Nov. 15, 2008
Box Score |
ARENAS SETS SINGLE-GAME MARK FOR PUNT RETURN YARDAGE
With 153 yards on six punt return yards against Mississippi State, junior Javier Arenas set a new Alabama single-game record for punt return yardage. That total bettered the previous mark of 147 set by Arenas on September 6 against Tulane. Prior to this season, the Alabama record for single-game punt return yards was held by Harry Gilmer, who compiled 122 yards on punt returns in a 17-7 win at Georgia on October 25, 1947.
ARENAS SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR CAREER PUNT RETURN YARDAGE
With 153 yards on six punt returns against Mississippi State, Javier Arenas set an Alabama career record for punt return yardage as his career punt return yardage is now at 1,146 yards. Arenas is averaging 13.0 yards per punt return for his career (1,146 yards on 88 returns), an average that has him on pace for second place in Alabama history. Harry Gilmer's average of 13.5 yards per punt return (1,119 yards on 83 returns from 1944-47) is the best in Alabama history.
ARENAS GOES THE DISTANCE
Javier Arenas returned a Mississippi State punt 80 yards for a touchdown with 12:14 left in the third quarter to put Alabama in front, 19-7. That return tied for the 10th-longest punt return in Alabama history, and was Arenas' fifth punt return for a touchdown in his Alabama career, moving ahead of David Palmer's (1991-93) school record. Palmer actually had a fifth punt return for a touchdown against Colorado in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl that came prior to the NCAA recognizing bowl statistics. Arenas has had three punt returns of more than 80 or more yards in his career, including an 86-yarder vs. Oklahoma State in the 2006 Independence Bowl and an 87-yarder against Tulane this season. The junior also owns three of the 10 longest punt returns in Alabama history
Arenas' Career Punt Return Touchdowns
65 Florida International (Oct. 28, 2006)
86 Oklahoma State (Independence Bowl) (Dec. 28, 2006)
61 LSU (Nov. 3, 2007)
87 Tulane (Sept. 6, 2008)
80 Mississippi State (Nov. 15, 2008)
JACKSON'S BLOCKED PUNT NOTCHES FIRST SAFETY SINCE 2007
Sophomore cornerback Kareem Jackson opened the scoring for Alabama against Mississippi State with a blocked punt out of the end zone for a safety to give Alabama a 2-0 lead with 10:03 left in the first quarter. The safety was the first recorded by the Crimson Tide this season, and the first since an intentional grounding call awarded two points to Alabama against Houston on October 6, 2007.
COFFEE EXTENDS RUSHING TOTALS
Junior running back Glen Coffee rushed for 71 yards on 17 carries against Mississippi State. That performance improved his season rushing totals to 1,091 yards on 179 carries (6.1 yards per carry) with 8 touchdowns. The yardage total ranks 11th in Alabama history for a season, trailing Dennis Riddle (1996) and Siran Stacy (1989), both of whom rushed for 1,079 yards in a season and Johnny Musso (1971) at 1,088.
JONES CONTINUES HOT STREAK, EXTENDS HIS FRESHMAN RECORDS
Alabama freshman wide receiver Julio Jones had 3 catches for 53 yards against Mississippi State. In his last four games, Jones has 21 catches for 346 yards (16.5 yards per reception). For the season, Jones has 687 yards receiving, the most ever by a Crimson Tide freshman, surpassing Ozzie Newsome, who had 374 yards in 1974. Jones also holds the freshman season receptions record with 43, passing A.C. Carter who had 29 in 1999.
INGRAM BREAKS RECORD FOR RUSHING TDS BY A FRESHMAN
Freshman running back Mark Ingram rushed for 78 yards and one touchdown against Mississippi State, scoring on a run of 1 yard with 7:58 left in the fourth quarter to give him nine rushing touchdowns this season. That set a new Alabama record for touchdown runs by a freshman, eclipsing Terry Grant's eight rushing touchdowns in 2007.
SABAN REACHES 11-0 FOR FIRST TIME
Nick Saban moved to 11-0 for the first time in his head coaching career with the win over Mississippi State. Prior to this season, Saban had fielded two teams that reached 6-0 and two teams that reached 5-0. His 1990 team at Toledo posted wins in the first six games before falling at Central Michigan 13-12 and then his 1999 team at Michigan State went 6-0 before a 19-17 loss at Northwestern. Saban's 1997 Michigan State and 2003 LSU squads started the year at 5-0.
Year Start Team
2008 11-0 Alabama
1999 6-0 Michigan State
1990 6-0 Toledo
2003 5-0 LSU
1997 5-0 Michigan State
TIDE WINS 12th Straight
With the win over Mississippi State, Alabama has reeled off 12 consecutive wins dating back to last year's win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide's winning streak is tied for the longest in the nation with Texas Tech, which was idle on Saturday, and Utah, which defeated San Diego State on Saturday night. The 12-game winning streak is the longest since a 12-game winning streak that began at the 1993 Gator Bowl and continued until a loss to Florida in the 1994 SEC Championship Game.
Current winning streaks in college football
Texas Tech 12
Ball State 10
Boise State 10
ALABAMA 7-0 IN SEC FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 1994
The victory over Mississippi State improved Alabama to 7-0 in Southeastern Conference games this season, marking the first time since 1994 that the Crimson Tides has started conference play with a 7-0 record. That year, Alabama completed the regular season with an 8-0 SEC mark before falling to Florida in the SEC Championship Game.
FIRST 11-0 START SINCE 1994
With the win over Mississippi State, Alabama moved to 11-0 on the season. That is the Crimson Tide's first 11-0 start since the 1994 season, a year that finished with the Tide 12-1 overall including a 24-17 win over Ohio State in the Florida Citrus Bowl. That Alabama team finished the season ranked 5th in the final post-bowl rankings.
STOPPING THE RUN
By holding Mississippi State to 35 yards rushing on 22 attempts for the game, Alabama improved to 12-2 under Coach Nick Saban when holding opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in a game, including a 9-0 mark in 2008. The Crimson Tide held Clemson (0), Tulane (86), Western Kentucky (42), Arkansas (92), Georgia (50), Kentucky (35), Tennessee (36), Arkansas State (91) and Mississippi State (35) to less than 100 rushing yards. Alabama has held opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in nine of the first 11 games of the season. Going back to 2007, the Tide has held 10 of their last 12 opponents below 100 yards rushing with Colorado amassing just 75 yards in the 2007 Independence Bowl. Alabama was 3-2 last year when opponents failed to reach 100 rushing yards in a game. In Coach Saban's 24-game tenure at Alabama, the Tide has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing 14 times.
TIDE GRABBED ANOTHER LEAD EARLY
With a safety just 4:47 into the game with Mississippi State, Alabama continued its 2008 trend of jumping out to an early lead. The Crimson Tide has scored in the first quarter of all 11 games this season and in 12 straight (including the 2007 Independence Bowl vs. Colorado).
Game 1st Score
Colorado 1Q - 11:30
Clemson 1Q - 9:43
Tulane 1Q - 10:45
Western Kentucky 1Q - 8:42
Arkansas 1Q - 10:40
Georgia 1Q - 8:32
Kentucky 1Q - 9:48
Mississippi 1Q - 4:10
Tennessee 1Q - 10:18
Arkansas State 1Q - 4:23
LSU 1Q - 8:23
Mississippi State 1Q - 10:03
*Freshman running back Mark Ingram's 40-yard run late in the third quarter is his longest run of the season.
* Senior quarterback John Parker Wilson's sneak for a touchdown in the second quarter to put Alabama up 12-7 was the first offensive touchdown scored by Alabama against the Bulldogs since the fourth quarter of the UA-MSU game on November 6, 2004 in Tuscaloosa. That touchdown was a four-yard pass from Spencer Pennington to LaRon McClain with 5:28 remaining in the fourth quarter of a 30-14 Alabama victory.
*Junior "jack" Brandon Fanney recovered a Mississippi State fumble in the first quarter. The recovery was the first of Fanney's Alabama career, coming in his 22nd game in a Crimson Tide uniform and his 11th start.
*Junior placekicker Leigh Tiffin made three field goals against Mississippi State, giving him 46 successful field goals in his Alabama career (in 67 attempts). Tiffin ranks fourth in Crimson Tide history for field goals made, trailing Philip Doyle (78 in 105 attempts from 1987-90), Michael Proctor (65-of-91 from 1992-95) and Tiffin's father, Van Tiffin (59-of-88 from 1983-86).
ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI STATE SERIES
With the victory, Alabama holds a 72-18-3 lead over Mississippi State in a series that dates back to the 1896 season. The Mississippi State series is the longest running series in Alabama football. Alabama has played more games (93) and has more wins (72) against Mississippi State than any other opponent on record. Saturday's game marked the 61st consecutive year these two teams have met on the gridiron, having played every year since 1948.
Alabama closes out the 2008 regular season with in-state rival Auburn at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, November 29. The SEC Western Division Champion Crimson Tide will then participate in their first SEC Championship Game since 1999. The Tide will face Florida on December 6 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.