Alabama Football: Tuesday Offensive Notebook

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Sept. 15, 2009

TIDE GETTING OFFENSIVE: Alabama’s offense is off to a solid start under first-year quarterback Greg McElroy. The Crimson Tide has piled up 1,014 yards of total offense this season in wins over Virginia Tech and Florida International. The 1,014 yards are the most by Alabama in back-to-back games since compiling 1,104 yards in consecutive games against South Carolina (516) and UTEP (588) during the 2001 season. Alabama is coming off its best offensive output of the season and third-best in the Saban era with 516 total yards in its 40-14 win over Florida International last week in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide had 275 rushing yards and 241 passing yards in the win over the Golden Panthers. In the season opener, Alabama racked up 498 yards of total offense, the fifth best offensive day under Saban, in the 34-24 win over No. 7 Virginia Tech.

Top Offensive Games (Saban Era)
575 vs. Western Carolina (313 rushing/262 passing) (Sept. 1, 2007)
557 vs. Western Kentucky (281 rushing/276 passing) (Sept. 13, 2008)
516 vs. Florida International (275 rushing/241 passing) (Sept. 12, 2009)
510 vs. Tennessee (147 rushing/363 passing) (Oct. 20, 2007)
498 vs. Virginia Tech (268 rushing/230 passing) (Sept. 5, 2008)

Most-Total Offense in Consecutive Games (Since 2000)
1,104 vs. South Carolina (516) and UTEP (588) in 2001
1,014 vs. Virginia Tech (498) and Florida International (516) in 2009
959 vs. Western Kentucky (557) and Arkansas (402) in 2008
950 vs. Mississippi State (401) and Auburn (549) in 2001
951 vs. UTEP (588) and Ole Miss (363) in 2001

TIDE SCORES ON OPENING DRIVE: Alabama took the opening kickoff and marched to a 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin with 9:02 left in the first quarter against FIU. Alabama has now scored a field goal on its opening possession in both games of the 2009 season, having marched to a Tiffin field goal to start the scoring the win over Virginia Tech. In the Nick Saban era, Alabama has scored on its opening possession in 17 of 29 games. Over those 29 games, the Crimson Tide has started games by scoring nine touchdowns and has kicked eight field goals. Alabama scored on its first possession in nine of its 13 games in 2007 and six of its 14 games last season.

FAST-STARTING TIDE: Alabama has scored on six of its seven first quarter possessions this season, resulting in five field goals and one touchdown. The Crimson Tide has run 49 first quarter plays this season and totaled 271 yards against Virginia Tech and Florida International. Alabama scored on three of four possessions against Virginia Tech in the season opener and scored on all three first quarter drives against FIU. Greg McElroy completed 10-of-11 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown in the first period against FIU. Wide receiver Mike McCoy caught four passes for 65 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter against FIU; including a 24-yard touchdown reception that gave the Tide a 10-0 lead.

TIME OF POSSESSION: An Alabama trademark over the past two seasons has been its ability to control the line of scrimmage offensively and, consequently, control the tempo of the game. This has played out with an impressive advantage in time of possession. A year ago, the Crimson Tide finished 11th nationally with an average time of possession of 32:08. In 2009, the Crimson Tide is off to another great start in that category, holding the ball for 37:02 in the opener against Virginia Tech and having it for 31:38 against Florida International. The Crimson Tide has won the time of possession battle in 11 of the last 16 games overall  Alabama is second in the SEC in time of possession, averaging 34:20 per game.

McELROY DEBUT: Junior Greg McElroy has been impressive in his first two games as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback, completing 61.1 percent (33-of-54) of his passes for 235.5 yards per game and two touchdowns with one interception. In his debut against Virginia Tech, the Southlake, Texas, native threw for 230 yards on 15-of-30 passing with one touchdown and one interception in leading the Crimson Tide to a win over the No. 7 team in the country. The 230 yards ranks as the fourth-highest total by a quarterback in his UA debut behind Brodie Croyle (285), Andrew Zow (272) and John Parker Wilson (253). McElroy followed up that outing with a precise performance against Florida International, completing 18-of-24 attempts for 241 yards and one touchdown without throwing an interception. At one point, McElroy completed 14 passes in a row to set a new Alabama record for consecutive completions (old mark: 12 by John Parker Wilson in 2008 at Tennessee and vs. Arkansas State, and Andrew Zow, 12 vs. Mississippi on Oct. 14, 2000).

INGRAM OFF TO THE RACES: Sophomore running back Mark Ingram is off to an excellent start in 2009. One week after he showed a national television audience why he was named to the watch list for the Doak Walker Award by rushing for 150 yards and a touchdown against No. 7 Virginia Tech, he had another explosive outing off the bench (due to flu-like symptoms) against Florida International. In the FIU game, he accounted for 103 all-purpose yards (56 yards rushing and 47 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving). In addition to rushing for 206 yards through two games this season, Ingram has added seven receptions for 82 yards. Ingram has at least one rushing touchdown in five of his last six games. Overall, Ingram has scored at least one touchdown in 11 of his 16 games for the Tide. He has 15 career touchdowns, including a freshman record 12 in 2008.

BALL SECURITY: Mark Ingram has also developed another impressive reputation during his 16-game Alabama career as the Flint, Mich., native is an expert at holding onto the football. The sophomore has not lost a fumble in 179 career rushing attempts and only put the ball on the ground one time (at LSU in 2008) which was recovered by the Tide. He has 934 yards in those 16 games with 14 rushing touchdowns.

RICHARDSON HAS IMPRESSIVE HOME DEBUT: True freshman running back Trent Richardson enjoyed an impressive debut in his first action with the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium, rushing for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries against FIU. Richardson scored on runs of nine and 35 yards in the second half to extend the Alabama lead from a 20-14 edge to 33-14 early in the fourth quarter.

McCOY HAS CAREER NIGHT DUE TO BIG FIRST HALF: Senior wide receiver Mike McCoy produced a huge game against FIU with 5 catches for 100 yards and 1 touchdown – all in the first half. McCoy’s yardage eclipsed his previous career high of 47 yards vs. Georgia in 2007. His career-high for catches in a game is 6 vs. Georgia in 2007.