intercepted a deflected pass at the UK 20 to set up a field goal.
LB Rolando McClain
*Junior linebacker Rolando McClain earned the SEC Network Player of the Game award against Kentucky with a game-high 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception against the Wildcats. McClain's forced fumble was recovered by Courtney Upshaw who returned it for a touchdown in the second quarter.
LB Courtney Upshaw
*Sophomore linebacker Courtney Upshaw had a memorable first career start against Kentucky, grabbing a fumble out of the air and returning it 45 yards for a touchdown to give Alabama a 21-6 lead in the second quarter. Linebacker Roland McClain caused the fumble after a pass reception. It is the first fumble returned for a touchdown by the Crimson Tide since McClain returned a fumble 4 yards for a score against Kentucky on October 4, 2008.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Javier Arenas *Senior return man Javier Arenas set up Alabama's first offensive possession of the Kentucky game by returning the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Wildcat 38-yard line. With three kickoff returns for 97 yards against the Wildcats, Arenas has 238 yards on eight kickoff returns this season, raising his average per kickoff return to 29.5 yards. Arenas, Alabama's career leader in kickoff returns and yardage, now has returned 79 kickoffs for 1,853 yards for an average of 23.5 yards per kickoff return.
HEAD COACH Nick Saban
BEST COACHING STARTS IN ALABAMA HISTORY
Nick Saban has compiled a 24-8 (.750) record in his career with the Tide and the 24 wins rank in a tie for the fourth-most for any Crimson Tide head football coach after 32 games. Xen Scott and Bill Curry also posted 24 wins through their first 32 games with the Crimson Tide. Wallace Wade holds the record for most wins after 32 games with 28 victories. Frank Thomas is second with 27 wins in 32 games while Gene Stallings third with 26. Below are the most wins by Alabama coaches after the first 32 games at Alabama.
Most Wins (After 32 Games)
Wallace Wade 28
Frank Thomas 27
Gene Stallings 26
Xen Scott 24
Bill Curry 24
SABAN IMPROVES TO 5-0 VERSUS KENTUCKY
With the win, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 5-0 in his career against Kentucky and owns a 3-0 mark against the Wildcats in Lexington. Date Results of Game Oct. 14, 2000 LSU 34, Kentucky 0 (Baton Rouge) Oct. 13, 2001 LSU 29, Kentucky 25 (Lexington) Nov. 9, 2002 LSU 33, Kentucky 30 (Lexington) Oct. 4, 2008 Alabama 17, Kentucky 14 (Tuscaloosa) Oct. 3, 2009 Alabama 38, Kentucky 20 (Lexington)
Alabama continues a two-game road swing through the SEC with a trip to No. 21 Mississippi on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Crimson Tide visit the Rebel's Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with a 45-9-2 edge in the all-time series. The kickoff time and television network has not been determined. The Tide has won five straight over the Rebels, including a 24-20 in Tuscaloosa last season. The Tide's last trip to Oxford resulted in a tight 27-24 win. The last four games in the series - all Alabama wins - have been decided by four points or less. UA is 5-3 all-time in Oxford and 12-8-1 in Mississippi, including games in Jackson, Columbus and Greenville.