Alabama Football Game Notes: North Texas
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Game 3: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE vs. NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN
Alabama Quick Notes: Alabama punter Lane Bearden is third in the nation with a 46.8 punting average in the latest stats released by the NCAA Office in Sept. 8th... The Alabama-North Texas game will be the 17th night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium, compiling a 142 (.875) record... Coach Fran's first Division I coaching job was at Kansas State under Jim Dickey, Sr., the father of North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey... Coach Fran was the position coach of the younger Dickey in 1979-80... Alabama freshman OL Grant Dickey is first cousin to North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey... Former Alabama starting quarterback Freddie Kitchens is the running backs coach at UNT... Ahmaad Galloway has at least one rushing TD in his last four regular season games.
ALABAMA HOSTS NORTH TEXAS
Alabama will play its first game of the 2002 season in the friendly confines of Bryant-Denny Stadium this Saturday when hosting the University of North Texas Mean Green. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. (CDT). The game will be televised on a pay-per-view basis with David Crane and Chris Stewart handling the announcing duties. Alabama is 1-1 on the young season following last week's 37-27 loss at Oklahoma. UNT is 1-1 after a 23-0 victory over Nicholls State. The game 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.
UA IN 108th FOOTBALL SEASON
The University of Alabama is in its 108th football season and has compiled a 745-282-43 (717) all-time record in 1,070 games. The Crimson Tide played its first football game on Nov. 11, 1892 with a 56-0 win over Birmingham High School in Birmingham. 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).
THE HEAD COACHES
Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is in his second season with the Crimson Tide and need just four victories to join an elite college coaching group with 150 career wins. Currently, there are only six active coaches with 150 or more career wins and Franchione is four wins shy of that mark with 146. In his first season, Coach Fran led Alabama to a 7-5 record, including a win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl. He is 8-6 (.571) in tenure with the Crimson Tide. Overall, Franchione is in his 20th season as a head coach and has compiled a 146-71-2 (.671) lifetime ledger at Southwestern (Kansas) College, Pittsburg State, Southwest Texas State, New Mexico, TCU and Alabama.
North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey has compiled a 14-32 (.304) record in five seasons in Denton. Dickey had two stops in the SEC, working at Mississippi State (1990) and LSU (1991-93) before taking the head job at UNT in 1998.
This will mark only the second meeting between the two schools, the other coming in 1995 in a 38-19 Alabama win.
Game captains for the North Texas game are Antonio Carter (wide receiver) on offense; Lane Bearden (punter) on special teams and Marc Miller (free safety) and Kenny King (tackle) on defense.
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 games.
The Alabama-North Texas game is available on a pay-per-view basis. To order the game call your local cable operator. The game is also avialable on the Dish Network (Channel 457). For satellite dish owners, call 1-800-TV-STARS (residential c-band dish customer) or 1-888-TV-STARS (commerical c-band dish customer).
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.
TUSCALOOSA NIGHT GAMES
The Alabama-North Texas game marks just the 17th night game in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama is 14-2 (.875) in Tuscaloosa night games, dating back to the first game under the lights on Oct. 8, 1948. The Crimson Tide dropped a 20-17 decision to UCLA, snapping an 11-game winning streak in Tuscaloosa night games. Next week's meeting with Southern Miss will also kickoff at 6 p.m. Here is a listing of the Tuscaloosa night games.
BACK-TO-BACK NIGHT GAMES
Alabama will play the first of two consecutive night games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, when hosting the North Texas Mean Green this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa. Next week (Sept. 21), Alabama will host Southern Miss in the second of back-to-back night games in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Prior to this year, Alabama has never played back-to-back night games in Tuscaloosa. The 2002 season marks the first time in school history the Crimson Tide has played two night games at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the same season.
ALABAMA 38, NORTH TEXAS 18
Alabama fought off a sluggish start with 28 second-half points en route to a 38-19 win over the North Texas Mean Green before a full house at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
After a scoreless first quarter, North Texas took a 7-0 lead on Jason Mills one-yard TD run with 12:13 left in the first half.
Alabama answered four minutes later with its sixth defensive touchdown of the 1995 season as Cedric Samuel picked off a pass and ran 15 yards for the tying score.
Michael Proctor's 31-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half gave the Crimson Tide a 10-7 lead.
The Crimson Tide offense, which piled up 465 yards in the game, finally got rolling in the second half with two third quarter touchdowns.
Ed Scissum's seven-yard TD run with 6:16 left in the quarter extended UA's lead to 17-7. Less than two minutes later, Brian Burgdorf fired a 50-yard pass to Toderick Malone to give Alabama a 24-7 lead.
The Mean Green fought back late in the quarter with a three-yard TD pass from Josh Gulley to Brian Waters. Kendrick Burton blocked the extra point and UA took a 24-13 lead into the final stanza.
The Crimson Tide scored twice in last quarter to build a 38-13 lead. Freddie Kitchens' seven-yard TD pass to Chad Key capped a seven-play, 55-yard march to give UA a 31-13 lead.
Kitchens completed eight of 10 passes for 110 yards and one TD in relief of Burgdorf. As a team, Alabama completed 18 of 24 passes for 246 yards and two TDs.
Dennis Riddle's four-yard TD run with just over six minutes to play capped the scoring for Alabama. Riddle finished the game with 17 carries for 80 yards and one TD.
North Texas added a late touchdown as Jason Mills fired a 63-yard TD pass to Troy Redwine. The two-point conversion failed and the Crimson Tide held on for a 38-19 win.
The Mean Green produced very little offense on the ground, running 21 times for only 14 yards. Through the air was a different story, as UNT completed 22 of 42 passes for 260 yards and two TDs.
The two teams combined for seven turnovers, including four by Alabama. North Texas managed only nine first downs against the UA defense.
ALABAMA-NORTH TEXAS TIES
*Alabama has five players on its roster from the state of Texas, including J.B. Closner (San Antonio/Clark HS), Grant Dickey (Tyler/Lee HS), Charlie Peprah (Plano/Plano East HS), Derrick Pope (Galveston/Garden City CC) and Shaud Williams (Andrews/Texas Tech).
*The North Texas roster does not list any players from the state of Alabama.
*Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione is 1-0 in his coaching career against North Texas. On Nov. 13, 1999, Coach Fran led TCU to a 27-3 win over the UNT in Fort Worth.
*Coach Fran's first Division I coaching job was at Kansas State University (1978-80) under head coach Jim Dickey, Sr., who is the father of North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey.
*Coach Fran was the receivers coach at K-State, while the younger Dickey played quarterback for his father.
*Darrell Dickey has never faced Alabama as a collegiate head coach. However, Dickey was the tight ends coach at LSU (1991-93) and posted a 1-2 record against the Crimson Tide while in Baton Rouge.
*While at LSU, Dickey coached two future NFL tight ends, including former Central (Tuscaloosa) High School standout Harold Bishop. In 1993, LSU beat Alabama 17-13 in Tuscaloosa to snap the Crimson Tide's 31-game unbeaten streak.
*Alabama freshman offensive lineman Grant Dickey is the first cousin of North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey.
*Former Alabama starting quarterback Freddie Kitchens (1993-97) is the running backs coach at North Texas. Kitchens threw for 4,448 yards and 30 TDs in his career at Alabama. The Attalla, Ala., native ranks among the top five passers in Bama history for attempts (3rd), yards (4th) and completions (5th).
*Former Alabama quarterback Steve Sloan is the former Director of Athletics at North Texas.
*Former Alabama head coach Gene Stallings (1990-96) served as a consultant to the North Texas Department of Athletics in their move to Division I athletics.
*Former Alabama assistant basketball coach Johnny Jones is currently the head men's basketball coach at North Texas.
*North Texas football alumni includes NFL Hall of Famer Mean Joe Green (Pittsburgh Steelers), Hayden Fry (former head coach and AD at UNT), Ray Renfro, Steve Ramsey and Beasley Reece.
*Other famous North Texas alums are Don January (PGA), Joe Don Baker (actor), Pat Boone (singer), Don Henley (lead singer for the Eagles), Roy Orbison (singer), Larry McMurtry (author) and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (real name is Steve Williams), who also played football at UNT.
ALABAMA VS. SUN BELT CONFERENCE
Alabama has compiled an 11-0 (1.000) all-time record against the current Sun Belt Conference field. North Texas is the second Sun Belt Conference foe to play Alabama this season. The Crimson Tide opened the 2002 campaign with a 39-34 win over Middle Tennessee at Legion Field. In addition, Alabama is 8-0 against Southwestern Louisiana (now called Louisiana-Lafayette), 1-0 against Arkansas State (34-7, 1982) and North Texas (38-19, 1995).
NORTH TEXAS VS. SEC
The Mean Green are 4-26 (.133) all-time against SEC schools. The Alabama game marks the first meeting with an SEC foe since a 52-0 loss at LSU on Sept. 11, 1999. The UNT ledger includes a pair of forfeit wins over Miss. State in 1976 and 1977. The last time UNT posted an on-the-field win over an SEC team was a 21-14 win at Tennessee on Oct. 25, 1975. Hayden Fry was the head coach of the Mean Green as UNT upset the Vols in Knoxville. The only other win came against Florida (20-12) on Oct. 4, 1927.
SEC Opponent UNT Record
ALABAMA VS. LONE STAR STATE
The Crimson Tide has compiled a 20-11-1 (.641) all-time record against teams from the state Texas. Excluding the Texas Longhorns, Alabama's record is 20-4 (.833) against Texas schools. The Crimson Tide has an 0-7-1 all-time record against UT. Alabama's last game with a team from the state of Texas was a 56-7 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2001 at Legion Field.
Opponent UA Record
UNT VS. STATE OF ALABAMA
The Mean Green are 1-4 (.200) all-time against teams from the state of Alabama. North Texas' lone win was a 41-6 victory over Samford on Oct. 5, 2000 in Denton.
Opponent UNT Result
The Alabama-North Texas game features two Division I football teams whose nickname does not end with the letter "s". There are 11 Division I playing football schools whose nickname does not end in the letter "s". During the 2002 season, there are five games between schools whose nickname does not end in the letter "s". The Navy Midshipmen are involved in three of those games.
School Non "S" Nickname
2002 Matchups of Non "S" Nicknames
Sept. 7 NC State 65, Navy 19
BAMA "D" TOUGH AT OU
The Crimson Tide defense limited the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners to minus 23 rushing yards (23 attempts) on Sept. 7 in Norman. The last time Alabama held an opponent to minus rushing yards was Oct. 30, 1999 when UA limited Southern Miss to minus 13 yards on 25 rushing attempts. OU tailback Quentin Griffin entered the game with an NCAA-leading 237-yard per game and was held to three yards (9 carries) by the Alabama stop troops. The Crimson Tide also recorded six sacks in the Oklahoma game, with five different players registering one sack. The six sacks at OU are the third-most by Alabama in the last five years. The Crimson Tide had nine sacks against Vanderbilt (Sept. 12, 1998) and seven against Arkansas (Sept. 22) last year.
*Alabama held Middle Tennessee to no rushing yards on five attempts in the first quarter of the 2002 season opener (Aug. 31) at Legion Field.
*Oklahoma had only two rushing yards on eight carries in the first quarter against Alabama.
*The Sooners had minus 11 rushing yards (seven attempts) in the second quarter of its win over Alabama.
*The Crimson Tide defense held the Sooners to minus 18 yards total offense in the third quarter. OU ran six times for minus 26 yards and completed one pass for eight yards against the Tide defense. In sum, OU ran nine plays in the third quarter for minus 18 yards.
*Prior to its game-winning TD drive, OU was held to minus five yards total offense on 15 plays in the second half by the Alabama defense.
*The Oklahoma game marked the fifth time in the Franchione era, the Crimson Tide has yielded less than 100 yards on the ground.
Team (Year) Rushes-Yards Result
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAY IMPROVES AT OU
After a disappointing performance in the season opener with Middle Tennessee, Coach Fran was looking for improved play from his special teams against Oklahoma. After recording six "big plays", the Alabama special teams came through in the second game of the 2002 season. "We made some big plays on special teams, but also had some negative plays, too. Overall, we were much better (against Oklahoma) than (Middle Tennessee)," Coach Fran said after the OU game.
*Alabama had at least one "big" special teams play in every quarter of the OU game with the exception of the second quarter.
*Lane Bearden recovers on-side kick on opening kickoff.
*Lance Taylor records first career blocked punt in the first quarter.
*Waine Bacon blocks OU field goal and Charles Jones records a 30-yard return.
*Chris James recovers an OU fumble on a "sky" kick after a UA touchdown in the third quarter.
*Leslie Williams blocks a third quarter punt, the first of his career, and Taylor scores his first TD on a eight-yard return.
*Bearden gives Alabama a 24-23 lead on a three-yard TD run off a fake field goal in the fourth quarter.
*Bearden posted a 47-yard punting average against Oklahoma
*Alabama had two blocked punts against Oklahoma for the first time since Nov. 5, 1994 at LSU.
*Lance Taylor's eight-yard punt return was the first blocked punt return for a TD by Alabama since Roman Colburn had a 33-yard return (Sam Shade blocked the punt) against LSU on Nov. 5, 1994.
*Alabama opened the game with an on-side and recovered the ball at the UA 47-yard line. Bearden recovered his own on-side kick that led to an Alabama field goal.
*The last time Alabama recovered an on-side kick was Nov. 7, 1999 in a come-from-behind win at LSU. Trailing 16-14, Daniel Pope's on-side kick was recovered by Jason McAddley to set up UA's game-winning TD in a 22-16 win at Baton Rouge.
*Bacon's blocked field goal in the first quarter was the first by Alabama since Victor Ellis blocked an Ole Miss field goal on Oct. 14, 2000. Kecalf Bailey scooped up that kick and ran 63 yards for a TD in Bama's 45-7 win at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
BEARDEN AMONG NATION'S BEST PUNTERS
Alabama senior punter Lane Bearden ranks third in the latest NCAA statistics 46.8 average. Through two games, Bearden has eight punts for 374 yards, including three inside the 20-yard line. The Pelham, Ala., native leads the SEC with a 46.8 average this season. Bearden also handles UA kickoffs and has become a special teams weapon for the Crimson Tide, throwing a a two-point pass conversion against Middle Tennessee and adding a three-yard TD run off a fake field goal against Oklahoma.
Rk Punter, School Punt Avg.
OUTLAND TROPHY WATCH LIST
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 83 games for the Crimson Tide. The trio also has contributed 402 tackles, 69 TFLs and 42 ½ 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
RIMINGTON WATCH LIST
Senior All-SEC center Alonzo Ephraim was recently named to the 2002 Rimington Watch list. The award is named for Dave Rimington, college football's most decorated offensive lineman. The award will be presented Dec. 14 in Lincoln, Neb. Ephraim, who has started 13 career games, has allowed just three sacks as a starter and is second among the offensive linemen with 135 knockdown blocks. Guard Justin Smiley leads the knockdown with 147
DOAK WALKER WATCH LIST
Preseason All-SEC tailback Ahmaad Galloway was recently named to the 2002 Doak Walker Award watch list. The Doak Walker award is given annually to the nation's top running back. He got off to a good start in the season opener with 77 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry and now has 1,650 career yards on 333 carries (5.0 per carry average) and 14 career touchdowns. He has played in 35 career games.
PRESEASON HONORS AND AWARDS
Here is a listing of the 2002 preseason football honors for the Crimson Tide football team.
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*1st-Team Preseason All-SEC (Phipps Magazine)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Sporting News)
*2nd Team Preseason All-America (Football News)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Lindy's)
*3rd Team All-America (Phil Steele's Insider)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (Street & Smith's)
*3rd Team All-America (Street & Smith's)
*2nd Team Preseason All-SEC (Phil Steele's Insider)
*1st Team Preseason All-SEC (SEC Media Days)
UA DOUBLES 2000 WIN TOTAL
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
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 meets four opponents ranked in this week's football polls. In both the AP and USA Today/ESPN polls, UA faces four opponents who are ranked among the top 25 teams in the country.
Opponent AP USA Today
*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).
*ESPN.com recently 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 features 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).
*Four other teams were bowl eligible in 2001, but did not participate in post-season play. The other bowl eligible teams were Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Hawaii.
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 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 will play 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 will not play 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 opened the 2002 season against first-time foe Middle Tennessee and closes 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 when 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.
TWO DEEP BREAKDOWN
Alabama's most recent depth chart has 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 chart 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. There were 15 first-time players who participated in the Tide's opening game on Aug. 31, including seven redshirt freshmen, three junior college transfers, two others who saw first-time action, two redshirt juniors, and one true freshman. After two games, McLain and Ryans have seen limited action.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
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, Coach Fran said as many as four true freshmen could see action this season, including linebackers Juwan Garth and (Decatur), DeMeco Ryans (Bessemer); fullback Greg McLain (Lineville) and defensive tackle Jeremy Clark (Daphne).
UP FRONT STRENGTH
Comparing the offensive line at the start of the 2001 season and this year, is like night and day. The Crimson Tide's five offensive linemen in 2002 started the last nine games of the 2001 season and returns intact, combining now for 69 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 who 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:
Player *2001 2002
*Dante Ellington started the 2001 season opener and had 24 starts to his credit at Alabama.
ALABAMA ON THE TUBE
Alabama has compiled a 141-83-5 (.627) all-time record on television in since its first televised game in 1951. The Crimson Tide has made 229 TV appearances since 1951. In regular-season televised games, Alabama has compiled a 118-67-3 (.636)
record. The Crimson Tide has already made two TV appearances this season, including Middle Tennessee (W 39-34) and Oklahoma (L 37-27). Bama has two more appearances scheduled against Southern Miss (espn2 - Sept. 21) and Hawaii (ESPN - Nov. 30).
BAMA BOASTS SEC BEST RUSHING OFFENSE IN 2001
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 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
Here is a look at Bama's top rushing performances since 1969.
Yds Opponent Year
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 Tide rushed for 285 yards and passed for 231 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 the top total offense games since 1969:
Yds Rush/Pass Opponent Year
After averaging 409.4 yards total offense per game last year, it seems the Crimson Tide offense is back in high gear again in 2002. The Tide put together 430 total offense yards in the season opener against Middle Tennessee with 236 passing and 194 rushing.
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)
SEASON OPENER A SHOOTOUT
The Crimson Tide opened the 2002 season with a 39-34 win over Middle Tennessee at Birmingham's Legion Field. The 73 combined points goes down as the fourth-highest scoring season opener in Alabama football history. The Alabama-Middle Tennessee game is the highest scoring season opener since a 37-37 tie with Florida State to open the 1967 season at Legion Field.
HIGH SCORING OPENERS
1. 110 Alabama 110, Marion Institute 0 (9-30-22)