Saturday, September 21, 2002
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*Alabama has won seven of its last eight games, dating back to the 2001 season. The Crimson Tide's 3-1 start is the best start since opening the 1999 season with a 3-1 record.
*The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series with Southern Miss, 31-6-2. In addition, Alabama has won 10 of the last 11 meetings dating back to the 1991 season.
*Alabama improves to 16-2 (.857) all-time in night games here at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is 2-0 at night this season and the North Texas and Southern Miss games are the first back-to-back night games in the stadium's history.
*The Crimson Tide improves to 7-0 all-time in games played on Sept. 21. The Crimson Tide's first win on this date was a 89-0 victory over Delta State in Montgomery. The last time Alabama played on this date was a 17-7 win at Arkansas in 1996.
*The Alabama defense held its third straight opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. In those three games, the Crimson Tide has allowed only 72 total rushing yards against Oklahoma (-23 yards), North Texas (50 yards) and Southern Miss (35 yards).
*The Southern Miss game marks the seventh time under coach Dennis Franchione that the Crimson Tide defense has held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards. UA held four opponents under 100 yards last season and the last three opponents this season.
*Southern Miss entered tonight's game averaging 237.1 rushing yards per game, second-best in Conference USA.
*The Crimson Tide held Southern Miss tailback Derrick Nix to 101 rushing yards below his season average. Nix, who leads Conference USA and is second in the nation with 158 rushing yards per game, managed only 57 yards on 14 rushing attempts against Alabama. Earlier this year, Alabama held the nation's leading rusher Quentin Griffin (Oklahoma) to three rushing yards on nine attempts. Griffin entered the UA game with an NCAA-leading 237 rushing yards per game.
*Alabama has allowed only 245 rushing yards in its four games this season, an avergae of 61.25 rushing yards per game.
*In the last 10 quarters, the UA defense has allowed only 361 total yards offense, an avergae of just over 36 yards per quarter.
*The Alabama defense did not allow a point tonight against Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles lone score came on a 54-yard interception return by Michael Boley, cutting UA's lead to 14-7 with 27 seconds left in the third quarter. Last week against North Texas, the defense allowed only one touchdown after an Alabama fumble at its own six-yard line. UNT scored three plays later.
*In the last two games, the Alabama defense has allowed only seven points, an average of 3.5 points per game. In addition, UA opponents have scored 14 total points in those two games. The 14 points are the fewest points allowed in back-to-back games by Alabama since holding Arkansas (Sept. 21) and and Kentucky (Oct. 5) to seven points each in 1996.
*Alabama's defense forced seven fumbles in the game against Southern Miss. Senior defensive tackle Kenny King forced two fumbles, sophomore defensive end Antwan Odom and redshirt freshman cornerback Charlie Peprah added one each. Alabama forced four of those fumbles in the first quarter. Of the seven forced fumbles, Alabama recovered four.
*The Crimson Tide forced five turnovers in the game, including three in the second half. BYU was the last Alabama opponent to fumble five or more times in a game, losing two fumbles in the Crimson Tide's 38-31 win in the 1998 season opener here at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
*Strong safety Waine Bacon recovered two fumbles in the game against Southern Miss. The senior recovered his first fumble at the USM 27-yard line in the first quarter, but after a penalty and sack UA was forced to punt. Later in the half, Alabama recorded its second interception of the season and that drive resulted in a missed field goal. In the third quarter, Bacon recovered a USM fumble at the Crimson Tide 36-yard line before UA was forced to punt. Bacon has recovered two fumbles this year and three in his career.
*Peprah recorded his first career interception for the Crimson Tide in the second quarter of tonight's game. The Plano, Texas native picked off a USM pass at the UA 38-yard line and added a seven-yard return to the UA 45-yard line. Alabama followed with a six-play, 35-yard drive, but missed a 37-yard FG attempt.
*Alabama has scored on its opening possession in all four games this season after senior tailback Ahmaad Galloway scored on a six-yard run with 6:44 left in the first quarter. Galloway's TD run capped an 11-play, 89-yard drive and gave the Crimson Tide a 7-0 lead.
*Galloway's six-yard TD run gives him at least one rushing touchdown in six consecutive games dating back to the 2001 season. The senior leads Alabama with four rushing TDs this season. He also has 17 career rushing TDs in his four-year career.
*Junior A-back Shaud Williams had his best game at Alabama, rushing 21 times for 135 yards in the win over Southern Miss. The 135-yard effort was his fourth career 100-yard rushing game, including three as a freshman in 1999 at Texas Tech. The 21 rushing attempts equalled the second-most by Williams in his three-year career. Williams also had 21 rushing attempts against Colorado (230 yds, 2 TDs) and Iowa State (148 yds, 2 TDs) in 1999 at Texas Tech. The most rushing attempts by Williams was 24 carries against North Texas (151 yds, 2 TDs) also in 1999 while at Texas Tech.
*In addition, Williams eclipsed with the 1,000-yard rushing mark in his career with a 43-yard run in the first quarter. Williams 43-yard run was his first rushing attempt of the game and set up the Crimson Tide with a first-and-goal at the USM six-yard line. Through 26 career games, Williams has 197 rushing attempts for 1,119 yards and seven TDs. The bulk of those numbers came in his two-year career at Texas Tech, where he rushed 167 times for for 884 yards and six TDs. In four games this season, Williams has 30 rushing attempts for 235 yards and one TD.
*As a team, Alabama ran the ball 64 times for 351 yards and two TDs. Alabama averaged 5.48 yards per rushing attempt against USM. The Crimson Tide had 58 rushing attempts for 336 rushing yards in last week's 33-7 win over North Texas.
*In its last two games, Alabama has rushed for 891 yards (122 attempts), accounting for over 90 percent of its rushing yards (977 yards) this season.
*Alabama senior quarterback Tyler Watts suffered sprained his left foot on the Crimson Tide's opening possession and did not return to the game. The senior from Pelham, Ala., completed two of three passes for 12 yards and ran two times for six yards against Southern Miss.
*Watts completed one of two passes on that opening drive for six yards, tying Joe Namath (1962-64) for 10th place on the school's all-time passing yardage list at 2,714 career passing yards.
*Senior punter Lane Bearden had his second rushing attempt of the 2002 season, recording a 19-yard run in the third quarter. With Alabama facing a fourth and one at its own 35-yard line, Bearden ran 19 yards for a first down after a bobbled snap to give UA a first down at the USM 46-yard line. Bearden's other rushing attempt this season resulted in a three-yard TD run on a fake punt in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma.
*Redshirt sophomore Brian Bostick (Cullman) made his Alabama debut against Southern Miss and capped a 12-play, 39-yard drive with a 39-yard field goal to give the Crimson Tide a 17-7 lead with 10:06 left in the game. The 12-play scoring drive included 10 rushing plays by the Bama offense.
SOUTHERN MISS HEAD COACH JEFF BOWER
"I want to congratulate Alabama. They played hard and played well and did enough to win the football game."
"When you play a team that's talented like that you have to play well in all three phases. They manned up on us early and we couldn't catch the football in situations like that. We had two tremendous opportunities to move the football in the first half and we didn't take advantage of them. We certainly didn't do anything offensively up front. They ran their stuff and they out-executed us."
"It's a long year. We've got eight games left. We're going to be very positive. We're going to go in Monday, watch the tape, learn from it and get better."
Southern Mississippi Player Quotes
Torrin Tucker, #76 OL- "It always feels bad to get beat. You just have to bounce back. Anything that could have went wrong went wrong. You just have to bounce back and keep fighting. You win as a team and lose as a team."
"We thought if we could come out and execute on offense like we can that we could win, but we didn't do that."
"You have to prepare as hard as you can and then on Saturday you lay it all out and if you win you win and if you lose you lose. We have to put it behind us and come together as a team."
Micky D'Angelo, #7 QB- "I was trying to stay in the pocket and make some plays. It turned out to be the wrong decision. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty and if I would have made the completions we wouldn't have been saying that."
"The defense did a great job of giving us good field position twice in a row. We you get the opportunities you have to take advantage of them especially against a team like Alabama."
"We have to get ready to go. We have a conference game next week and it is a really big game for us."
Rayshun Jones, #94 DL- "Coming into the game 3-0, losing a game like this will make us think about the future. We are going to practice the rest of the season and try to win the rest of our games."
"We showed some heart and got some turnovers on defense. We need to work harder on holding onto the ball on offense and not make turnovers."
"We felt confident like any other team, but we did not capitalize on anything. This week we will work on capitalization and get things going."
Terrell Paul, #91 DE- "They are a good team with a great offensive line. We knew they were going to make some plays. They just made more of them than we did tonight."
"They were running to the boundaries a lot and I guess that was the weak side of the field tonight."
"We made a statement at the end of the game when we held them on the goal line. That just shows the character of our team."
Alabama Head Coach Dennis Franchione Quotes
"It was a good, tough hard fought football game. You've got to talk about our defense and the great job that they did."
"Defense had an outstanding game in so many ways. I felt like the entire unit played great."
"For offense we had a really solid first half. Then we had three turnovers in the second half . We still rushed for over 300 yards. Shaud (Williams) had 135 and Ahmaad (Galloway) had 89."
"(Michael) Ziifle missed his first field goal attempt. We gave Brian Bostick a chance to come in."
"It's always a hard fought game against those guys. I'm proud of the way our guys battled."
"When asked if the defensive line played as expected. "It has. They (Southern Miss) have a pretty good offense and offensive line. We just got after their quarterback a lot. I don't know how many sacks we had, but they didn't have too many uncontested throws."
"When asked about Derrick Nix. "He's a good running back. We didn't give him many opportunities to get going."
"We have tremendous trust in Ahmaad (Galloway). We felt good about the things we were doing and the way Shaud (Williams) was running the football."
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE PLAYER QUOTES
"We played pretty good in the first half. Missed out on a lot of opportunities in the second. They took away different things from us. In all we got the win. We're glad to win."
On his touchdown:
"They just over-pursued. Luckily I got a good block in the back side. It helped me get in there."
"We didn't have a good night throwing the football. They really took it away from us. We stuck with the ground and hopefully next week we won't make those two turnovers. I believe we can come away with the win if need be."
"It felt great to make plays. I tried to get on the field just to get off, and I tried to get on the field to get the defense right off the field. I was happy I made those two plays just so I could get a rest and let this offense run the clock off and give them another opportunity to score."
On the upcoming Arkansas game:
"There's always room for improvement. You can never be satisfied when you get complacent. That's when things start to go downhill. We've got to build on this. We still have a lot more things that we need to improve on. Arkansas is our first SEC game. We have to come with it. We have to step it up and can't lose from here on out."
"I thought we played our best game of the season so far on defense. I thought the d-line, the d-b's and the linebackers were all in sync in terms of what their job is to do. I guess we're a candidate for shutting down good runningbacks now. This is the third straight runningback we've shut down. We've done well in terms of that. All I can say is I'm proud to play on this defense."
"This is a great start before going up against Arkansas. Arkansas is kind of the same team, real smash-mouth type of a team. They're going to run the ball like Southern Miss did. I think this was a real good preparation game in terms of going into SEC play."
"This is my best game here. The line did a great job of blocking up front. I've said it once and I'll say it again, when those guys when they get it set in their mind that they want to do something and they want to make a play, they do it. They did a great job up front today."
On going over 1,000 yards in his career:
"It feels good. But then in a sense you've got guys that do it every year so it's really not that big of a deal. But it's something that's a little bit special to me."