Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Football Game Notes: Middle Tennessee State


Monday, August 26, 2002

Santonio Beard
Santonio Beard

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The University of Alabama football team will open the 2002 season Saturday, August 31 as they host the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Birmingham's historic Legion Field.  The game will kickoff at 11:37 a.m. and will be televised regionally by Jefferson Pilot Sports.  Veterans Dave Neal (play-by-play) and Dave Rowe (color analyst) will call the action, while Dave Baker will join the broadcast team this season as the full-time sideline reporter.  The game will be shown live in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa area on WTTO-TV (Tuscaloosa, Comcast channel 4).  The 2002 season opener will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Kenny Stabler (color analyst) describing the action.  Tom Roberts will once again work the sidelines for the network broadcasts.


The University of Alabama opens its 108th football season this week as it opens the 2002 season against the Middle Tennessee on Saturday, August 31 at Birmingham's Legion Field. The Crimson Tide played its first football game on Nov. 11, 1892 with a 56-0 win over Birmingham High School in Birmingham. Since then, Alabama has compiled a 744-281-43 (.717) all-time record in 1,068 games.  Alabama and Penn State are tied for fifth place on the all-time victory list for Division I leaders. The Crimson Tide football legacy includes 12 national championships and 21 Southeastern Conference championships.  Alabama has also logged 26 10-win seasons, the most by any Division I school. The Crimson Tide also ranks among the best in post-season play, holding the NCAA record for most bowl appearances (51) and bowl victories (29).


Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione enters his second season with the Crimson Tide.  In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record and win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl.  Overall, Franchione begins his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 145-70-2 (.673) ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama. Middle Tennessee head coach Andy McCollum has compiled a 17-16 (.515) record during his three-year tenure. Prior to taking his first head coaching job, McCollum was an assistant coach at MTSU (1982-88), UTEP (1989-93) and Baylor (1993-98).


This will be the first ever meeting between Alabama and Middle Tennessee. 


The Crimson Tide has posted an 83-21-3 (.790) record in season openers.  Alabama has lost back-to-back season openers, losing to UCLA (35-24) in 2000 and (20-17) 2001.  The last time the Crimson Tide lost back-to-back season openers was 1975-76 when UA fell to Missouri (20-7) and Ole Miss (10-7).  Prior to the loss at UCLA to open the 2000 season, Alabama had won nine straight season openers, dating back to the 1990 season.  Alabama has not lost three consecutive season openers since the 1950s, when UA lost seven straight season openers from 1953-59. 

*Alabama will open the season at Birmingham's Legion Field for the first time since a 42-17 win over Houston on August 30, 1997.

*Alabama has played its season opener 24 times at Legion Field and has compiled a 19-4-1 (.808) record in those season openers.  The Crimson Tide has won its last five season openers at Legion Field, dating back to a 27-24 loss to Southern Miss in 1990. 

*In last year's opener with UCLA, UA head coach Dennis Franchione became the first coach in 70 years to make his Alabama coaching debut in Tuscaloosa. Prior to Coach Fran, the last coach to make his UA coaching debut was Frank Thomas, who led his team to a 42-0 win over Howard on Sept. 26, 1931. Of the seven head coaches between Thomas and Franchione, five made their UA coaching debuts at Birmingham's Legion Field, including Red Drew, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings and Mike DuBose. Coach Paul Bryant made his UA coaching debut at Mobile's Ladd Stadium and J.B. Whitworth's debut came in Houston, Texas. 


Here is a look at some of the more memorable and significant season openers for the Crimson Tide since World War II.

1951 -- Alabama 89, Delta State 0 (Sept. 21, Montgomery, Ala.)

The Crimson Tide set school records for most points (89), most touchdowns (13), most extra points (11) in this blowout win over Delta State. All-American Bobby Marlow added 103 yards on the ground.

1958 -- LSU 13, Alabama 3 (Sept. 27, Mobile, Ala.)

The Alabama head coaching debut of Paul "Bear " Bryant took place at Ladd Stadium in Mobile.  Bryant inherited a team that posted a 2-7-1 record in 1957 and took that team to a 5-4-1 mark in his first season.  Over the next 25 years, Alabama would once again become one the powerhouses in college football.  Bryant compiled a 232-46-9 (.824) at Alabama, leading the Tide to national championships in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978 and 1979.

1960 -- Alabama 21, Georgia 6 (Sept. 17, 1960, Birmingham)

Alabama defeated Georgia 21-6 in the first-ever college football game televised by ABC Sports.

1965 -- Georgia 18, Alabama 17 (Sept. 18, 1965)

After winning the national championship in 1964, Alabama was set to defend its title between the hedges in Athens, Ga.  It was a spectacular pass-and-lateral play in the final two minutes that gave Georgia the 18-17 upset win. Although television replays later revealed the Georgia player had one knee touching the ground before the lateral.

1967 -- Alabama 37, Florida State 37 (Sept. 23, Birmingham)

Alabama allowed only 37 points en route to its undefeated 1966 season.  In the 1967 season opener, Florida State equalled that total with a 37-point outburst as the two teams battled to tie at Legion Field. 

1970 -- Southern Cal 42, Alabama 21 (Sept. 12, Birmingham)

Sam Cunningham's dominating ground game handed the Crimson Tide its worst loss of the 1970 season.  USC ran for 485 yards against Alabama and had 559 yards of total offense.  Cunningham scored two first quarter touchdowns on runs of 22 and four yards.

1971 -- Alabama 17, USC 10 (Sept. 10, Los Angeles)

Perhaps the most significant season opener in Alabama football annals was the Tide's win at USC.  The Crimson Tide had installed the wishbone offense and kept is secret throughout the summer and fall camp.  The Tide unleashed its attack against the Trojans and built a 17-0 lead.  All-America tailback Johnny Musso had the honors of scoring the first rushing touchdown in the wishbone era of Alabama football. The Crimson Tide would dominate the decade of the 1970s, winning 103 games.  In addition, Alabama either won of played for the national championship six times in that 10-year period.

1973 -- Alabama 66, California 0 (Sept. 15, Birmingham)

Richard Todd ran for 106 yards in his Alabama debut as the Crimson Tide posted a 66-0 blowout win over Cal.  The Bears were stocked with NFL talent, including Vince Ferragamo, Steve Bartkowski and Chuck Muncie, but managed little offense against the stingy Tide defense.

1978 -- Alabama 20, Nebraska 3 (Sept. 2, Birmingham)

No. 1 ranked Alabama dominated No. 10 Nebraska before a capacity crowd at Birmingham's Legion Field.  The Crimson Tide avenged a 31-24 loss to the Cornhuskers a year earlier. Alabama dominated the game on offense as evidenced by a 16-play, 99-yard touchdown drive engineered by quarterback Jeff Rutledge. The 1978 season opener marked the only time in school history Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls.  The Tide fell to No. 7 after a 24-14 loss to USC, but worked its way back to the top and secured the national championship with a 14-7 win over Penn State in the Sugar Bowl.

1983 -- Alabama 20, Georgia Tech 7 (Sept. 10, Birmingham)

Playing its first game without college football's all-time winningest coach, Alabama gave coach Ray Perkins a successful debut with a 20-7 win over Georgia Tech at Legion Field.

1984 -- Boston College 38, Alabama 31 (Sept. 8, Birmingham)

Kerry Goode electrified the Legion Field crowd and a national television audience with a 99-yard kickoff return to open the second half.  The Alabama halfback accounted for 297 all-purpose before a season-ending knee injury occurred in the third quarter.  Goode set the SEC single-game record with 197 yards in kickoff returns.  Heisman Trophy candidate Doug Flutie rallied the Eagles to a 38-31 win in the season opener.

1986 -- Alabama 16, Ohio State 10 (Aug. 27, Meadowlands)

Fifth-ranked Alabama defeated No. 9 Ohio State in the Kickoff Classic at East Rutherford, NJ. The game marked the last time Alabama has opened the season against a team ranked in the Top 25 until this year.

1998 -- Alabama 38, BYU 31 (Sept. 5, Tuscaloosa)

Shaun Alexander rushed for Alabama single-game record five touchdowns, leading Alabama to a 38-31 win over BYU in the newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.  A record crowd of 83,318 fans watched as Alexander scored on runs of 5, 37, 1, 28 and 2 yards to lead the Crimson Tide to victory.

2001 -- UCLA 20, Alabama 17 (Sept. 1, Tuscaloosa)

The excitement surrounded the Alabama campus as coach Dennis Franchione prepared to make his Alabama coach debut against the UCLA Bruins.  ESPN cameras aired the game to a national audience and ESPN College Gameday made its first-ever trip to Tuscaloosa, to publicize the Coach Fran's anticipated debut.  UCLA won 20-17.


Alabama has three defensive linemen on the 2002 Outland Trophy Watch List. Seniors Jarret Johnson (DT), Kenny King (DT) and Kindal Moorehead (DE) have all been recognized for the past achievements and their expectations for the 2002 season.  Coach Fran said several teams have had two defensive linemen on the Outland Trophy watch list, but to have three players "is very special and unusual." 

*The trio of d-linemen has combined to start 80 games for the Crimson Tide.  The trio also has contributed 386 tackles, 69 TFLs and 42 ˝ sacks in their careers. 

*The tackles for loss and sacks from the three d-linemen have combined for 691 total yards lost, or nearly the length of seven football fields.

Here is a career stats breakdown:

             JJ         KK        KM
Tkls        136        139       111
TFLs         21         19        29
Sacks        18        8.5        16
Yds         261        131       299


Here is a listing of the 2002 preseason football honors for the Crimson Tide football team.


*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*3rd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider) 


*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*3rd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider) 


*1st-Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider) 


*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Sporting News) 


*2nd Team Preseason All-America (Football News)
*4th Team All-America (Phil Steele's Insider)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Football News)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Athlon's)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Sporting News)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine) 


*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News) 


*3rd Team All-America (Phil Steele's Insider)
*1st-Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*1st-Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Football News)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Street & Smith's)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Athlon's)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Sporting News)


*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Street & Smith's)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Athlon's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider) 


*3rd Team All-America (Street & Smith's)
*3rd Team All-America (Phil Steele's Insider)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Sporting News)
*1st-Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's) 


*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider) 


*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Bham News) 


Alabama's season opener with Middle Tennessee State is the lone game at historic Legion Field this season. Alabama has compiled a 158-52-12 (.739) all-time record at Legion Field in 222 career games. Alabama's first game at Legion Field (then called Birmingham Municipal Stadium), Alabama suffered a 20-6 loss to Georgia on Nov. 27, 1927.

*Construction for Legion Field began in 1926 and the cost for the original 21,000-seat stadium was $439,000.

*Legion Field was opened on Nov. 19, 1927 as Howard defeated Birmingham Southern 9-0.  The 2002 season marks the 75th anniversary of this historic stadium. 

*With only one game at Legion Field this season, the 2002 season marks the first time in history the Crimson Tide has played fewer than two games at Legion Field since the stadium opened 75 years ago. 

*Alabama will also play one game at Legion Field next season, playing South Florida in its Aug. 30, 2003 season opener.


Alabama's on campus home since 1929, Bryant-Denny Stadium is one of college football's most scenic venues. The Crimson Tide has compiled an all-time record of 184-30-3 (.862) in 217 all-time games. 


Alabama will match the school record with six games in Tuscaloosa this season.  The only other time in school history to see six Tuscaloosa games was in 1920, when the Crimson Tide posted a 6-0 Tuscaloosa record, including six shutouts under Xen Scott. Alabama played five games in Tuscaloosa last year and will set a new standard next year by playing seven games in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*Alabama posted a 10-1 record in 1920 under Coach Scott and shutout all six Tuscaloosa opponents by an combined 264-0.   The Crimson Tide averaged 44 points per game in Tuscaloosa that season.

*The shutouts included wins over Southern Military Academy (59-0), Marion Institute (49-0), Birmingham Southern (45-0), Mississippi College (57-0), Howard (33-0) and LSU (21-0).


Entering the 2002 season, Alabama has a streak of 56 consecutive sellouts at Bryant-Denny Stadium, since the stadium was expanded after the Nov. 15, 1986 game with Temple. The first ever game at Denny Stadium was Alabama's 55-0 win over Mississippi College on Sept. 28, 1929.


Alabama posted a 7-5 record last season, including a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl, the school's first bowl win since a 17-14 win over Michigan in the Jan. 1, 1997 Outback Bowl.   

*On offense, Alabama returns seven starters and 22 lettermen, while the defense returns eight starters and 20 lettermen.

*Alabama closed out the 2001season with a four-game winning streak, its longest winning streak since a five-game winning streak to close out the 1999 regular season. 

*The four-game winning streak to close out the 2001 season equals the second-longest winning streak in school history by a first-year coach.  Ray Perkins (1983) and Gene Stallings (1990) also had four-game winning streaks in their rookie year.  The school record is held by Harold "Red" Drew, who led UA to a seven-game winning streak as a rookie in 1947.

*Alabama led the Southeastern Conference in rushing last year, averaging 226.4 yards per game.  The Crimson Tide's  226.4 rushing yards per game were 39.8 yards better than South Carolina's second-place total (186.6).

*Alabama had three backs among the nation's top 100 rushers last year, including Ahmaad Galloway (53rd, 80.09), Santonio Beard (76th, 70.33) and Tyler Watts (93rd, 62.67).

*Alabama committed 15 turnovers last season, the second-fewest number in the last 25 years.

*The Crimson Tide threw the second fewest interceptions in the nation last year, throwing only five interceptions in 11 regular season games.

*On the flip side, the UA defense intercepted only six passes, to rank 105th nationally in that category.

*Overall, Alabama forced 19 turnovers last year and scored 80 points off those turnovers. 

*UA opponents forced 15 turnovers, resulting in only 19 points off turnovers.  Opponents did not convert a turnover into points in any of the last six games of the 2001 season.  The last team to convert a turnover into points was South Carolina (Sept. 29, 2001), who scored 10 points off three UA turnovers in a 37-26 win at Columbia.

*Alabama was penalized 93 times for a school record 737 yards last season.  The previous record was 734 penalty yards set by the 1999 SEC Championship team.  The 93 penalties fell one short of the single-season record set by the 1995 squad (94 penalties)

*Center Alonzo Ephraim, defensive tackle Jarret Johnson and linebacker Saleem Rasheed were all named First-Team All-SEC 

*Justin Smiley and Wesley Britt were named Freshman All-SEC by the league's head coaches and the Knoxville News Sentinel.

*Alabama had 17 players on the 2001 SEC Academic Honor Roll.


Alabama won its final four games of the 2001 season to finish with a 7-5 overall record, more than doubling its win total from the 2000 season.  After losing five its first eight games, the Crimson Tide rebounded to win games with Miss. State, Auburn, Southern Miss and Iowa State (Independence Bowl) to post its 92nd winning season in school history.  In 2000, Alabama posted a 3-8 record and saw fourth-year head coach Mike DuBose terminated. The 2000 season was the worst by an Alabama football team, since a 2-7-1 record in J.B. Whitworth's final season in 1957.  Coach Fran's remarkable turnaround last season ranks among the best in Alabama football annals. In the history of Alabama football, the Crimson Tide has suffered only 12 losing seasons, with two coming since 1997.

Losing Season         Following Year
1893    0-4           1894    3-1 (+3)
1895    0-4           1896    2-1 (+2)
1900    2-3           1901    2-1-2
1903    3-4           1904    7-3 (+4)
1951    5-6           1952    10-1 (+5)
1954    4-5-2         1955    0-10 (-4)
1955    0-10          1956    2-7-1 (+2)
1956    2-7-1         1957    2-7-1 (0)
1957    2-7-1         1958    5-4-1 (+3)
1984    5-6           1985    9-2-1 (+4)
1997    4-7           1998    7-5 (+3)
2000    3-8           2001    6-5 (+3)


The Crimson Tide enters the 2002 season riding a four-game winning streak, marking the first time since 1993 that Alabama has entered a season with more than one-game winning streak. In 1993, Alabama entered season coming off its 12th national championship and riding a 23-game winning streak.  This time last year, Alabama  entered the season with a five-game losing streak and lost its season opener to extend its streak to six straight losses.


*The Middle Tennessee State game is the first of three games for the Crimson Tide against Tennessee schools.  UA will also play Tennessee (Oct. 26) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 2) this year.  Both the Tennessee and Vandy games are road games.

*Alabama has five players on its roster from the state of Tennessee.

Player, Pos.                  Hometown
Dennis Alexander, SG          Memphis
Santonio Beard, TB            Nashville
Ahmad Childress, DT           Nashville
Ahmaad Galloway, TB           Millington
Kindal Moorehead, DE          Memphis

*MTSU also has five players on its roster from the state of Alabama.

Player, Pos.                  Hometown
Jonathan Bonner               Birmingham
Dwone Hicks, RB               Huntsville
Louis Kemp                    Gadsden
Jeb Stewart                   Florence
Niko Whiteside                Gadsden

*Alabama has compiled a 10-0 all-time record against the current Sun Belt Conference field.  The Crimson Tide is 8-0 against Southwestern Louisiana (now called Louisiana-Lafayette).  UA also posted a 34-7 win over Arkansas State in 1982 and beat North Texas 38-19 in 1995.

*The MSTU game is the first of two meetings with the Sun Belt Conference this season.  The Crimson Tide will face North Texas on Sept. 14 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*MTSU is 1-18 (.053) against teams from the Southeastern Conference.  The lone win was a 37-28 victory over Vanderbilt to open the 2001 season in Nashville.  The Blue Raiders have played Arkansas (0-1), Florida (0-1), LSU (0-1), Ole Miss (0-1), Miss. State (0-2) and Vanderbilt (1-12).

*The Alabama game is the first of three straight games against SEC schools for MTSU.  Following its trip to Birmingham, MTSU will play at Tennessee (Sept. 7) and at Kentucky (Sept. 21) to open the 2002 campaign.

*Alabama tailback Ahmaad Galloway and MTSU receiver Tyrone Calico attended the same high school (Millington HS) and have played sports together since the seventh grade.  Galloway was  the tailback at Millington HS, while Calico was primarily used as a tight end in the run-oriented offense.

*Galloway's parents, Cornell and Linda Galloway, and Calico's parents, Jesse and Mae Calico, are planning on traveling together from the Memphis area for the season opener. 

*Calico has caught at least one pass in all seven games in his career against SEC schools.  The senior has 23 catches for 333 yards and four TDs in seven SEC games.  In 2000, Calico had three catches for 89 yards and two TDs in a loss at Miss. State.  Last year in MTSU's win at Vanderbilt, Calico had six receptions for 83 yards.  He has caught at least one TD pass in three of his last four games against an SEC opponent.

*MSTU tailback Dwone Hicks, a product of Lee High School in Huntsville, has appeared in six games in his career against the SEC and has 91 rushing attempts for 579 yards and five TDs.  He has three 100-yard games, including 203 yards and 4 TDs in last year's 37-28 win at Vanderbilt.   In his six-game career, Hicks is averaging 96.5 yards per game against the SEC.  Last year as a junior, Hicks was second nationally in scoring, 25th in rushing and 31st in all-purpose yards.

*Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters is an Alabama graduate and former general manager of the Crimson Tide Sports Network, that distributes the broadcasts and coaches TV shows for the athletics department.


Playing the toughest teams in the nation is nothing new to the Alabama football program and the 2002 schedule looks to be another challenging 13-week grind.

*Alabama has four opponents ranked in the preseason football polls.  In the AP poll, three UA opponents are ranked among the top eight teams in the country.  A total of four opponents appear among the top 14 teams.  The USA Today/Coaches poll also lists four Crimson Tide opponents among the top 13 teams.

Opponent      AP      USA Today
Oklahoma      2nd     3rd
Tennessee     5th     5th
Georgia       8th     11th
LSU           14th    13th

*Oklahoma received 21 first-place votes in the AP poll and 11 in the USA Today Coaches poll.  The Sooners are the preseason No. 1 team in the nation, according to Sports Illustrated , The Sporting News and the Football Writer's Association Super 16.

*Alabama's schedule also features three defending conference champions, including Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt co-champs)), North Texas (Sun Belt co-champs) and LSU (SEC).

* has put together a listing of the Top 10 Mid Major teams in the country and Alabama will play three of those 10 teams as part of its non-conference schedule this season. The poll lists Southern Miss (4), Hawaii (5) and Middle Tennessee (8) among the 10-best teams.  The complete poll includes Marshall, Louisville, Colorado State, Southern Miss, Hawaii, Utah, Fresno State, Bowling Green, Middle Tennessee State and South Florida.

*Alabama's 2002 schedule will feature home games against all three Division I teams from the state of Mississippi.  The Crimson Tide will host Southern Miss (Sept. 21), Ole Miss (Oct. 19) and Miss. State (Nov. 9) at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season.  The last time Alabama played all three Mississippi teams at home in the same season was 1981.

*The 2002 schedule contains seven teams that participated in bowl games last year, including Oklahoma (Cotton), North Texas (New Orleans), Arkansas (Cotton), Georgia (Music City), Tennessee (Citrus), LSU (Sugar) and Auburn (Peach).

*Of the 12 teams on the Crimson Tide's 2001 football schedule, six appeared in bowl games, including Arkansas (Cotton Bowl), South Carolina (Outback Bowl), Tennessee (Citrus Bowl), LSU (Sugar Bowl), Auburn (Peach Bowl) and Iowa State (Independence).

*Three more Alabama opponents (UCLA, Ole Miss and Southern Miss) were bowl eligible last year, but did not advance to post-season play.

*Alabama posted a 3-3 (.500) record against those five bowl teams last year.

*Alabama's 2001 regular-season schedule included 10 bowl teams from the 2000 season. Those participating bowl games two years ago were UCLA (Sun Bowl), Arkansas (Las Vegas Bowl), South Carolina (Outback Bowl), UTEP (Humanitarian Bowl), Ole Miss (Music City Bowl), Tennessee (Cotton Bowl), LSU (Peach Bowl), Miss. State (Independence Bowl), Auburn (Citrus Bowl) and Southern Miss (GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl).


In addition to seven home games this season, the Crimson Tide will also play six road games in 2002, matching the school record for most road games.  Alabama also played six road games in 1946.  The Crimson Tide posted a 2-4 (.333) away from home in 1946, including losses at Tennessee (12-0), Georgia (14-0), LSU (31-21) and Boston College (13-7).  Alabama's Nov. 23 trip to Boston marked the first time the Crimson Tide football team traveled by plane.  The game was also contested at historic Braves Field.

*The 2002 season marks the first time since 1941 that Alabama has played at Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the same season.  The Crimson Tide plays at Knoxville on Oct. 26  and at Nashville on Nov. 2.

*The 2002 season also marks the first time since 1991 that Alabama has not played at least one game in the state of Mississippi. 

*Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Hawaii were a combined 26-8 (.765) at home last year.

*Oklahoma enters the 2002 season with a 17-1 (.944) record at home under Bob Stoops.  The Sooners 17-game winning streak was snapped with a 16-13 loss to rival Oklahoma State on Nov. 24, 2001.

*Alabama has never beaten Arkansas in Fayetteville, losing all three meetings (1996, 1998 and 2000).

*Alabama also has a three-game losing streak at Tennessee and has not beaten the Vols in Knoxville since 1994.

*The Crimson Tide lost at LSU in 2000, snapping a 15-game unbeaten streak against the Tigers in Baton Rouge.  Prior to the 2000 season, Alabama had not lost in Tiger Stadium since 1969.


Alabama will play two teams this season for the first time in its 108-year football history.  The Crimson Tide opens the 2002 season against first-time foe Middle Tennessee State and close its 13-game slate on the island of Ohau against another first-time foe Hawaii.  The last time Alabama played two first-time opponents in the same season was 1998 as the Crimson Tide faced BYU and East Carolina.  The 1998 season was also the last time UA opened a season against a first-time opponent, handing BYU a 38-31 loss in Bryant-Denny Stadium.


Coach Fran released Alabama's depth chart on Friday, Aug. 23 and the Crimson Tide is a good mix of veterans and newcomers.  On offense, the Crimson Tide's depth chart includes nine seniors and nine juniors.  On defense, Alabama's two-deep lists seven seniors and nine juniors.  While the 44-man depth looks experienced, there are also some inexperienced players that make up the remaining spots.  The offense includes five sophomores, three redshirt freshman and one true freshman.  The defense has five sophomore, four redshirt freshman and one true freshman.  In all, 16 of the 44 players listed in the depth chart have never played a game for the Crimson Tide.


Last year, Alabama played only one true freshman as defensive end Todd Bates (Heflin) played in nine games and earned one start.  Entering the 2002 season opener, Coach Fran said as many as four freshmen could see action this season, including linebackers Greg McLain (Lineville), Juwan Garth (Decatur) and DeMeco Ryans (Bessemer) and defensive tackle Jeremy Clark (Daphne).


As far as the offensive line is concerned the 2002 season will be a piece of cake compared to last year.  The Crimson Tide's five offensive linemen started the last nine games of the 2001 season and returns in tact, combining for 57 career starts.  Seniors Alonzo Ephraim and Marico Portis will be joined by redshirt sophomores Justin Smiley, Wesley Britt and Evan Mathis.  The same could not be said last year, as only one of the five offensive linemen that started the UCLA game had started a game previously at Alabama.  Dante Ellington had started all 24 games in his UA career entering last year's UCLA opener.  Ephraim had appeared in 13 games and Portis had six games experience prior to the 2001 opener, but neither had made a start before the UCLA game.

Alabama Career Games/Starts Entering:

Player              *2001       2002
Justin Smiley        0 (0)    12 (12)
Wesley Britt         0 (0)    12 (12)
Alonzo Ephraim      13 (0)    25 (12)
Marico Portis        6 (0)    18 (12)
Evan Mathis          0 (0)    12 (9)
Totals              19 (0)    79 (57)

*Dante Ellington started the 2001 season opener and had 24 starts to his credit at Alabama.


For the first time since 1991, Alabama led the SEC in rushing offense. The Crimson Tide paced the league last year, averaging 226.4 yards per game. Alabama was 39.8 yards per game better than South Carolina's second-place total (186.6). In addition, the Crimson Tide was the nation's 10th best rushing offense in 2001.  In 2000, Alabama ranked seventh in the SEC and 66th nationally, averaging 137.6 yards per game. The 2001 Alabama team improved the previous year's (2000) total by 88.8 yards per game. Ahmaad Galloway (174-881-6), Santonio Beard (77-633-4) and Tyler Watts (111-564-5) all three rushed for more than 500 yards last season.

*Alabama's 226.4 rushing yards last season was the most by an SEC leader since LSU averaged 256.6 yards per game in 1997.

*The 2001 season marked the 13th time in school history Alabama has led the SEC in rushing. The Crimson Tide dominated the 1970s  on the ground, leading the league in rushing offense six times in 10 years.

Yr            G             Rush        Yds          Avg  
'50           11            586          3007        273.4
'52           11            608          2737        250.6
'64           10            445          1799        179.9
'71           11            705          3565        324.1
'72           11            704          3332        302.9
'73           11            664          4027        366.1
'74           11            686          3288        298.9
'78           11            638          3158        287.1
'79           11            763          3792        344.7
'80           11            632          3381        307.4
'86           12            585          3167        263.9
'91           11            557          2772        252.0
'01           11            472          2490        226.4


Since 1970, the Alabama Crimson Tide offense has produced 43, 500-plus yard games, including three during the 2001 season.  The Crimson Tide racked up 500+ yards against South Carolina (516), UTEP (588) and Auburn (549).  For the first time since 1991, Alabama notched back-to-back 500-yard games against South Carolina  and UTEP.  The Crimson rushed for 285 yards and passed for 231 yards in its 37-36 loss at South Carolina.  In a 56-7 blowout win over UTEP, Alabama ran for 360 yards and passed for 228 yards against the Miners.

Against Auburn, Alabama piled up 360 rushing yards, and added 221 yards through the air.  Santonio Beard (20-199-2) and Ahmaad Galloway (14-127) both had 100 yards rushing in the 31-7 win on the Plains.  Alabama has not posted three straight 500-yard games since the 1991 season when the Crimson Tide eclipsed the 500-yard barrier against Vanderbilt (538), UT Chattanooga (587) and Tulane (572).

Here is a look at Bama's top rushing performances since 1969.

Yds     Opponent            Year
748     Virginia Tech       1973
531     Ole Miss            1971
514     Mississippi State   1986
502     Southern Miss       1974
471     Vanderbilt          1979
457     Tennessee           1986
461     Virginia Tech       1972
458     Ole Miss            1980
448     Vanderbilt          1978
444     Cincinnati          1982
435     Tulane              1992
428     UTC                 1991
416     Vanderbilt          1973
413     Louisville          1977
405     California          1973
396     Ole Miss            1981
387     LSU                 1989
378     Cincinnati          1985
377     Tennessee           1981
373     Vanderbilt          1991
363     Tennessee           1973
360     UTEP                2001
354     Virginia Tech       1970

Here is a look at the top total offense games since 1969:

Yds     Rush/Pass      Opponent        Year
833     748/85         Va. Tech        1973
667     405/262        California      1973
644     387/257        LSU             1989
634     502/141        USM             1974
601     471/130        Vandy           1979
598     262/336        Penn St.        1983
588     360/228        UTEP            2001
587     428/159        UTC             1991
582     364/218        Va.Tech         1970
578     416/162        Vandy           1973
574     413/161        L'ville         1977
573     435/138        Tulane          1992
572     332/240        Tulane          1991
569     345/224        USM             1969
569     448/121        Vandy           1978
569     206/363        Ole Miss        1989
565     340/225        USM             1972
562     183/379        Tenn.           1989
557     531/26         Ole Miss        1971
556     461/95         Va. Tech        1972
550     248/302        USM             1993
549     238/221        Auburn          2001
538     373/167        Vandy           1991
533     49/484         Auburn          1969
535     457/78         Tenn.           1986
534     378/156        Cincy.          1985
531     514/17         Miss. St.       1986
526     297/229        Ole Miss        1997
524     363/161        Tenn.           1973
524     458/66         Ole Miss        1980
524     396/128        Ole Miss        1981
522     289/233        Miss. St.       1970
516     285/231        South Carolina  2001
516     377/139        Tenn.           1981
515     322/193        Auburn          1977
515     316/199        USM             1986
513     301/212        Auburn          1970
513     329/184        Vandy           1983
513     444/69         Cincy           1982
507     256/251        Auburn          1982
507     95/412         *Army           1988
505     275/230        Houston         1999
503     213/290        Miss. St.       1998


The 2002 Alabama football team has four sets of brothers on its roster.  The family tree includes Wesley and Taylor Britt (Cullman), Triandos and Nic Luke (Phenix City), Marc and Matt Miller (Gadsden) and David and Stuart Cavan (Tuscaloosa).


Since overtime was first used during the 1996 season, Alabama has been involved in four overtime games and posted a 2-2 (.500) record.

1997 --  L at Kentucky, 41-34 (OT)
1998 --  W vs. Ole Miss, 20-17 (OT)
1999 --  W at Florida, 40-39 (OT)
1999 --  L vs. Michigan, 35-34 (OT) ('00 Orange Bowl)


Here are some rule changes for the 2002 college football season.

*The NCAA will experiment this year with a new game clock in some games.  A team would have 45 seconds to snap the ball after the preceding play is whistled dead. But, when the game clock is stopped for a first down, ball out of bounds, change of possession or penalty, the team would have 25 seconds to snap the ball after a signal by the referee.

*The NCAA increased the penalty from five yards to 10 yards for interference with a player's opportunity to catch a kick when no contact is involved. The penalty will remain 15 yards when contact is made.

*A new overtime rule will allow the enforcement of penalty yards for flagrant personal fouls during possession by the defensive team to carry from one overtime period to the next. Previously, the player committing the foul would be disqualified for the rest of the game, but the 15-yard penalty against his team was not assessed.

*A new rule prohibits team personnel from giving media interviews from the start of the first period until the end of the game, except for coaches being interviewed during halftime.

*All players on the same team will be required to wear the same color facemasks.

*A team that scores a touchdown will now be given the option of enforcing penalties for personal fouls by the opponent during the scoring down either on the extra-point try or the succeeding kickoff.

*Beginning with the 2002 season, the NCAA will now count bowl games towards regular season and career stats for Division IA teams.   All playoff stats at the Division I-AA, II and III levels will now count towards regular-season and career stats.

Sr., Pelham, 3VL

After missing the final four games of the 2001 season with a strained groin, senior quarterback Tyler Watts will open the 2002 season as Alabama's No. 1 quarterback. 

*Named permanent captain for the 2001 season, one of three juniors bestowed that honor in Coach Fran's first year.

*Compiled a 9-6 (.600) career record as UA's starting quarterback.

*Watts enters the 2002 season 228 yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark for his career. He currently has 772 career rushing yards.

*At the conclusion of the 2001 regular season, Watts ranked 31st in the NCAA and 6th in SEC passing efficiency. He has hit 94 of 172 passes (54.7 percent) for 1,325 yards and 10 TD. His rushing numbers showed 564 yards and 5 TDs.

*Watts has accounted for 2,898 yards of total offense during his career (772 rushing and 2,126 passing) as he moves up the Alabama career charts in that category

*Last year, Watts amassed 1,889 yards of total offense,  the seventh highest single-season total in school history.  He averaged 209.9 total yards per game as a junior.

*Watts set an Alabama single-game record in the Crimson Tide's loss at South Carolina last year when he completed 20 of 25 passes for 231 yards, one touchdown and one interception. That 80 percent completion percentage shattered the single-game school record for completion percentage with a minimum of 20 completions. The previous record was 76.5 percent held by Jay Barker (24-for-36) against Georgia in 1994.

*Watts has thrown just 4 interceptions in his last 15 games, dating back to the 2000 season.

*Over that 15 game span, he is 125 of 228 with 4 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. His interception to attempts ratio is one for every 57.0 attempts.  As a freshman in 1999, Watts appeared in 6 games and threw 5 interceptions (83 attempts), or one interception for every 16.6 attempts.

*Watts had 393 yards of total offense against South Carolina, the second-most in a game for a Crimson Tide player. The single-game record is held by Scott Hunter, who had 457 yards of total offense (484 pass, -27 rushing) against Auburn in 1969.

*As a junior, Watts put together consecutive 100-yard rushing games against South Carolina, UTEP and Ole Miss.  Watts had 162 yards rushing in the loss at South Carolina, marking the first time since Oct. 23, 1982 an Alabama quarterback had rushed for 100 yards.  Walter Lewis ran for 156 yards that day against Cincinnati.

*Watts had two rushing TDs against South Carolina and UTEP last season.  Walter Lewis was the last UA quarterback to rush for two TDs in a game, scoring twice against Vanderbilt on 24, 1983.  In 1979, Steadman Shealy ran for two TDs in a 25-18 win over Auburn on Dec. 1.

*Watts is the only Alabama quarterback in history to post three consecutive 100-yard rushing and passing games.

*Watts and Pat Trammell are the only UA quarterbacks in history to rush for 100 or more yards three times in their career.

Tyler Watts                 Pat Trammell
162 at USC, 2001            143 vs. Tulane, 1959
101 vs. UTEP, 2001          106 vs. UTC, 1959
110 at Ole Miss, 2001       110 at Vanderbilt, 1961

*Watts is the first Alabama quarterback since the 1950s to rush and pass for 100 yards in the same game.  On Oct. 16, 1954, Albert Elmore had his best game for the Crimson Tide leading his troops to a 27-0 win at Tennessee. Elmore ran for 107 yards and completed eight passes for 100 yards and three TDs in the win over the Vols.  No other UA quarterback has passed and rushed for 100 or more yards in the same game.


Tyler Watts vs. USC (Sept. 29, 2001)
22 rushes, 162 yards, 2 TDs
20-25 passing, 231 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int

Tyler Watts vs. UTEP (Oct. 6, 2001)
9 rushes, 101 yards, 2 TDs
12-18 passing, 147 yards, 2 TDs

Tyler Watts vs. Ole Miss (Oct. 13, 2001)
13 rushes, 110 yards, 0 TDs
7-24 passing, 136 yards, 2 TDs

Albert Elmore vs. Tenn (Oct. 16, 1954)
10 rushes, 107 yards
8-14 passing, 100 yds, 3 TDs, 1 Int


Yards    Opponent                 Date
162      South Carolina (2 TDs)   Sept. 30, 2001
110      Ole Miss                 Oct. 13, 2001
101      UTEP (2 TDs)             Oct. 6, 2001


457    Scott Hunter vs. Auburn, 1969
       (484 passing, -27 rushing)

393    Tyler Watts vs. S. Carolina, 2001
       (231 passing, 162 rushing)

391    Jay Barker vs. Georgia, 1994
       (393 passing, -5 rushing)

381    Mike Shula vs. Memphis State, 1985
       (367 passing, 14 rushing)

378    Gary Hollingsworth vs. Tennessee, 1989
       (379 passing, -1 rushing)

Below is a look at the top single-game rushing performances by a quarterback in school history:

Player             Yds       Opp/Yr          
Harry Gilmer       216       UK (1945)
Steadman Shealy    190       MSU (1979)
Tyler Watts        162       at USC (2001)
Walter Lewis       156       Cincinnati (1982)
Pat Trammell       143       Tulane/1959
Don Jacobs         122       at Florida (1979)
Jack O'Rear        119       at Tennesse (1976)
Tyler Watts        110       at Ole Miss (2001)
Pat Trammell       110       at Vanderbilt (1961)
Ken Coley          108       at LSU (1981)
Albert Elmore      107       at Tennessee (1954)
Richard Todd       106       California (1973)
Pat Trammell       106       UTC (1959)
Richard Todd       102       Virginia Tech (1973)
Tyler Watts        101       UTEP (2001)

Also, here is a look at the top rushing performances ever by SEC quarterbacks:

Player                Yds       Opp/Yr         
Harry Gilmer, UA      216       UK (1945)
Mike Fanuzzi, UK      208       Miami (1974)
Steadman Shealy, UA   190       MSU (1979)
Norris Weese, UM      178       MSU (1972)
Van Heflin, Vandy     167       Air Force (1984)
Frank Sinkwich, GA    166       SC (1941)
Andy Johnson, GA      163       Auburn (1971)
John Bond, MSU        163       Ole Miss (1980)
Tyler Watts, UA       162       USC (2001)
Walter Lewis, UA      156       Cincinnati (1982)
Hank Lauricella, UT   150       UNC (1951)
Quincy Carter, GA     148       Kentucky (1988)


If not for an injury in the first quarter of the Miss. State game last season, Tyler Watts was on the verge of breaking the Alabama single-season rushing record for quarterbacks. In just nine games, Watts ran 111 times for 564 yards and five TDs. He averaged 62.67 yards per game. He suffered the injury on the 10th play of the Miss. State and did not see action the remainder of the season. Watts 564 rushing yards ranks third on the UA single-season list for quarterbacks. He needed only 10 yards to move ahead of Walter Lewis into second place and 228 yards to take over Steadman Shealy int