Alabama Football Game One Notes: South Florida

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Coach Mike Shula makes University of Alabama head coaching debut
Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Coach Mike Shula
Coach Mike Shula

Helmet South Florida Helmet Alabama
Game 1: South Florida Bulls vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
August 30, 2003
Legion Field
Birmingham, Alabama
2:07 p.m. CST (ESPN)

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ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:

  • The USF game marks the head coaching debut of Alabama's Mike Shula, who was named the school's 26th head football coach on May 9, 2003.
  • UA head coaches are 18-6 (.750) in their coaching debuts with the Crimson Tide.
  • The South Florida game is Alabama's only game at Legion Field this season.
  • UA will not return to Birmingham until Sept. 3, 2005 against Middle Tennessee.
  • This is the 109th season of Alabama football.
  • Alabama is 84-21-3 (.792) in season openers, including a 23-4-1 (.839) mark here at Legion Field.
  • South Florida is the Crimson Tide's 50th different opening day opponent.
  • Coach Shula was 2-1 (.667) in openers as UA's starting QB (1994-86).
  • Senior RB Shaud Williams is a candidate for the 2003 Doak Walker Award.
  • Williams needs just 195 rushing yards for 2,000 yards in his career.

MIKE SHULA ERA OPENS

The Alabama Crimson Tide (0-0, 0-0 SEC) opens the Mike Shula era this Saturday, Aug. 30 against the South Florida Bulls (0-0, 0-0 C-USA) here at Legion Field, in the 2003 season opener for both teams.  The season opener also marks the head coaching debut for Alabama coach Mike Shula, who was named the Crimson Tide's 26th head coach (May 9, 2003) just 115 days prior to the start of the season.  The Alabama-South Florida game will be nationally televised by ESPN beginning at 2:07 p.m. (CT) from Birmingham's Legion Field Stadium.  At 38 years old, Shula is the youngest head coach in the modern era of Alabama football and the youngest UA coach since the hiring of Wallace Wade (31) in 1923 and Frank Thomas (33) in 1931.  Shula is currently the second-youngest Division IA head coach, one year and two days older than Rutgers' Greg Schianno.  Handling the announcing duties for ESPN will be Jeff Hullinger (play-by-play), 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware (analyst) and Jimmy Dykes (sideline). The game will also be aired on the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (color analyst) and Tom Roberts (sidelines) describing the action.

UA IN 109th FOOTBALL SEASON

The University of Alabama is in its 109th football season and has compiled a 754-284-43 (.717) all-time record in 1,081 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. The Crimson Tide football legacy includes 12 national championships and 21 SEC championships.  UA has also logged 27 10-win seasons, the most by any Division I school. UA 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 Mike Shula (0-0, .000) makes his head coaching debut during the 2003 season.  Shula has previoulsy served as an assisant coach in the National Football League with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins.  He is the son of NFL Hall of Famer and Miami Dolphins coaching legend Don Shula, who is the winningest coach in the history of the NFL.  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 Alabama to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn.  South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt (44-22, .667) has been with the Bulls since the program's inception in 1997.  The 2003 season marks the third year of Divison IA football on the USF campus.  Leavitt earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Missouri, where he was an All-Big 8 football and baseball standout for the Tigers. 

THE SERIES

This is the first-ever meeting between UA and USF.

NEXT WEEK

Alabama makes its Bryant-Denny Stadium debut next Saturday, Sept. 6 as they host the No. 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a nationally televised game by ESPN. 

THE OPENER IS SPONSORED BY...

*The 2003 season opener between Alabama nd South Florida is sponsored by Golden Flake. 

*Presenting sponsors are NBC-13, The Birmingham News and The Birmingham Post-Herald. 

*In addition, the first 2,000 fans entering Legion Field will receive a set of trading cards depicting the Legends of Legion Field.

MIKE SHULA MAKES COACHING DEBUT

Former All-SEC quarterback Mike Shula will make his head coaching debut when the Crimson Tide hosts the South Florida Bulls on Aug. 30, 2003 at Legion Field. 

*Shula was named the Crimson Tide's 26th head coach on May 9, 2003, returning to his alma mater after spending the last 16 years in the NFL as a player and assistant coach.

*Shula is the Crimson Tide's third head coach in the last nine months, replacing former head coach Mike Price just 115 days prior to the start of the 2003 season.

*The Alabama head coach will be making his head coaching debut in the very stadium where he earned his first start under center for the Crimson Tide 19 years ago. 

*As a sophomore, Shula made his first start for the Crimson Tide on Sept. 8, 1984 here at Legion Field in a 38-31 loss to the Boston College Eagles and 1984 Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie.

*Alabama head coaches are 18-6 (.750) in their coaching debuts with the Crimson Tide.

*Two of the Crimson Tide's last three head coaches lost their first game at Alabama, including Gene Stallings (1990) and Dennis Franchione (2001). 

*E.B. Beaumont (1892) served as the first head coach in the history of Alabama football, leading the Crimson Tide its first-ever win over Birmingham High School (56-0) on Nov. 11, 1892.

*From 1905-47, Alabama had nine consecutive successful coaching debuts beginning with Jack Leavenworth (1905) and concluding with Harold "Red" Drew (1947).

*Paul Bryant (1957), Gene Stallings (1990) and Dennis Franchione (2001) all lost their Alabama coaching debuts.

*Despite losing their UA debut, the trio still managed to compile a 311-79-9 (.791) overall record in 399 games and win seven national championships (1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979 and 1992).

*Shula is one of just five Alabama head coaches to have also played for the Crimson Tide.  The list also includes J.B. Whitworth, Paul Bryant, Ray Perkins and Mike DuBose.

Alabama Players Who Became Head Coach

                       Playing    Coaching
Name                    Years      Years   

J.B. Whitworth         1930-31    1955-57
Paul Bryant            1933-35    1958-82
Ray Perkins            1964-66    1983-86
Mike DuBose            1972-74    1997-2000
Mike Shula             1983-86    Present

Alabama Head Coaching Debuts

Coach              Year   Result                           
E.B. Beaumont      1892   Won   Alabama 56, Bham HS 0
Eli Abbott         1893   Lost  Bham AC 4, Alabama 0
Otto Waggonhurst   1896   Won   Alabama 30, Bham AC 0
Allen McCants      1897   Won   Alabama 6, Tuscaloosa AC 0
W.A. Martin        1899   Won   Alabama 16, Tuscaloosa AC 5
M. Griffin         1900   Won   Alabama 35, Taylor School 0
M.H. Harvey        1901   Won   Alabama 41, Ole Miss 0
W.B. Blount        1903   Lost  Vanderbilt 30, Alabama 0
Jack Leavenworth   1905   Won   Alabama 17, Maryville 0
J.W.H. Pollard     1906   Won   Alabama 6, Maryville 0
Guy Lowman         1910   Won   Alabama 25, Bham Southern 0
D.V. Graves        1911   Won   Alabama 24, Howard 0
Thomas Kelley      1915   Won   Alabama 44, Howard 0
Xen Scott          1919   Won   Alabama 27, Bham Southern 0
Wallace Wade       1923   Won   Alabama 12, Union 0
Frank Thomas       1931   Won   Alabama 42, Howard 0
"Red" Drew         1947   Won   Alabama 34, Southern Miss 0
J.B. Whitworth     1955   Lost  Rice 20, Alabama 0
Paul Bryant        1958   Lost  LSU 13, Alabama 3
Ray Perkins        1983   Won   Alabama 20, Georgia Tech 7
Bill Curry         1987   Won   Alabama 38, Southern Miss 6
Gene Stallings     1990   Lost  Southern Miss 27, Alabama 24
Mike DuBose        1997   Won   Alabama 42, Houston 17
Dennis Franchione  2001   Lost  UCLA 20, Alabama 17
Mike Shula         2003   Alabama vs. South Florida

*Shula is the seventh Alabama head coach to make his debut in Birmingham and the sixth  UA head coach to make his coaching debut at Legion Field.

*Five of the last six Alabama head coaches have made their debut with the Crimson Tide at Legion Field.

*The list of Alabama coaches to make their debut at Legion Field includes Red Drew, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose and Mike Shula.

*The Crimson Tide's first head coach, E.B. Beaumont, also debuted in Birmingham, but the game was played at Lakeview Park.  Beaumont coached the first game in Alabama history, leading the Crimson Tide to a 56-0 win over Birmingham High School.

*In 2001, Dennis Franchione became the first Alabama coach in more than 70 years to make his coaching debut in Tuscaloosa.  Fran's debut came Sept. 1, 2001 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the Tide's 20-17 loss to UCLA.

*Prior to Franchione, the last coach to open his UA career in Tuscaloosa was Frank Thomas, who led his team to a 42-0 win over Howard on Sept. 26, 1931.

*Coach Paul Bryant made his UA coaching debut at Mobile's Ladd Stadium.

*Coach J.B. Whitworth's debut came in Houston, Texas against the Rice Owls.

FOR THE RECORD

Here is a look at the coaching records for the Crimson Tide's previous 25 head coaches since 1892.  Legendary coach Paul W. "Bear" Bryant (1958-82) remains the winningest coach in school history with his 232-46-9 (.824) record in 287 career games.  He led the Crimson Tide to six national titles (1961, `64, `64, `73, `78 and `79) in his tenure at the Capstone.

Coach               Years         Record       
E.B. Beaumont       1892          2-2 (.500)
Eli Abbott          1893-95, 1902 7-13 (.350)
Otto Waggonhurst    1896          2-1 (.667)
Allen McCants       1897          1-0 (1.000)
W.A. Martin         1899          4-3-1 (.750)
M. Griffin          1900          2-3 (.400)
M.H. Harvey         1901          2-1-2 (.600)
W.B. Blount         1903-04       10-7 (.598)
Jack Leavenworth    1905          6-4 (.600)
J.W.H. Pollard      1906-09       21-4-5 (.783)
Guy Lowman          1910          4-4 (.500)
D.V. Graves         1911-14       21-12-3 (.625)
Thomas Kelley       1915-17       17-7-1 (.700)
Xen Scott           1919-22       29-9-3 (.744)
Wallace Wade        1923-30       61-13-3 (.812)
Frank Thomas        1931-46       115-24-7 (.812)
Harold "Red" Drew   1947-54       54-28-7 (.643)
J.B. Whitworth      1955-57       4-24-2 (.167)
Paul Bryant         1958-82       232-46-9 (.824)
Ray Perkins         1983-86       32-15-1 (.677)
Bill Curry          1987-89       26-10 (.722)
Gene Stallings      1990-96       62-25 (.713)
Mike DuBose         1997-2000     24-23 (.511)
Dennis Franchione   2001-02       17-8 (.680)

THE TOP FIVE

Here is a listing of Alabama's top five head coaches in terms of games, wins and winning percentage since 1892.

Top Five Games Coached

Coach                 Years       Games
Paul Bryant           1958-82     287
Frank Thomas          1931-46     146
Harold "Red" Drew     1947-54     89
Gene Stallings        1990-96     87
Wallace Wade          1923-30     77
 
Top Five All-Time Wins

Coach                 Years       Games
Paul Bryant           1958-82     232
Frank Thomas          1931-46     115
Gene Stallings        1990-96     62
Wallace Wade          1923-30     61
Harold "Red" Drew     1947-54     54

Top Five All-Time Winning Percentage (Min. 3 Yrs)

Coach                 Years       Games
Paul Bryant           1958-82     .854
Frank Thomas          1931-46     .812
Wallace Wade          1923-30     .812
J.W.H. Pollard        1906-09     .783
Xen Scott             1919-22     .744

THE SHULA LEGACY

The name Shula is synonomous with success both on and off the football field. Alabama head coach Mike Shula becomes the third member of the legendary Shula family to be named head coach when he was tabbed UA's 26th head coach on May 9, 2003.  The 38-year old Shula follows in the footsteps of his father and brother, who were both head coaches in the NFL.

Don Shula
Baltimore Colts & Miami Dolphins
1997 NFL Hall of Fame Inductee

*Compiled a 347-173-6 (.665) record with the Colts and Dolphins, making him the winningest coach in NFL history.

*On Nov. 14, 1993, Miami defeated Philadelphia 19-14 as Shula surpassed the immortal George Halas (324-151-31) as the league's all-time winningest head coach.

*Enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame on July 26, 1997 in Canton, Ohio. 

*Presented for induction at the Hall of Fame by his two sons, David and Mike.  The Shula brothers are the only duo in NFL history to present a candidate into the Hall of Fame.

*In addition to his own election on the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Shula was further honored by being selected to present five other members for induction into the Hall (Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little and former Alabama All-American center Dwight Stephenson), including two (Csonka and Langer) on the same day.

*Led the Dolphins to Super Bowl titles in 1972 and 1973, one of only five coaches in NFL history to win consective Super Bowls.

*The 1972 Miami Dolphins went 17-0 and remain the only team in NFL annals to record a perfect season.

*Miami's two-year record of 32-2 (1972-73) has yet to be surpassed as the the best two-year record in NFL history.

*A 1951 graduate of John Carroll, where the football stadium (Don Shula Stadium) is named in his honor.

*The Don Shula Foundation, formed primarily to assist breast cancer research, was establsihed as a tribute to his late wife, Dorothy.

David Shula
Cincinnati Bengals
President of Don Shula Steakhouse, Inc.

*When David took over the reigns as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, he replaced his father as the youngest head coach in NFL history. 

*Spent five seasons as head coach of the Bengals (1992-96).

*On Oct. 2, 1994, Don Shula's Dolphins faced David Shula's Bengals at Riverfront Stadium, marking the first time ever in professional sports that a father and son had faced each other as head coaches.

*The Dolphins prevailed in an ESPN Sunday night telecast, 27-3.

*David currently serves as President of Don Shula Steakhouse, Inc., and the 24th resturant is expected to open this fall at the Wynfrey Hotel near the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover.

*David's oldest son, Dan, is a freshman quarterback at Dartmouth University.

ALABAMA SEASON OPENERS

The Crimson Tide has posted an 84-21-3 (.792) record in season openers. 

*Alabama snapped a two-game opening day losing streak with last year's 39-24 win over Middle Tennessee (Aug. 31) here at Legion Field. 

All-Time Season Openers (Since 1892)

Date                Result of Game                  Site      
Nov. 11, 1892       Alabama 56, Bham HS 0           Bham
Oct. 14, 1893       Bham AC 4, Alabama 0            Bham
Oct. 27, 1894       Ole Miss 6, Alabama 0           Jackson
Nov. 2, 1895        Georgia 30, Alabama 6           Columbus
Oct. 24, 1896       Alabama 30, Bham AC 0           Tuscaloosa
Nov. 13, 1897       Alabama 6, Tusc. AC 0           Tuscaloosa
1898                No Team
Oct. 21, 1899       Alabama 16, Tusc. AC 5          Tuscaloosa
Oct. 21, 1900       Alabama 35, Taylor School 0     Tuscaloosa
Oct. 19, 1901       Alabama 41, Ole Miss 0          Tuscaloosa
Oct. 10, 1902       Alabama 57, Bham HS 0           Tuscaloosa
Oct. 10, 1903       Vanderbilt 30, Alabama 0        Nashville
Oct. 3, 1904        Alabama 29, Florida 0           Tuscaloosa
Oct. 3, 1905        Alabama 17, Maryville 0         Tuscaloosa
Oct. 6, 1906        Alabama 6, Maryville 0          Tuscaloosa
Oct. 5, 1907        Alabama 17, Maryville 0         Tuscaloosa
Oct. 3, 1908        Alabama 27, Wetumpka 0          Tuscaloosa
Oct. 2, 1909        Alabama 16, Union 0             Tuscaloosa
Oct. 1, 1910        Alabama 25, Bham Southern 0     Tuscaloosa
Spt. 30, 1911       Alabama 24, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 28, 1912       Alabama 52, Marion 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 27, 1913       Alabama 27, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Oct. 3, 1914        Alabama 13, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Oct. 2, 1915        Alabama 44, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 30, 1916       Alabama 13, Bham Southern 0     Tuscaloosa
Oct. 3, 1917        Alabama 7, Ohio AC 0            Montgomery
1918                No Team
Oct. 4, 1919        Alabama 27, Bham Southern 0     Tuscaloosa
Spt. 25, 1920       Alabama 59, Southern 0          Tuscaloosa
Sept. 24, 1921      Alabama 34, Howard 14           Tuscaloosa
Spt. 30, 1922       Alabama 110, Marion 0           Tuscaloosa
Spt. 29, 1923       Alabama 12, Union 0             Tuscaloosa
Spt. 27, 1924       Alabama 55, Union 0             Tuscaloosa
Spt. 26, 1925       Alabama 53, Union 0             Tuscaloosa
Spt. 24, 1926       Alabama 54, Millsaps 0          Tuscaloosa
Spt. 24, 1927       Alabama 46, Millsaps 0          Tuscaloosa
Oct. 6, 1928        Alabama 27, Ole Miss 0          Tuscaloosa
Spt. 28, 1929       Alabama 55, Miss. College 0     Tuscaloosa
Spt. 27, 1930       Alabama 43, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 26, 1931       Alabama 42, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 24, 1932       Alabama 45, Southwestern 0      Tuscaloosa
Spt. 30, 1933       Alabama 34, Oglethorpe 0        Tuscaloosa
Spt. 29, 1934       Alabama 24, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 28, 1935       Alabama 7, Howard 7             Tuscaloosa
Spt. 26, 1936       Alabama 34, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 25, 1937       Alabama 41, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 24, 1938       Alabama 19, Southern Cal 7      Los Angeles
Spt. 30, 1939       Alabama 21, Howard 0            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 27, 1940       Alabama 26, Spring Hill 0       Mobile
Spt. 27, 1941       Alabama 47, SW La. 6            Tuscaloosa
Spt. 25, 1942       Alabama 54, SW La. 0            Montgomery
1943                No Team
Spt. 30, 1944       Alabama 27, LSU 27              Baton Rouge
Spt. 29, 1945       Alabama 21, Kessler AFB 0       Biloxi, Ms.
Spt. 20, 1946       Alabama 26, Furman 3            Bham
Spt. 20, 1947       Alabama 34, Southern Miss 7     Bham
Spt. 25, 1948       Tulane 21, Alabama 14           New Orleans
Spt. 24, 1949       Tulane 28, Alabama 14           Mobile
Spt. 23, 1950       Alabama 27, Chattanooga 0       Bham
Spt. 21, 1951       Alabama 89, Delta St. 0         Montgomery
Spt. 19, 1952       Alabama 20, S. Miss 6           Montgomery
Spt. 18, 1953       S. Miss 25, Alabama 19          Montgomery
Spt. 17, 1954       S. Miss 7, Alabama 2            Montgomery
Spt. 24. 1955       Rice 20, Alabama 0              Houston
Spt. 22, 1956       Rice 20, Alabama 13             Houston
Spt. 28, 1957       LSU 28, Alabama 0               Baton Rouge
Spt. 27, 1958       LSU 13, Alabama 3               Mobile
Spt. 19, 1959       Georgia 17, Alabama 3           Athens
Spt. 17, 1960       Alabama 21, Georgia 6           Bham
Spt. 23, 1961       Alabama 32, Georgia 6           Athens
Spt. 22, 1962       Alabama 35, Georgia 0           Bham
Spt. 21, 1963       Alabama 32, Georgia 7           Athens
Spt. 19, 1964       Alabama 31, Georgia 3           Tuscaloosa
Spt. 18, 1965       Georgia 18, Alabama 17          Athens
Spt. 24, 1966       Alabama 34, La. Tech 0          Bham
Spt. 23, 1967       Alabama 37, Florida State 37    Bham
Spt. 21, 1968       Alabama 14, Va. Tech 7          Bham
Spt. 20, 1969       Alabama 17, Va. Tech 13         Blacksburg
Spt. 12, 1970       Southern Cal 42, Alabama 21     Bham
Spt. 10, 1971       Alabama 17, Southern Cal 10     Los Angeles
Spt. 9, 1972        Alabama 35, Duke 0              Bham
Spt. 15, 1973       Alabama 66, Cal 0               Bham
Spt. 14, 1974       Alabama 21, Maryland 16         College Park
Spt. 8, 1975        Missouri 20, Alabama 7          Bham
Spt. 11, 1976       Ole Miss 10, Alabama 7          Jackson
Spt. 10, 1977       Alabama 34, Ole Miss 14         Bham
Spt. 2, 1978        Alabama 20, Nebraska 3          Bham
Spt. 8, 1979        Alabama 30, Georgia Tech 6      Atlanta
Spt. 6, 1980        Alabama 26, Georgia Tech 3      Bham
Spt. 5, 1980        Alabama 24, LSU 7               Baton Rouge
Spt. 11, 1982       Alabama 45, Georgia Tech 0      Atlanta
Spt. 10, 1983       Alabama 20, Georgia Tech 7      Bham
Spt. 8, 1994        Boston College 38, Alabama 31   Bham
Spt. 2, 1985        Alabama 20, Georgia 16          Athens
Aug. 27, 1986       Alabama 16, Ohio St. 10         Meadowlands
Spt. 5, 1987        Alabama 38, Southern Miss 7     Bham
Spt. 10, 1988       Alabama 37, Temple 0            Philadelphia
Spt. 16, 1989       Alabama 35, Memphis St. 7       Bham
Spt. 8, 1990        Southern Miss 27, Alabama 24    Bham
Spt. 7, 1991        Alabama 41, Temple 3            Bham
Spt. 5, 1992        Alabama 25, Vanderbilt 8        Tuscaloosa
Spt. 4, 1993        Alabama 31, Tulane 17           Bham
Spt. 3, 1994        Alabama 42, Chattanooga 7       Bham
Spt. 2, 1995        Alabama 33, Vanderbilt 25       Bham
Aug. 31, 1996       Alabama 21, Bowling Green 7     Bham
Aug. 30, 1997       Alabama 42, Houston 17          Bham
Spt. 5, 1998        Alabama 38, BYU 31              Tuscaloosa
Spt. 4, 1999        Alabama 28, Vanderbilt 17       Nashville
Spt. 2, 2000        UCLA 35, Alabama 24             Los Angeles
Spt. 1, 2001        UCLA 20, Alabama 17             Tuscaloosa
Aug. 31, 2002       Alabama 39, MTSU 34             Bham
Aug. 30, 2003       Alabama vs. South Florida       Bham

*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, where 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.

*Since 1977, Alabama has posted a 22-4 (.846) record in season openers, but has lost two of the last three.

*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 109-year history.  

*The most common venue for an Alabama season opener is Tuscaloosa.  The Crimson Tide has played its season opener on campus 39 times, including 20 season openers in Bryant-Denny Stadium (circa 1929).

*The city of Birmingham is next on the list, having played host to 29 season openers, including this year's USF game.

Bama Season Openers by Site

Site                    Games     Record
Tuscaloosa              39        37-1-1
Birmingham              28        23-4-1
Montgomery              6          4-2
Athens, Ga.             5          3-2
Los Angeles, Cal.       3          2-1
Nashville, Tenn.        3          2-1
Baton Rouge             3          1-2
Mobile                  3          1-2
Atlanta, Ga.            2          2-0
Houston, Texas          2          0-2
Jackson, Miss.          2          0-2
Blacksburg, Vir.        1          1-0
College Park, Md.       1          1-0
East Rutherford, NJ     1          1-0
Philadelphia, Penn.     1          1-0
Biloxi, Miss.           1          0-1
Columbus, Ga.           1          0-1
New Orleans, La.        1          0-1

*The 2003 South Florida game will mark Alabama's 27th all-time season opener at Legion Field. 

*Alabama has forged a 23-4-1 (.839) all-time record in season openers played here in the Magic City. 

*In games played at Legion Field, Alabama  has posted a 21-4-1 (.827) record.

Legion Field Season Openers

Date              Result of Game              
Spt. 20, 1946     Alabama 26, Furman 3
Spt. 20, 1947     Alabama 34, Southern Miss 7
Spt. 23, 1950     Alabama 27, Chattanooga 0
Spt. 17, 1960     Alabama 21, Georgia 6
Spt. 22, 1962     Alabama 35, Georgia 0
Spt. 24, 1966     Alabama 34, La. Tech 0
Spt. 23, 1967     Alabama 37, Florida State 37
Spt. 21, 1968     Alabama 14, Va. Tech 7
Spt. 12, 1970     Southern Cal 42, Alabama 21
Spt. 9, 1972      Alabama 35, Duke 0
Spt. 15, 1973     Alabama 66, Cal 0
Spt. 8, 1975      Missouri 20, Alabama 7
Spt. 10, 1977     Alabama 34, Ole Miss 14
Spt. 2, 1978      Alabama 20, Nebraska 3
Spt. 6, 1980      Alabama 26, Georgia Tech 3
Spt. 10, 1983     Alabama 20, Georgia Tech 7
Spt. 8, 1994      Boston College 38, Alabama 31
Spt. 5, 1987      Alabama 38, Southern Miss 7
Spt. 16, 1989     Alabama 35, Memphis St. 7
Spt. 8, 1990      Southern Miss 27, Alabama 24
Spt. 7, 1991      Alabama 41, Temple 3
Spt. 4, 1993      Alabama 31, Tulane 17
Spt. 3, 1994      Alabama 42, Chattanooga 7
Aug. 31, 1996     Alabama 21, Bowling Green 7
Aug. 30, 1997     Alabama 42, Houston 17
Aug. 31, 2002     Alabama 39, MTSU 34

*The Crimson Tide also opened the 1892 and 1983 seasons in Birmingham, beating Birmingham HS (1892) and losing to Birmingham Athletic Club (1893).

*Alabama enters the 2003 season riding a six-game winning streak in Legion Field season openers.

*The last time Alabama lost a season opener at Legion Field was a 27-24 setback to Southern Miss in 1990.  The Southern Miss game was the first game for head coach Gene Stallings.

Legion Field Openers (Current Winning Streak)

Date              Result of Game             
Spt. 7, 1991      Alabama 41, Temple 3
Spt. 4, 1993      Alabama 31, Tulane 17
Spt. 3, 1994      Alabama 42, Chattanooga 7
Aug. 31, 1996     Alabama 21, Bowling Green 7
Aug. 30, 1997     Alabama 42, Houston 17
Aug. 31, 2002     Alabama 39, MTSU 34

SEASON OPENERS BY OPPONENTS

The South Florida Bulls will be Alabama's 50th different opening day opponent since the Crimson Tide began playing football in 1892.

*USF also marks the Crimson Tide's fifth different opening day opponent in the last seven years. 

*Since 1997, Alabama has opened the season with Houston (1997), BYU (1998), Vanderbilt (1999), UCLA (2000-01), Middle Tennessee (2002) and South Florida (2003).

*Only Vanderbilt (1999) and UCLA (2001) were not first-time opening day foes for the Crimson Tide in the last seven years.

*The Crimson Tide's most common opening day opponent is Howard (now Samford). 

*Alabama posted a 11-0-1 record in its school-record 12 opening day meetings with Howard.

*Alabama has also played five current SEC teams on opening day, compiling a 14-8-1 (.630) record against Ole Miss, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Florida and LSU on opening day.

MEMORABLE SEASON OPENERS

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, Athens)

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 honor 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 or 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.  The game also marked the first career start for Alabama quarterback Mike Shula.

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 opened the season against a team ranked in the Top 25 until 2001 when meeting UCLA in Tuscaloosa.

1985 -- Alabama 20, Georgia 16 (Sept. 2, Athens)

Junior quarterback Mike Shula fired a 17-yard TD pass to Al Bell with 15 seconds remaining to cap a thrilling game-winning drive in the final minute to beat Georgia between the hedges.  A Labor Day night crowd burst into excitment as Georgia blocked and Alabama punt and covered it in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of play. 

The calm and confident Shula directed the Crimson Tide down the field for the game-winner giving ABC Sports a thrilling season opener in 1985.

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

Shaun Alexander rushed for an Alabama single-game record five touchdowns, leading the Crimson Tide 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)

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 Coach Fran's anticipated debut.  UCLA won 20-17.

2002 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. 

Highest Scoring Season Openers

 1. 110 Alabama 110, Marion Institute 0 (9-30-22)
 2. 89 Alabama 89, Delta State 0 (9-21-51)
 3. 74 Alabama 37, Florida State 37 (9-23-67)
 4. 73 Alabama 39, Middle Tennessee 34 (8-31-02)
 5. 69 Alabama 38, BYU 31 (Sept. 5, 1998)
    69 Boston College 38, Alabama 31 (9-8-84)
 7. 66 Alabama 66, California 0 (Sept. 15, 1973)
 8. 63 USC 42,  Alabama 21 (Sept. 12, 1970)
 9. 59 UCLA 35, Alabama 24 (Sept. 4, 2000)
    59 Alabama 42, Houston 17 (Aug. 30, 1997)
    59 Alabama 59, S. Military Acad. 0 (9-25-20)

*Alabama's 39 points against Middle Tennessee are the most by the Crimson Tide in a season opener since a 42-17 win over Houston on Aug. 30, 1997 at Legion Field.

*Middle Tennessee's 34 points were the most allowed by Alabama in a season opener since a 35-24 loss at UCLA on Sept. 4, 2000.

ALABAMA-SOUTH FLORIDA NOTES

*This is the first-ever meeting between Alabama and South Florda in football.

*The Alabama media guide roster lists 10 players from the "Sunshine State."  The chart of players is listed below.

Player                 Hometown
Antonio Carter         Tallahassee
Donald Clarke          Boca Raton
PJ Fletcher            Panama City
Alex Fox               Pensacola
Tarry Givens           Tallahassee
Ray Hudson             Bonifay
Roberto McBride        Lakeland
Marcus McKnight        Callahan
David Scott            Homestead
Walter Smith           Bartow

*The Bulls do not have a player on their roster from the state of Alabama. 

*In fact, of the 105 players listed in 2003 USF media guide, all but four are from the state of Florida.

*The four non-Floridians are Jason Lehman (Los Angeles), Matt Groeinger (San Diego). Ronnie Banks (New Orleans) and Frank Davis (New Jersey Republic of Panama).

*UA senior Roberto McBride (RCB) and USF junior Tim Jones (DE) both attended Kathleen HS in Lakeland, Fla.

*McBride was a senior when Jones was a junior in 1999 at KHS and both were also on the same track and field team and won state track titles. 

*Jones was a two-way player at Kathleen HS and was named the Most Valuable Player for his high school team on both sides of the ball.  Last year at USF, he played both ways for the Bulls and actually played against Arkansas (Sept. 14) at both tight end and defensive end.

*Alabama freshman walk-on Walter Smith (LCB) and USF senior Vince Brewer (RB) both attended Bartow (Fla.) High School.

*USF Director of Athletics Lee Roy Selmon is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  After a stellar career at Oklahoma, Selmon was the first-ever draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1977.

He played 121 games with the Bucs and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection.  In 1979, he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, leading the Bucs to the NFC title game before losing to the Los Angeles Rams 9-0.

*His son, Lee Roy Selmon, Jr., is a member of the USF football team.  The senior defensive end wears the same number (93) as his father wore when with the Sooners and Bucs.

*Alabama head coach Mike Shula spent eight years in Tampa as a player and assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

*USF head coach Jim Leavitt was an All-Big 8 selection in both football and baseball at the University of Missouri.

*As a player, Leavitt faced the Crimson Tide twice while with the Tigers, posting a 1-1 (.500) record in those two meetings.

*In 1975, Missouri handed Alabama a 20-7 loss on Labor Day Night at Legion Field behind the running of Tony Galbreath.  Leavitt was freshman on the Tiger team and played in the win over the Crimson Tide.

*In 1978, Alabama returned the favor and handed Missouri a 38-20 loss at Farout Field in Columbia in Leavitt's senior season with the Tigers.

*In 1977, Leavitt won the Big 8 batting title with a .386 batting average, while earning All-Big honors as a junior.

*USF co-defensive coordinator Waly Burnham is a native of Pell City, Ala. and has has stints at North Alabama, Florida State and South Carolina during his career.

*Burnham played for Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama in 1960 and 1961 before transferring to Samford, where he was a Little All-America linebacker for then coach Bobby Bowden.

*Burnham has a bachelor's degree from Samford and master's from West Alabama.

*USF assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz spent two years in the same capacity at West Alabama in 1994-95.

*Kravitz played football at Troy State University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1977.

*The Alabama game will be the first-ever ESPN appearance for the South Floirda Bulls. 

*USF did have a national television appearance last year at Oklahoma, dropping a 31-14 decision to the Sooners on the TBS SuperStation.

*Alabama has won 12 national championships in football, USF has played just half that many seasons, starting its program in 1997.

*The Alabama game could set a new attendance record for USF, who played in front of 74,432 last season at Oklahoma.

ALABAMA VS. C-USA

Alabama has posted a 84-22-5 (.779) all-time record against the current field of Conference USA teams.

*Of the 111 previous meetings against the C-USA field, 79 games have been played against Tulane (40) and Southern Miss (39).

*Prior to 2003, Alabama has played at least one game with every C-USA member with the exception of South Florida.

*Alabama has a winning record against every C-USA team with the exception of TCU.

C-USA Team             Record     
Army                   1-0 (1.000)
Cincinnati             5-0 (1.000)
East Carolina          1-0 (1.000)
Houston                9-0 (1.000)
Louisville             2-1 (.667)
Memphis                7-1 (.875)
South Florida          0-0 (.000)
Southern Miss          31-6-2 (.821)
TCU                    2-3 (.400)
Tulane                 26-11-3 (.688)

USF VS. SEC

*The Alabama game marks just the third game of the USF Bulls against an SEC school. 

*The Bulls are 0-2 (.000) all-time against the SEC, having lost at Kentucky in 2001 and at Arkansas in 2002.

*The Alabama game marks the third straight year that USF has faced an SEC team.

*The Bulls are also scheduled to play at South Carolina in 2003 and at Florida in 2008 and 2009.

AUGUST FOOTBALL

Alabama will be playing only its fifth game in school history during the month of August as it faces South Florida on Aug. 30 at Legion Field. 

*Alabama coach Mike Shula was the starting quarterback in the Crimson Tide's first-ever game in the month of August, leading UA to a 16-10 win over Ohio State in the 1986 Kickoff Kickoff Classic in the Meadowlands.

*Alabama is a perfect 4-0 (1.000) in its previous three August games, including last year's 39-34 win over Middle Tennessee here at Legion Field.

Result