Alabama Set to Kick Off 2006 Season

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM



GAME 1: HAWAI’I WARRIORS VS. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
September 2, 2006 -- Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) -- Tuscaloosa
6:07 p.m. (CST) -- CTSM Pay-Per-View

 

ALABAMA KICKS OFF 2006 SEASON

The University of Alabama football team opens its 112th season on September 2 as the Crimson Tide  hosts the University of Hawai’i at 6:07 p.m. (CT) in the newly expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis through the Crimson Tide Sports Network with David Crane (play-by-play), Tyler Watts (analyst) and Chris Stewart (sideline) calling the action. Alabama is coming off a 10-2 season and No. 8 national ranking in 2005.  The Crimson Tide returns nine starters on offense and four starters on a defense that ranked among the national leaders in rushing defense, passing defense, total defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense last year.  The 2006 season opener will also mark the first start debut of sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover).  Senior running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville), who will be starting his second consecutive season opener, will begin his assault on the UA rushing charts.   Darby enters the season seventh on the UA career rushing yards list and 1,077 away from the school record record held by the 2005 National Football League Most Valuable Player Shaun Alexander (1996-99). 


THE HEAD COACHES

Alabama head football coach Mike Shula (Alabama, 1986) begins his fourth season with the Crimson Tide and has compiled a 20-17 (.541) record.  Shula’s teams have made progress each season under his watch.  After a 4-9 mark in his rookie campaign in 2003, Alabama went 6-6 in 2004 and finished with a No. 8 national ranking after last year’s 10-2 mark and Cotton Bowl win over Texas Tech.  Shula was named Alabama’s 26th head coach just 114 days prior to the start of the 2003 season and did not have a spring practice session.  He previously served as an assistant coach in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Chicago and Miami.  A three-year letterman at Alabama (1984-86), Shula was a two-time All-SEC selection and threw for over 2,000 yards as a junior (1985), leading the Crimson Tide to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn.  Hawai’i head coach June Jones has compiled a 53-37 (.589) record in his seven seasons as the Warriors’ head coach.  He took over the program in 1999 and UH has appeared in four bowl games under his guidance.  His best season came in 2002 when he led UH to a 10-4 record and a berth in the ConAgra Foods Hawai’i Bowl.  Under Jones’ watch, UH has set 299 school records and 14 NCAA records.  The Warriors have finished second in the nation in passing offense each of the last five seasons.  Prior to being named UH’s head coach, Jones spent 12 years in the National Football League, including two head coaching jobs at Atlanta (1994-96) and San Diego (1998). 


NEXT GAME

Alabama continues its three-game homestand next Saturday, September 9, against the Vanderbilt Commodores.  The 2006 Southeastern Conference opener is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CST) and will be televised by FSN South.  The Vandy game will mark Bama’s first appearance ever on FSN South.


THE COACHING STAFF

*Shula’s nine on-the-field assistant coaches have combined for 201 years of experience in the high school, college and professional  ranks.

*Three of the Crimson Tide’s assistant coaches have previously served as Division I head coaches, including defensive coordinator Joe Kines (Arkansas, 1992), offensive coordinator Dave Rader (Tulsa, 1988-99) and running backs coach Sparky Woods (South Carolina, 1989-93).

*In addition, another three coaches are serving their second stint on the UA staff, including Kines (Defensive Coordinator, 1985-86), Rader (Quarterbacks/Receivers Coach, 1983-85) and receivers coach Charlie Harbison (Secondary, 1998-2000).

*Kines and Rader were on Ray Perkins’ coaching staff in the mid 1980s when current head coach Mike Shula was the starting quarterback.  Shula’s

position coach was Rader and he worked against Kines’ defensive unit each day in practice.

*Kines begins his 40th season on the football field this year, including 35 years at the collegiate level. 

*Six of the Crimson Tide’s nine assistant coaches have more than 20 years experience on the sidelines.

*Eight of the nine assistants have been with Shula since he was hired in May, 2003. 

*Defensive ends coach David Turner is the newest addition to the staff.  Turner was hired after last season to replace Paul Randolph, who was named associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Rice.


BRYANT-DENNY STADIUM EXPANSION

*With a recent $47 million renovation project, Bryant-Denny Stadium has undergone yet another expansion, this time increasing capacity to 92,138 making it the fifth-largest on-campus football stadium in the nation. This latest renovation marks the third expansion since 1988.

*The expansion project, which began immediately following the 2004 football season, also added three levels of premium seating, a pair of large video scoreboards in the north end zone and state-of-the-art wrap-around display boards situated on the facades of the east and west upper decks.

*A unique aspect of the “new” stadium is a plaza that connects the stadium with University Boulevard. The plaza, which will be a focal point on game-day Saturdays, honors the Crimson Tide’s four national championship coaches and commemorate Alabama’s 12 national championships and 21 SEC titles.

*This newest expansion added 38 luxury skyboxes, bringing the total number of skyboxes in the stadium to 123, a club level area and traditional upper deck seating. New office space is also included, as well as a new home team locker room located in the north end zone. A state-of-the-art sound system was installed in 2005. The latest expansion marks the sixth time Bryant-Denny Stadium has been expanded since it was originally completed in 1929. Other expansions were completed in 1946, 1961, 1966, 1988 and 1998.

*Since those early games, a number of projects have expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium to its current capacity of 92,138. When Alabama and Hawai’i meet to open the 2006 season, a sellout crowd will mark the largest crowd to view a college football game in the state of Alabama.

*Included in the east side expansion in 1998 were 10,000 bleacher seats and two spiral walkways to give the stadium a more symmetrical appearance. A total of 81 skyboxes, on two levels, were also added. The skyboxes were built in two sizes, 24-seat capacity (18) and 16-seat capacity (64). In 1999, four additional skyboxes were added.

*A scoreboard, with video replay capabilities, was added to the south end. Other recent additions to Bryant-Denny Stadium include two east-side reception areas for Scholarship and A-Club level patrons. These areas are located above the center entrance on the east side and include rooms large enough to host receptions and pre-game meal functions.  A bank of lights was also added on the east side.


*The 2006 season will be just the sixth time in the stadium’s history that Alabama will play all of its home games at Bryant-Denny. From 1900 until 2003, Alabama played at least one home game at Birmingham’s Legion Field.


ALL-TIME TUSCALOOSA RECORD

*In addition to its impressive record at Bryant-Denny Stadium (1929-present), Alabama has made Tuscaloosa a very difficult place to play for opposing football teams. 

*Alabama has compiled a 284-54-3 (.837) record in 341 games in Tuscaloosa. 

*Alabama was 6-1 (.857) at home during the 2005 season. 

*Overall, Alabama is 13-8 (.619) in Tuscaloosa under head coach Mike Shula but has shown steady improvement each year.

*Alabama has posted an 11-3 (.786) record in Tuscaloosa during the last two seasons.  The Crimson Tide owned a 6-7 (.462) record in Tuscaloosa during the 2002-03 seasons.

*Alabama’s first game on campus was a 4-0 loss to Birmingham Athletic Club on Oct. 14, 1893.

*From 1911-28, Alabama posted a 55-2 (.965) record in Tuscaloosa.  The 1929 season marked the opening of what is now known as Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant posted a remarkable 72-2 (.973) record in Tuscaloosa, losing only to Florida (1963) and Southern Miss (1982).  The USM game was the last game Bryant coached at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*From 1963-82, Alabama posted an NCAA record 57-game home winning streak. 

*Miami has since broken that record with a 58-game home winning streak, but the Hurricanes’ record also includes three wins in the post-season Orange Bowl game.  All of UA’s 57 wins were in the regular-season.

*The 57-game winning streak is one of seven winning streaks longer than 15 games for the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa.


2006 CRIMSON TIDE OUTLOOK

*Alabama returns 13 starters and one specialist off last year’s team that posted a 10-2 record and defeated Texas Tech in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl.

*The Crimson Tide returns nine starters on offense, including the school’s seventh all-time leading rusher and a preseason  candidate for the coveted Rimington Trophy, which is given annually to the best center.

*Senior running back Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) is the school’s seventh all-time leading rusher with 2,489 career yards. 

*He needs 1,077 yards to break the UA career rushing record currently held by Shuan Alexander, the 2005 NFL Most Valuable Player.

*Darby has played in 34 career games at UA and has rushed 492 times for 2,489 yards and 11 touchdowns.

*He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons and seeks to become the first UA back with three consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns.

*Darby anchors a deep and talented stable of running backs, which includes sophomores Jimmy Johns (Brookhaven, Miss.) and Glen Coffee (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.).

*Coffee suffered a knee injury in the Crimson Tide’s first scrimmage on Aug. 14 and is expected to miss at least two games.

*A pair of redshirt freshmen -- Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Ali Sharrief (Huntsville) -- and true freshman Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) will also battle for playing time.

*Grant burst onto the scene in the Crimson Tide’s first scrimmage on Aug. 14, when he rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

*Seniors Le’Ron McClain (Northport) and Tim Castille (Birmingham) provide a formidable one-two punch at fullback.

*In 35 games, McClain has 26 rushing attempts for 106 yards and two TDs.

*Castille, who averages one TD for every 7.6 rushing attempts, has played in 31 games and has 115 rushing attempts for 404 yards and 15 TDs. 

*Castille had 45 carries for 124 yards and team-high seven TDs last year.

*Another talented group is the Crimson Tide’s receiving corps. 

*Juniors Keith Brown (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.), DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach) and Matt Caddell (McCalla) all return with significant experience.

*Brown has 51 career receptions for 937 yards and five TDs.  He needs just 63 yards to achieve 1,000 receiving yards for his career.

*Last year,  Brown led UA with 34 catches for 642 yards and four TDs.

*Hall has 65 catches for 862 yards and six TDs in 23 career games.

*Last year, he caught 48 passes for 676 yards and five TDs.

*Caddell has 30 career receptions for 510 yards and one TD.  He hauled in 13 passes for 179 yards last year.

*Redshirt sophomore Will Oakley (Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla.) has overcome numerous injuries and should make a contribution this fall.

*Oakley does not have a reception in four career games for the Tide.

*Also in the mix are junior Nikita Stover (Hartselle) and freshmen Earl Alexander (Phenix City) and Mike McCoy (Rankin, Miss.).

*The job of distributing the ball to the backs and receivers falls on the shoulders of starting quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover), who will make his

first career start against Hawai’i.

*Wilson played in five games last season and completed seven of 11 passes for 98 yards and two TDs. He also added one rushing touchdown.

*Wilson will replace three-year starter Brodie Croyle, who holds Alabama career records for passing yards and touchdowns.

*Croyle completed 488 of 869 passes for 6,382 yards in his record-setting career.  He added 41 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. 

*Senior Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.), who has game experience at Miami (Fla.) and Alabama, will serve as Wilson’s backup.

*Guillon has completed 20 of 44 passes for 191 yards at UA, with three interceptions and one TD.

*Wilson and Guillon have combined to complete 27 of 55 passes for 289 yards, with three TDs and three interceptions entering the 2006 season.

*The offensive line had the most competition this preseason, with only one starting spot locked up before camp began.

*Sophomore center Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery) made the move from guard to center prior to the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl and that move proved beneficial to both Caldwell and the Tide.

*Caldwell is on the preseason watch list for the Rimington Trophy and was named to several preseason All-SEC teams.

*Redshirt freshman Evan Cardwell (Killen) will be the backup center.

*The arrival of freshman Andre Smith (Birmingham) brought an immediate impact to the offensive line.  Smith was running first-team at left tackle early in the preseason and is expected to take the field as the starter in the opener against Hawai’i. 


*If that happens, Smith with be the first freshman offensive lineman to start the season opener for the Crimson Tide since fullback Tim Castille during the 2003 season.

*Smith could also become just the ninth  true freshman to start a season opener since 1972.

*Smith’s backup is sophomore Cody Davis (Tuscaloosa).  Davis appeared as a back up in eight games last year.

*Junior Chris Capps (Jonesboro, Ga.) and senior Kyle Tatum (Prattville) have battled all fall for the starting spot at right tackle. 

*Capps, who has played in 18 games and logged 12 career starts, is expected to get the starting nod in the season opener.

*Tatum, who has 33 career games and 24 consecutive starts under his belt, will likely open the season as Capps’ backup.

*Sophomore B.J. Stabler (Grove Hill) and junior Justin Britt (Cullman) have nailed down the right and left guard spots respectively.

*Stabler played in 11 games last season for the Crimson Tide at guard. 

*Britt, who has 21 career games on defense, will make his offensive debut in the season opener against Hawai’i.

*Redshirt freshman Mike Johnson (Pensacola) will back up Stabler at right guard.  Johnson will be looking to make his debut in 2006.

*Sophomore Marlon Davis (Columbus, Ga.) will be Britt’s backup.  Davis played in five games last season while battling injuries.  He did make his lone career start against Southern Miss (September 10).

*Alabama must replace seven starters off a defense that ranked among the national leaders in five major statistical categories, including scoring defense, rushing defense, passing defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense.

*The Crimson Tide led the SEC in scoring defense (10.7 ppg) last year.

*Alabama also led the NCAA in scoring defense, passing defense (160.8) and total defense (255.1).

*The Crimson Tide returns depth at the defensive tackle position. 

*Senior Dominic Lee (Birmingham) will start at right tackle.  He will be backed up by another senior, J.P. Adams (Tuscaloosa).

*Lee has played 26 games for the Tide and has logged 26 tackles in his first three years.

*Adams has appeared in 15 games and recorded 10 tackles. 

*Senior Jeremy Clark (Daphne) will start at left tackle.  Clark has played 35 games for the Crimson Tide and recorded 62 career tackles.

*Clark’s back up will be redshirt freshman Brandon Deaderick (Elizabethtown, Ky.).  Deaderick will be looking to make his UA debut this season.

*Sophomore Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette) and junior Keith Saunders (Willingboro, N.J.) will start at left and right defensive end.

*Gilberry and Saunders have played in 41 games and logged 82 tackles on the defensive front.

*Gilberry has appeared in 24 games and logged 65 tackles, including 23 TFLs and eight sacks.

*Saunders has 11 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks in 17 games for the Tide.  He will be looking to make his first career start against Hawai’i.

*Senior Chris Harris (Tuscaloosa) will serve as Gilberry’s back up, while sophomore Bobby Greenwood (Prattville) will back up Saunders.

*Harris has 26 career tackles, including eight TFLs, in 31 games at UA. 

*Greenwood had 15 stops and five TFLs in 11 games last season as a true freshman.

*Senior Juwan Simpson (Decatur) is the lone returning linebacker. 

*Simpson has played in 34 games at UA and has logged 157 career tackles, 12 TFLs and four sacks.

*Simpson will start at one outside linebacker spot, with DeMarcus Waldrop (Pinson) and Marcel Stamps (Brantley) serving as his backup.

*Waldrop has 38 tackles in 24 games for the Tide, while Stamps has 14 tackles in 24 games over the last two years.

*Replacing DeMeco Ryans and Freddie Roach, who played in 100 combined games at UA will not be an easy task for defensive coordinator Joe Kines.

*Ryans and Roach contributed 579 tackles in their four-year careers at UA.  The duo was also responsible for 58 TFLs.

*Junior Matt Collins (Birmingham) is ready to take over at middle linebacker for the Crimson Tide. 

*Collins, who is expected to make his first collegiate start in the 2006 opener against Hawai’i, has 15 tackles in 23 career games.

*Redshirt freshman Prince Hall (Moreno Valley, Calif.) is Collins’ backup and looks to make his UA debut.

*Senior Terrence Jones (Fosters) will finally get his turn as a starting linebacker.  Jones has 50 tackles and five TFLs in 34 career games. 

*Jones has only one career start and that came in the 2005 season opener against Middle Tennessee after Roach was injured on the opening kickoff.

*Jones will also be backed up by a redshirt freshman Zach Schreiber (Shreveport, La.).

*The UA secondary also took a big hit by losing starters Anthony Madison, Charlie Peprah and Roman Harper.

*The trio combined for 150 games, 659 tackles, 75 PBUs and 23 interceptions over the last four years.

*Senior Ramzee Robinson (Huntsville), the lone returning starter in the secondary, is back for a third year at the left cornerback position. 

*Robinson has played in all 37 games in his UA career and logged 100 tackles, 17 PBUs and two interceptions (60 yards).

*True freshman Marquis Johnson (Sarasota, Fla.) has emerged as Robinson’s backup.

*The right cornerback spot belongs to junior Simeon Castille (Birmingham), who has played primarily as a backup the last two years.

*Castille has played 22 games at UA and recorded 42 tackles and four interceptions, including a 34-yard TD in his Crimson Tide debut against Utah State in 2004.

*Sophomore Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and junior Eric Gray (Trinity) will backup Castille.

*Mitchell had two tackles in only five career games, while Gray has 10 tackles in 17 games.

*Senior Jeffrey Dukes (Oxford) will man the strong safety position.  Dukes has appeared in 24 games and recorded 23 tackles and one interception.

*Sophomore Cory Reamer (Hoover) and senior Bryan Kilpatrick (Monroeville) are Dukes’ backups.

*Reamer added two tackles in five games before his freshman season was cut short by an ACL injury.

*Kilpatrick has played in eight games for the Crimson Tide.

*Junior Marcus Carter (Ft. Payne) cracks the starting lineup in his third season at UA as the free safety.

*Carter has only four tackles in 22 career games.

*Carter’s backups are sophomore Rashad Johnson (Sulligent) and true freshman Sam Burnthall (Decatur).

*Johnson played in 12 games last year as a freshman and he added eight tackles.

*Alabama will also be breaking in three new specialists this season as only junior place kicker Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) returns.

*Christensen hit 16 of 25 field goal attempts last season, including a school-record three game-winning kicks against Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas Tech.  He also converted 25 of 26 extra point attempts.

*Freshman Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals) is the backup to Christensen after a solid fall.  He is the son of former All-American kicker Van Tiffin (1983-86).

*Redshirt freshman P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs, Fla.) will make his debut as the Tide’s punter in 2006.  True freshman Adam Hill (Douglasville, Ga.) is the backup.

*Fitzgerald will also serve as the chief holder on extra points and field goals.  Guillon is also a holder.

*Senior Luke Spaulding (Mobile) is primed to make his debut as Alabama’s snapper this season. 

*Redshirt freshman Brian Selman (Vestavia Hills) is Spaulding’s backup.


ALABAMA DEBUTS

*There are 57 players on Alabama’s 105-man reporting roster that have never played a game for the Crimson Tide.

*There are 34 newcomers on the Crimson Tide roster, including 23 signees and nine  invited walkons.

*Another 23 players were on the team in previous seasons, but have not played in a game.

*Alabama head coach Mike Shula said he only expects five to six freshmen to see action this season.  That number is significantly lower than any of his three previous seasons.

*The Crimson Tide has used 59 first-time players, including 21 “true” freshmen,  over the last two seasons.


FIRST-TIME STARTERS

*Alabama’s depth chart for the 2006 season opener with Hawai’i lists eight players who are scheduled to make their first career start for the Crimson Tide.

*The offense is slated to have three first-time starters, including true freshman Andre Smith at left tackle, junior Justin Britt at left guard (Britt has three career starts on defense) and sophomore John Parker Wilson at quarterback.

*The defense could have five first-time  starters in the 2006 season opener, including junior Keith Saunders at right defensive end, senior Dominic Lee at right defensive tackle, junior Matt Collins at middle linebacker, sophomore Marcus Carter at free safety and senior Jeffrey Dukes at strong safety.

*Collins (24), Dukes (24), Carter (22) and Saunders (17) have combined to play 87 games for the Crimson Tide without a career start.

*Lee (26) has played in more games without a start than any other offensive player.

*Senior defensive lineman Chris Harris (31) has played the most games on the UA team without a start.

*In addition, Marcel Stamps (24), Eric Gray (17) and Justin Moon (17) have seen significant action without a start.


STARTING AGAIN

*While the Alabama two-deep lists as many as eight first-time starters for the 2006 season opener against Hawai’i, there are some grizzled veterans on the UA roster.

*Senior Kyle Tatum (Prattville) has the longest consecutive starts streak on the UA team at 24 games.  The last time he played and did not start came in the Nov. 30, 2003 regular season finale at Hawai’i.

*Tatum is currently listed second on the UA depth chart behind junior Chris Capps at right tackle.

*Six other players have consecutive starting streaks of more than 10 games entering the 2006 season.


BAMA’S CONSECUTIVE STARTS (Current)

Players                                   Streak

Kyle Tatum                              24

Antoine Caldwell                     12

Matt Caddell                            12

Kenneth Darby                        12

Wallace Gilberry                     12

Juwan Simpson                      12

Ramzee Robinson                   10

Le’Ron McClain                      6


PERFECT ATTENDANCE

*There are 13 players on the Alabama football team that have never missed a game for the Crimson Tide.

*The longest streak belongs to senior defensive back Ramzee Robinson (Huntsville), who has appeared in all 37 games in his UA career.

*Five players have played in all 24 games over the last two seasons, including Matt Caddell, Jeffrey Dukes, Wallace Gilberry, Marcel Stamps and Zeke Knight.

*Another seven players played in all 12 games last season in their first year in the program, including Antoine Caldwell, Glen Coffee, Bobby Greenwood, Jimmy Johns, Rashad Johnson, Travis McCall and Nick Walker.

*Coffee’s streak will come to an end in the season opener against Hawai’i as he continues to nurse a knee injury sustained in an August 14 scrimmage.

*Matt Collins and DJ Hall both missed the Cotton Bowl game against Texas Tech and saw their streaks end at 23 consecutive games.

*Here is a listing of the Crimson Tide’s longest consecutive playing streaks entering the 2006 season opener.


SMITH SET TO MAKE DEBUT

*Freshman Andre Smith, one of the nation’s top prep offensive linemen in 2005, is set to make his collegiate debut and first career start in the 2006 season opener against Hawai’i.

*Smith, Alabama’s Mr. Football in 2005, is the only offensive lineman to win the Alabama Sports Writers’ Association award in its 23-year history. 

*He recorded 88 pancake blocks and was named the Class 6A Lineman of the Year while playing for the Huffman Vikings.

*He was also one of four finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given to the best prep player in the nation.

*Smith emerged on the UA depth chart early in fall camp and is listed first on the UA depth chart at left tackle entering the season.

*Smith is looking to become just the 17th “true” freshman to start a game for Alabama since freshmen were ruled eligible in 1972.


TRUE FRESHMEN TO START AT UA

Player, Pos.                             Year

Greg Montgomery, LG             1972

Ozzie Newsome, SE                1974

Jim Bunch, OT                        1976

Bill Condon, G                         1984

Larry Rose, OT                        1985

Matt Hammond, LT                  1990

Jon Stevenson, RT                  1991

Terry Jones, Jr., TE                 1998

Dante Ellington, RT                 1999

Saleem Rasheed, LB              1999

Kenny King, DE                       1999

Tim Castille, FB                       2003

Le’Ron McClain, FB                2003

Keith Brown, WR                     2004

DJ Hall, WR                             2004

Marlon Davis, OL                     2005


FRESHMEN MAKE HISTORIC DEBUT

*In addition, Smith is seeking to become just the ninth “true” freshman to start the season opener for the Crimson Tide since 1972.

*The last “true” freshman to start the season opener was Tim Castille in the 2003 season opener against South Florida at Legion Field.

*Smith is looking to become just the sixth “true” freshman offensive lineman to start the season opener since 1972.


TRUE FROSH TO START A SEASON OPENER

Player, Pos.                             Year

Jim Bunch, OT                        1976

Larry Rose, OT                        1985

Matt Hammond, LT                  1990

Jon Stevenson, RT                  1991

Terry Jones, Jr., TE                 1998

Dante Ellington, RT                 1999

Saleem Rasheed, LB              1999

Tim Castille, FB                       2003


WILSON SET TO MAKE FIRST START UNDER CENTER

*Alabama sophomore John Parker Wilson (Hoover) is set to make his first career start at quarterback against Hawai’i.

*Wilson completed seven of 11 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns as Brodie Croyle’s backup last season.  Wilson also added one rushing touchdown.

*Wilson threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Keith Brown in the Crimson Tide’s 35-14 win at South Carolina and added a nine-yard TD pass to Glen Coffee in a 35-3 win over Utah State.  He added a one-yard TD run in the loss at Auburn.

*Wilson’s backup is senior Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.), who has played in eight games and made two starts at Alabama.

*Guillon’s two starts came during the 2004 season and both were losses to Arkansas and South Carolina.

*Alabama’s two starts at quarterback are the third-lowest number of starts in the SEC entering the 2006 season. 

*Wilson and Guillon are the only two quarterbacks on the Bama roster with any game experience.  The duo has combined to complete 30 of 60 passes for 342 yards, with four TDs and three interceptions in 13 games.

*In all, SEC quarterbacks have 145 combined starts entering the 2006 season.  The composite record of those quarterbacks is 78-67 (.538).


QUARTERBACK DEBUTS

*Wilson will become the 14th different starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide since the 1991 season.

*Since that time, Bama’s starting quarterbacks have gone 9-4 (.692) in their first career start for the Crimson Tide.

*Wilson is the first Alabama quarterback since John David Phillips in 1998 to make his debut in the season opener.

*Phillips completed 17 of 29 passes for 188 yards in the Crimson Tide’s 38-31 win over BYU.


ALABAMA SEASON OPENERS

*The Crimson Tide has posted an 87-21-3 (.797) record in season openers, including a four-game winning streak.

*Alabama has won 13 of its last 15 season openers, dating back to 1991. 

*Since 1977, Alabama has posted a 25-4 (.862) record on opening day.

*Alabama is playing its seventh consecutive season opener against a non-SEC team. 

*The last time UA opened seven straight seasons with non-conference games was 1966-75.

*Alabama has posted 49 opening day shutouts in its football history, including 16 consecutive opening day shutouts from 1904-20.

*From 1904-34, Alabama posted 29 opening day shutouts in a 30-year period.  The lone exception was a 34-14 win over Howard (now Samford) in 1921.

*On the flip side, Alabama has been shutout on opening day just five times, with the last coming in 1957.

*Alabama’s longest opening day winning streak came from 1904-34, when the Crimson Tide posted 30 consecutive wins in season openers.

*From 1904-47, Alabama was an incredible 40-0-2 in season openers, which included a pair of ties with Howard (7-7, 1925) and LSU (27-27, 1944).

*Alabama’s 42-game unbeaten streak in season openers ended with a 21-14 loss at Tulane on Sept. 25, 1948.

*The Crimson Tide had a seven-game losing streak in season openers from 1953-59, the longest in school history.

*The Crimson Tide suffered back-to-back opening day losses in 1975 (Missouri, 20-7) and 1976 (Ole Miss, 10-7), and 2000 (UCLA, 35-24) and 2001 (UCLA, 20-17).

*Prior to the loss to UCLA in 2000, Alabama had reeled off nine straight opening day wins, the longest winning streak in the modern era of UA football.


SEASON OPENERS BY SITE

*The Alabama Crimson Tide has played its season opener in 18 different cities in its 111-year history.  

*The most common venue for an Alabama season opener is Tuscaloosa.  The Crimson Tide has played its season opener on campus 48 times, including 17 season openers in Bryant-Denny Stadium (circa 1929).

*Alabama is 45-2-1 (.948) in season openers here in Tuscaloosa.

*The Crimson Tide is 15-1-1 (.912) in season openers at Bryant-Denny Stadium (circa 1929).

*The Hawai’i game marks just the seventh season opener in Tuscaloosa since the 1941 season.  Alabama is 5-1 (.833) in those previous openers.

*Following Tuscaloosa, the city of Birmingham is next on the list, having played host to 29 season openers.


ALABAMA-HAWAI’I SERIES

*The 2006 season opener will mark the third all-time meeting between Alabama and Hawai’i.  The two previous meetings closed out the regular season in 2002 and 2003.

*Alabama won the initial meeting, 21-16,  on November 30, 2002 at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium.  Shaud Williams rushed for 160 yards and the Bama defense picked off four Timmy Chang passes in the win.

*Hawai’i evened the series with a 37-29 win on November 29, 2003 to close out the Crimson Tide’s 4-9 regular season.  UH backup Jason Wieldon threw for 247 yards and four TDs in the win.


SEPTEMBER RECORD

*Alabama has compiled a 156-38-5 (.796) in 199 all-time games in the month of September. 

*The Hawai’i game will mark the Crimson Tide’s 200th all-time game in the month of September.

*Dating back to 1997, Alabama is just 21-13 (.618) in its last 34 September games. 

*The Crimson Tide has gone 7-1 (.875) in the month of September in each of the last two seasons, including an undefeaeted record last year for the first time since 1996.

*In its first-ever game in the month of September, Alabama posted a 24-0 win over Howard on Sept. 30, 1911.

*Alabama posted a 30-0-2 (.968) record in its first 32 September games before finally losing at Tulane (21-20) on Sept. 27, 1945.

*The school’s longest winning streak in the month of September is 19 games from Sept. 30, 1911 through Sept. 29, 1934. 

*The Crimson Tide also posted an 18-game winning streak (Sept. 19, 1970-Sept. 28, 1974) and a 16-game winning streak (Sept. 21, 1991 through Sept. 9, 1995) in the month.


ON THIS DATE

*Alabama will be playing for just the fifth time in school history when it takes on Hawai’i in the September 2, 2006 season opener.

*Alabama is 3-1 (.750) in games played on September 2.

*No. 1 ranked Alabama opened the 1978 season with a 20-3 win over Nebraska at Legion Field.

*In 1985, junior quarterback Mike Shula engineered a fourth-comeback as Alabama opened the season with a 20-16 comeback win over Georgia.

*Alabama owns a 26-5-1 (.828) all-time record on its September playing dates this season.


GAMES ON SEPTEMBER 2

Year                         Result

1978                        Alabama 20, Nebraska 3

1985                        Alabama 20, Georgia 16

1995                        Alabama 33, Vanderbilt 25

2000                        UCLA 35, Alabama 24


 


 

 

     
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