Countdown to Kickoff



Nov. 19, 2011

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ALABAMA UNDER SABAN IN NOVEMBER: With the victory over Georgia Southern, head coach Nick Saban has led the Crimson Tide to a 12-7 record in November, with four of those losses coming in 2007. In games played in November, Alabama has outscored its opponents 535-269.
10-WIN SEASONS: With the win against Georgia Southern, Alabama once again hits the double-digit mark in wins in a single season. The Crimson Tide has won at least 10 games in each of the past four seasons. Alabama will be looking for its 32nd 10-win season in 117 seasons of football. Alabama currently has 31 10-win seasons, ranking second in college football behind Oklahoma, which has reached the 10-win plateau 32 times. Alabama will be looking for its sixth 10-win season since the 2002 season (2002, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010). Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the 11th coach in school history to lead his team to a 10-win season. In addition, Saban is the fifth coach in school history to have more than one 10-win season. Alabama also ranks third nationally in 11-win seasons with 14. Oklahoma also leads that category with 20, while Penn State is second with 15.
SENIOR CLASS WINS RECORD: Alabama set a new senior class wins record on Saturday against Georgia Southern. The 2011 senior class has won 46 games since the start of the 2008 season and has surpasses the mark of the 1994 senior class, which won 45 games (on the field) from 1991-94. The 2011 senior class won 12 games in 2008, 14 games and a national championship in 2009 and 10 games in 2010. The Crimson Tide has captured 10 wins in 11 games this season. The 1994 senior class won 11 games in 1991, 13 wins and a national title in 1992, nine games (eight of which were later forfeited by NCAA action) in 1993 and 12 in 1994.
BLOCKED FIELD GOAL FOR A TOUCHDOWN: Alabama junior Dont’a Hightower blocked a first quarter field goal attempt and junior Dre Kirkpatrick scooped it up and scampered 55 yards for the first touchdown of the game. The blocked field for a touchdown is the first for the Crimson Tide since Roman Harper went the distance on a Chris James block against Hawaii on Nov. 29, 2003. The touchdown is a career first for Kirkpatrick. He becomes the 14th different player to score for the Tide this season.
NON-OFFENSIVE TDs IN THE SABAN ERA: The blocked field goal that Dre Kirkpatrick took to pay dirt against the Eagles was Alabama’s fourth non-offensive touchdown of 2011 and the 24th overall since the Nick Saban Era began in 2007. Since Saban took over as Alabama head coach, the Crimson Tide has garnered 24 non-offensive touchdowns including 10 interception returns, 7 punt returns, 3 kickoff returns, 2 fumble returns, 1 blocked field goal return and 1 blocked punt return for a touchdown. Courtney Upshaw’s 45-yard interception return at Florida on Oct. 1 was Alabama’s second interception return of the 2011 season, and the second in a two week span along with DeQuan Menzie’s 25-yard interception return for a score against Arkansas. Senior return man Marquis Maze returned a punt against Arkansas on Sept. 24.
OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: With the 45 points scored Saturday, it marks the eighth time this season that Alabama has scored 30 or more points. The Tide has amassed 40 or more points four times this season and totaled over 50 once.
RICHARDSON SETS SINGLE SEASON TOUCHDOWN RECORD: With a 1-yard plunge with 2:36 left in the third quarter, Alabama junior running back Trent Richardson scored his 20th rushing touchdown of the season. The 20 touchdowns on the ground break former Tide great Shaun Alexander’s mark of 19 set in 1999. Richardson scored three total touchdowns against the Eagles, with two coming by the way of the rush.
RICHARDSON’S RECORD SCORING PACE: Trent Richardson scored three times against Georgia Southern on Saturday. Those touchdowns mark his 20th, 21st and 22nd on the season overall (20 rushing, 2 receiving). The last rushing score broke Shaun Alexander’s Alabama record of 19 rushing touchdowns in a season set in 1999. Richardson pushed his career total to 34 touchdowns on the ground and 41 overall. The 41 career touchdowns (34 rushing, 6 receiving, 1 kickoff return) ranks third in the Alabama annals, passing Bobby Humphrey (33 rush, 7 receiving). Shaun Alexander (1996-99) is the Alabama career leader with 50 career touchdowns and Mark Ingram (2008-10) is second with 46. Richardson has scored two or more touchdowns on seven different occasions this season and tallied three or more four times in 2011.
RICHARDSON HAMMERS HIS WAY PAST 100: With 175 rushing yards against Georgia Southern, Trent Richardson recorded his eighth 100-yard rushing game of the 2011 season. Richardson has now eclipsed the 100-yard mark 12 times in his career. His 32 carries tied a career high (Mississippi State, Nov. 12) and marked the fourth time the back had carried the ball 25 or more times this season. Alabama is a perfect 4-0 in those games. The Tide has never lost a game (12-0) when Richardson has eclipsed 100 yards rushing. His eight 100 yard games this season is just one behind the Alabama single season record of nine held by Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram (2009).
McCARRON EFFICIENT: Quarterback AJ McCarron put together another efficient day behind center Saturday. McCarron completed 14 of 19 passes for 190 yards and three scores. The sophomore completed 74 percent of his passes which marks the fifth time this season he has eclipsed 70 percent passing. The three passing touchdowns mark the third time in his career he has thrown for two or more scores.
SMELLEY HAULS IN TWO TOUCHDOWNS: Senior tight end Brad Smelley caught two touchdowns in the win against Georgia Southern. The two touchdowns in a single game is a career best for the Tuscaloosa native. Smelley now has three scores on his career, all coming this season. Smelley became just the second player this season to haul in two touchdowns. (DeAndrew White, vs. Vanderbilt, Oct. 8).
MAZE MOVES UP RECEPTIONS LIST: Senior wide receiver Marquis Maze moved into the single season record books with his 52nd reception on the year. The 52 receptions rank 10th all-time in the single season annals, passing the 51 receptions by Lamonde Russell in 1989.