Sept. 22, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Eight Alabama players earned player of the week honors following the Crimson Tide's 49-14 victory at Arkansas, head coach Nick Saban announced Monday after the staff had a chance to grade film from Saturday's game.
For the second straight week, junior left tackle Andre Smith and junior tailback Glen Coffee earned the distinction on offense. They were joined by senior tight end Travis McCall as all three players were key contributors to an Alabama ground game that totaled 328 yards against the Razorbacks. Coffee ran for a career-high 162 yards on just 10 carries and scored on runs of 87 and 31 yards as Smith and McCall provided outstanding blocking along the offensive front. UA leads the SEC and ranks 14th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 236.8 yards per game.
Defensively, a pair of linebackers led the way with top grades against Arkansas. Sophomore Rolando McClain and junior Brandon Fanney were the team's leading tacklers Saturday, finishing with eight and seven, respectively. Alabama limited the Razorbacks to 92 yards on the ground and the Tide now ranks eighth nationally in rush defense (55.0 ypg). Fanney also added two tackles for loss. McClain is UA's top tackler with 29 stops through four games.
After he didn't have to punt last week, P.J. Fitzgerald had his best game of the season with an average of 45.2 yards on five punts at Arkansas. Fitzgerald had a long of 56 and two punts inside the 20. Robby Green and Tyrone King also earned player of the week honors for their work on special teams. Green had three tackles on punt and kickoff coverage while King had one special teams tackle and forced a fumble on kickoff coverage.
Coffee (Clemson, WKU & Arkansas) and McClain (Clemson, Tulane & Arkansas) are the only two players to be selected as players of the week by the coaching staff three times.