No. 22 Alabama Begins Preparations for Florida State

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

GAME 5: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (3-1) vs. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES  (2-1)
Sept. 29, 2007 -- Jacksonville Municipal Stadium (85,000) -- Jacksonville, Fla.
4:04 p.m. (CDT) - CBS Sports

ALABAMA QUICK NOTES: 

Alabama leads the all-time series with Florida State, 2-0-1 ... The two teams are playing this weekend for the first time since Oct. 12, 1974, when the Crimson Tide posted an 8-7 win at Denny Stadium (see page 18) ... Alabama is playing its first neutral site, regular-season football game since Aug. 25, 1986, when the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State, 16-10, at the Kickoff Classic in The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. ... The Crimson Tide is 355-124-10 (.736) all-time when ranked in the AP poll ... Redshirt freshman running back Terry Grant needs 20 yards to move past Bobby Humphrey (1985) into fifth-place on UA’s single-season freshman rushing list ... Grant has 483 yards in four games ... Humphrey had 502 yards in 1985 ... Junior QB John Parker Wilson will make his 18th consecutive start on Saturday, the 13th longest streak among active NCAA quarterbacks ... Senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry and junior Antoine Caldwell will make their 30th consecutive start for Alabama on Saturday ... Alabama is 76-32-1 all-time vs. ACC schools.

ALABAMA MEETS FLORIDA STATE

A pair of Southern football powers meet for the first time in 33 years this Saturday, Sept. 29, as the 22nd-ranked University of Alabama football team travels to Jacksonville, Fla., to face the Florida State Seminoles at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.  The game will be televised by CBS Sports with Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter) calling the action. The kickoff time is set for 4:04 p.m. (CDT). The ACC/ISP Radio Network will also air the game to more than 60 affiliates, plus XM Satellite Radio will carry the game, with Andy Demetra (play-by-play) and Sonny Randle (analyst) calling the action. The 62-station Crimson Tide Sports Network will also air the game, beginning three hours prior to kickoff, with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (analyst) and Barry Krauss (sideline reporter). Alabama broadcasts are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 126).  Alabama (3-1, 2-1 SEC) suffered it first loss of the season, losing 26-23 in overtime to Georgia last weekend in Tuscaloosa.  The Crimson Tide scored 10 points in the final six minutes to force the overtime period.  Leigh Tiffin’s 42-yard field goal gave the Tide a 23-20 lead only to see Georgia score on their first offensive play for the win.  Florida State (2-1, 0-1 ACC) brings a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s game following its season-opening loss at Clemson. The Seminoles won at Colorado (16-6) on Sept. 15 and had an open date last week.  Alabama and FSU are meeting for only the fourth time in history. The Crimson Tide and Seminoles last played on Oct. 12, 1974 with No. 3-ranked Alabama posting an 8-7 win over FSU in Tuscaloosa.

THE HEAD COACHES

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) was named the school’s 27th head coach on Jan. 3, 2007.  Saban has compiled a 94-43-1 (.685) record as a college head coach.  He led LSU to a 13-1 record and the BCS National Championship in 2003.  He was 48-16 (.750) in his five years at LSU, including two SEC championships.  Overall, Saban has coached three conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC and 2003 SEC) and eight of his 11 teams have played in post-season bowl games.  Saban also has a wealth of coaching experience in the National Football League, serving as secondary coach (Houston, 1988-89), defensive coordinator (Cleveland, 1991-94) and head coach (Miami, 2005-06). Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden (Howard, 1953) is the winningest coach in college football history.  The 78-year old Bowden has compiled a 368-114-4 (.761) all-time record in stops at Samford (1959-62), West Virginia (1970-75) and Florida State (1976-present).  The Alabama game will mark his 487th all-time game. Bowden was 31-6 (.838) in four years at Samford and 42-26 (.618) in six years at West Virginia with two Peach Bowl (1972 and 1975) berths. He is 295-82-4 (.780) in 32 years at Florida State.  A native of Birmingham, Ala., and a graduate of Woodlawn High School, Bowden has led the Seminoles to 25 straight bowl games, the second-longest current bowl streak in college football.  His 20 bowl wins are two shy of the all-time record.  He led FSU to 14 straight AP Top 5 finishes from 1987-2000 and guided the ‘Noles to the the national championship in 1993 and 1999.

NEUTRAL SITE GAME

Alabama is playing its first neutral site, regular-season football game since Aug. 25, 1986, when the Crimson Tide beat Ohio State, 16-10, at the Kickoff Classic in The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.  Alabama will be the designated visiting team and will wear white jerseys for the Florida State game.

HALL SETS ALL-TIME RECEIVING MARK

  • Senior receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) broke the school record for receiving yards in a career against Arkansas on Sept. 15.
  • He now has 2,255 receiving yards for his UA career, surpassing Ozzie Newsome (1974-77) who compiled 2,070 receiving yards in his career.
  • Hall has 143 career catches for 2,255 yards and 13 touchdowns.
  • His 172 receiving yards against Arkansas (Sept. 15) set a career high for yardage and ranks fourth on the Alabama single-game receiving yards list. Hall’s previous single-game yardage high at Alabama was a 157-yard performance (on 11 catches) against Utah State in 2005.
  • Hall’s 172 receiving yards extends his school record for 100-yard receiving games to 11.  He has caught at least one pass in 21 consecutive games, dating back to Oct. 15, 2005 against Ole Miss.
  • Hall had a huge first quarter against Arkansas with four catches for 118 yards (29.5-yard average) and two touchdowns.
  • Hall’s outing continued a trend against the Razorbacks as the senior has enjoyed much success against Arkansas.
  • In four games against Arkansas, Hall has 16 catches for 378 yards and five touchdowns. He has averaged 23.6 yards per catch and 94.5 yards per game in his career against the Razorbacks.
  • In 2006, Hall had six catches for 144 yards and one TD, including a 78-yard touchdown catch. In 2005, Hall had three catches for 54 yards and two scores, including the game-clinching scoring catch.
  • Through four games this season, Hall leads UA with 16 catches for 337 yards (21.1 average) and two touchdowns.


GRANT EYES FRESHMAN RECORDS

  • Redshirt freshman Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) is second in the SEC and 15th nationally with 120.75 rushing yards per game through four games.
  • He has 73 rushing attempts for 483 yards (6.6 average) and five touchdowns in leading Alabama to a 3-1 record.
  • Grant burst onto the scene in the Crimson Tide’s season opener against Western Carolina with 18 carries for 134 yards and three touchdowns on Sept. 1.
  • He added 24 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his first career SEC start against Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.  The 173 rushing yards were the third-most in school history by a freshman running back.
  • Grant earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors after the Western Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas games.
  • He added 20 carries for 96 yards in the Tide’s 41-38 win over Arkansas on Sept. 15.
  • In just four games, Grant is already making his mark on the Alabama freshman rushing records.

WILSON MAKES 18TH STRAIGHT START

  • Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) will be making his 18th consecutive start for Alabama this Saturday against Florida State.
  • Wilson is tied for 13th among active NCAA quarterbacks for consecutive starts.
  • He is 9-8 (.529) as Alabama’s starting quarterback over the last two seasons.
  • In his nine career wins, Wilson has completed 144 of 248 passes (.581) for 1,834 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions.
  • In his eight career losses, Wilson has completed 151 of 275 passes (.549) for 1,822 yards with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
  • In 22 career games, Wilson has completed 295 of 523 passes (.564) for 3,656 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
  • In four games this season, Wilson has completed 72 of 133 passes (.541) for 851 yards with four touchdowns and three interception.
  • He threw for a career-high 327 yards in the win over Arkansas and a career-high four touchdowns. His previous career-high for passing yards in a game was 291 against LSU in 2006.
  • Wilson also set new career single-game marks for pass attempts (45), completions (24) and touchdowns (4). His previous career highs in those categories: 40 attempts at Florida in 2006 and 22 completions at LSU in 2006. His previous single-game high for scoring passes was three at Arkansas in 2006.
  • In 13 games last season, Wilson completed 216 of 379 passes (57 percent) for 2,707 yards and 17 touchdowns.  He is one of seven quarterbacks in UA history with 2,000 passing yards in a season.
  • He set seven single-season school records, including most plays, total offense, pass attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns.
  • Wilson also owns the single-season record for most plays (461) and total offense (2,790 yards).
  • He also set Alabama single-season records for most 200-yard passing games (9) and consecutive 200-yard games (7) in 2006.

Here is a look at the NCAA’s active leaders for career starts by a quarterback.

2007 NCAA QBs; CONSECUTIVE STARTS

Rank  Quarterback, School  Starts 
1.  Bret Meyer, Iowa State  40 
2.  Alex Brink, Washington State  32 
3.   Paul Smith, Tulsa  29 
4.  Colt Brennan, Hawaii 28 
  Andre Woodson, Kentucky  28 
6.  Brandon Cox, Auburn  25 
7.  Curtis Painter, Purdue  23 
8.  Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State  22 
9.  Caleb Hanie, Colorado State  20 
10.  Adam Tafaralis, San Jose State  19 
  Stephen McGee, Texas A&M  18 
12.  Jeremy Young, Southern Miss  18 
13.  John Parker Wilson, Alabama  17 
  Erik Ainge, Tennessee  17 
  Nate Longshore, California  17 
  Omar Haugabook, Troy  17 
  Chase Daniel, Missouri  17 
  Shaun Carney, Air Force  17 
  Mike Teel, Rutgers  17 
20.  Graham Harrell, Texas Tech  16 
  John David Booty, USC  16 
  Chase Holbrook, New Mexico State  16 

ALABAMA-FLORIDA STATE SERIES

  • Two Southern football powers will meet for just the fourth time in history when the Alabama Crimson Tide travels to Jacksonville, Fla., to meet the Florida State Seminoles.
  • The Crimson Tide and Seminoles are meeting for the first time since Oct. 12, 1974 when third-ranked Alabama rallied for an 8-7 win over Florida State.
  • Alabama leads the all-time series, 2-0-1 since the the first meeting in 1965. 
  • A defensive-minded Crimson Tide team shut out the Seminoles 21-0 in the first meeting in the series.  Alabama held FSU to 201 yards of offense and forced four turnovers in the win.
  • All-SEC defensive back Bobby Johns had two interceptions in the win.
  • Senior fullback Les Kelley had eight carries for 15 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
  • The next meeting was one of the more entertaining season openers in school history as Alabama and Florida State combined for 74 points as the teams battled to a 37-37 tie at Legion Field.
  • The game marked just the third opening day tie in Alabama history.  The Crimson Tide also tied Howard (7-7) in 1935 and LSU (27-27) in 1944.
  • The 74 points scored marked the third-highest point total on opening day in school history. The Crimson Tide beat Marion 110-0 in 1922 and beat Delta State 89-0 in 1951 for the two highest scoring season openers in school history.
  • What made the 1967 season opener so unbelievable was the fact that Alabama allowed only 37 points in its 10 regular season game in 1966. 
  • The Seminoles racked up 407 yards of offense, including 287 passing yards. Quarterback Kim Hammond completed 23 of 40 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns.  All-American flanker Ron Sellers caught 13 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown as he caused trouble for the UA defense all night.
  • Alabama quarterback Ken Stabler completed 11 of 20 passes for 192 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.  He ran 11 times for minus 2-yard and scored one touchdown and added a two-point conversion.
  • As zany as the 1967 meeting turned out to be, the next meeting was even more improbable.
  • Florida State brought a 16-game losing streak to Tuscaloosa to face third-ranked Alabama. 
  • The Crimson Tide played the game without starting quarterback Richard Todd and then lost backup quarterback Jack O’Rear to an injury during the FSU game.
  • The Alabama offense sputtered and Florida State dominated the game, but only managed a 7-0 lead late in the third quarter due to three missed field goals and two turnovers.
  • The Crimson Tide trailed 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter and scored five points in the final 87 seconds of the game for the win.  Buckey Berrery’s 36-yard field goal with 36 seconds provided the winning margin.

ALABAMA-FLORIDA STATE TIES

  • There are numerous connections between Alabama and Florida, with the most obvious being FSU head coach Bobby Bowden.
  • A native of Birmingham, Ala., and graduate of Woodlawn High School, Bowden began his collegiate career as a freshman quarterback at Alabama in 1949 under Coach Harold “Red” Drew.
  • Bowden played the next three seasons at Howard College (now Samford) and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1953.  He later earned his master’s degree at Peabody College.
  • Bowden’s first head coaching assignment came at Samford College, his alma mater, from 1959-62, where he compiled a 31-6 (.838) record.  His first win as a collegiate coach came against Maryville College (14-0) on Sept. 19, 1959 in Maryville, Tenn.
  • From 1963-65, Bowden was the receivers coach at Florida State and was on the Seminoles staff that lost 21-0 to Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 23, 1967.
  • Bowden is major college football’s all-time winningest coach, a title once held by legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
  • Bowden brings a 368-114-4 (.761) record into the Alabama game this weekend.
  • Bryant went 323-85-17 (.780) in 38 seasons at Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Alabama.
  • Penn State head coach Joe Paterno broke Bryant’s all-time record and he has since been surpassed by Bowden.  Paterno owns a 366-122-3 (.748) in 42 years with the Nittany Lions.
  • In terms of all college football divisions, Bowden is the third-winningest coach behind John Gagliardi and Eddie Robinson.
  • Bryant is second all-time win winning percentage behind Gagliardi.

ALL-TIME COACHING WINS

Coach (Years)  Wins 
John Gagliardi (54)  419 
Eddie Robinson (55)  408 
Bobby Bowden (42)   368 
Joe Paterno (42)  366 
Amos Alonzo Stagg (55)  330 
Paul “Bear” Bryant (38)  323 
Glenn “Pop” Warner (44)  318 
Riy Kidd (39)   314 
Frosty Westering (40)  314 
Harold “Tubby” Raymond  300 


In addition to Coach Bowden there are many other Alabama-FSU connections.

  • Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele (2003-06) spent the last four years at FSU as linebackers coach (2003-06) and executive head coach (2006). 
  • An excellent recruiter, Steele was named the Rivals.com National Recruiter of the Year after landing the nation’s No. 1 ranked recruting class at FSU in 2005.
  • His pupils include Michael Boulware (finalist for 2004 NFL Rookie of the Year Award with Seattle), Ernie Sims (9th pick by Detroit, 2006 NFL Draft) and Lawrence Timmons (1st round pick by Pittsburgh, 2007 NFL Draft).
  • Alabama assistant head coach and secondary coach Kirby Smart served as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State in 2002-03.  He earned his master’s degree from FSU in 2003.
  • FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews was a two-sport star at Alabama in the 1960s. 
  • A native of Ozark, Ala., Andrews lettered in football in 1963 and 1964.  He also lettered on the UA baseball team in 1963 and 1964.  In 1964, Andrews led the Crimson Tide with a .324 batting average and four home runs.
  • Florida State defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator Jody Allen spent three years on Ray Perkins staff at Alabama. Allen served as a graduate assistant coach in 1984-85 before being named receivers coach in 1986.
  • Alabama wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Curt Gignetti worked for Chuck Amato at North Carolina State from 200-06. 
  • Cignetti served as tight ends coach, quarterbacks coach and recruting coordinator under Amato during his tenure at NC State.  He was ranked by Rivals. com as one of the nation’s Top 25 recruiters.
  • He tutored quarterback Phillip Rivers, tight end Sean Berton and T.J. Williams during his time in Raleigh.
  • FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher was also Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at LSU from 2000-04.
  • Alabama’s Associate Athletics Director for Football Media Relations, Jeff Purinton, is a Florida State alum. 
  • Purinton worked at FSU from 1994-2006, where he handled the media relations efforts for the Seminoles football and baseball teams.
  • He worked for the Orange Bowl Commitee as Director of Communications from Sept of 2006 until Aug, of 2007 beore joining the UA staff on Aug. 16, 2007.
  • Alabama sophomore defensive back Marquis Johnson and FSU offensive lineman Dumaka Atkins were high school teammates at Booker High School in Sarasota, Fla.
  • Cecil “Hootie” Ingram served as Director of Athletics at both Florida State (1980-89) and Alabama (1989-95). 
  • Ingram was a two-sport letterman at Alabama in football and baseball from 1952-54.  He is a member of the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame after his record-setting punt return led the Crimson Tide to a 61-6 win over Syracuse in the Jan, 1, 1954 Orange Bowl.
  • Former Alabama All-American Vaughn Mancha worked at Florida State as an assistant coach, Director of Athletics and professor.
  • Mancha, a consensus All-America pick in 1945, was named to Alabama’s Team of the Century in 1992. 
  • He helped lead the Crimson Tide to a perfect 10-0 season and a 34-14 win over Southern California in the Jan. 1, 1946 Rose Bowl.  He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990. 
  • A four-year starter, Mancha played both offense and defense.  He played evert snap against Duke in the Jan. 1, 1945. He played in two Sugar Bowls and one Rose Bowl.
  • After receiving his doctorate degree from Columbia, he served as football coach and atheltics director at FSU.
  • A total of nine coaches have worked at both Alabama and Florida State.

Coach  UA  FSU 
Jody Allen  1986  2000-present 
Tommy Bowden  1987-89  1982 
Ronnie Cottrell  1998-2000  1989-97 
George Henshaw  1983-86  1976-82 
Joe Kines  1985-86; 2003-06  2000-02 
Ken Meyer  1963-67  1959-62 
Steve Sloan  1968-70  1971 
Kirby Smart  2007  2002-03 
Kevin Steele  2007  2003-06 

SUNSHINE STATE BOYS

  • The Alabama roster contains 11 players from the state of Florida. 

ALABAMA PLAYERS FROM FLORIDA

Player  Hometown 
Javier Arenas  Tampa 
Keith Brown   Pensacola 
Glen Coffee  Ft. Walton Beach 
DJ Hall  Ft. Walton Beach 
Marquis Johnson  Sarasota 
Mike Johnson  Pensacola 
Charlie Kirschman  St. Augustine 
Chris Lett  Pensacola 
Will Oakley  Ponte Vedra Beach 
Chris Rogers  Lakeland 
Roy Upchurch  Tallahassee 

               
SWEET HOME ALABAMA

  • The Florida State roster contains two players from the state of Alabama.

FSU PLAYERS FROM ALABAMA

Player  Hometown 
Rodney Hudson  Mobile 
Darius McClure  Birmingham 

SABAN VS. FLORIDA STATE

  • Alabama head coach Nick Saban has never faced Florida State in his head coaching career.
  • FSU will be the 61st different school Saban has coached agianst since his first head coaching stint at Toledo in 1990.
  • He has a wininng record against 41 of the previous 60 schools he has faced as a head coach.

BOWDEN VS. ALABAMA

  • Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden has never faced Alabama as a head coach.
  • Alabama will be Bowden’s 96th different football opponent in his 42-year coaching career.
  • Bowden has a winning record against 81 of his previous 95 opponents.

ALABAMA VS. ACC

  • Alabama has compiled a 76-32-1 (.702) against the current ACC field. 
  • The Florida State game marks the second time in the last two season Alabama has faced an ACC team.  The Crimson Tide beat Duke 30-14 on Oct. 7, 2006 in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama vs. ACC Teams

School  UA Record 
Boston College  1-3 
Clemson  11-3 
Duke  2-1 
Florida State  2-0-1 
Georgia Tech  28-21-3 
Maryland  2-1 
Miami, Fla.  14-3 
North Carolina  1-0 
North Carolina State  5-0 
Virginia  0-0 
Virginia Tech  10-1 
Wake Forrest  0-0 

SABAN VS. ACC

  • Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 2-1 (.667) in his career against ACC teams. 
  • Saban-coached teams have only faced Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
  • In 1995, Michigan State posted a 25-21 win over Boston College on Sept. 30 in East Lansing.
  • In 2000, LSU beat Georgia Tech 28-14 in the Peach Bowl as the Tigers wrapped up Saban’s first season with 8-4 record.
  • In 2002, LSU opened the season with a 26-8 loss to Virginia Tech on Sept. 1 in Blacksburg.


FLORIDA STATE VS. SEC

  • FSU has compiled a 58-63-6 (.480) all-time record against teams from the SEC.
  • The Seminoles have never faced Arkansas or Vanderbilt in football.

FSU vs. SEC Teams

School  FSU Record 
Alabama  0-2-1 
Arkansas  0-0-0 
Auburn  4-13-1 
Florida  19-30-2 
Georgia  4-6-1 
Kentucky  1-3-1 
LSU  7-2=0 
Ole Miss  0-1-0 
Mississippi State  7-2-0 
South Carolina  15-3-0 
Tennessee  1-1-0
Vanderbilt  0-0-0 

BOWDEN VS. SEC

  • Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden has compiled a 39-25-2 (.606) record against SEC teams in his career.
  • Bowden owns a 17-15-1 record against in-state rival Florida and holds a dominant edge over South Carolina (9-1) and LSU (7-1).
  • Bowden has a losing record against Auburn (4-5) and has never beaten Georgia (0-1-1) and Tennessee (0-1).  The Seminoles lost to Tennessee 23-16 in the 1998 BCS National Championship Game at the 1999 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
  • Bowden has never faced Alabama, Ole Miss or Vanderbilt.

HISTORY LESSON

  • Alabama and Florida State have not played in 33 years.  The Crimson Tide and Seminoles last met on Oct. 12, 1974. 

Here are some of the events of the world the last time the Crimson Tide and Seminoles met on the gridiron.

  • Notre Dame ended UCLA’s 88-game basketball winning streak, 71-70.
  • North Carolina beat Marquette 76-64 to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball national championship.
  • Frank Robinson was named the first Africian-American manager in Major League Baseball history.
  • Hank Aaron (April 8) broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record with his 715th home run in the fourth inning of LA Dodgers RHP Al Downing.
  • Gary Player won the Master’s.
  • The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games to win the NBA Championship.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Boston Bruins in six games to win the Stanley Cup.
  • Muhammad Ali and Chris Evert were named the AP Male and Female Athlete of the Year
  • Happy Days, Good Times and Rhoda premiered.
  • Love American, Style, Room 222, The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family go off the air.
  • President Richard Nixon resigns on Aug. 8, 1974.
  • Ed Sullivan dies Oct. 13, 1974.
  • Johnny Mack Brown, former Alabama All-American and member of 1925-26 national championship team dies in Hollywood after a long acting career.
    *The Godfather, Part II won an Academy Award


MOVIE BUFFS

  • Florida State All-American Burt Reynolds and Alabama cheerleader Sela Ward starred in a movie with one another in 1983.
  • Reynolds and Ward starred in The Man Who Loved Women. 
  • This is a tale of a sculptor named David Fowler (Reynolds) who has a major womanizing problem.  He goes to seek help from a psychiatrist.  Ward played the character Janet Wainwright. 
  • The movie also featured Julie Andrews (Marianna), Kim Basinger (Louise Carr) and Marilu Henner (Agnes Chapman).

GATOR BOWL MEMORIES

  • Alabama is 1-1 all-time at the Gator Bowl.
  • The Crimson Tide made its Gator Bowl debut with a 35-10 loss to Missouri on Dec. 13, 1968.
  • Alabama evened its record with a 24-10 win over North Carolina on Dec. 31, 1993.

ALABAMA IN JACKSONVILLE

  • Alabama is 2-1 (.667) all-time in games played in Jacksonville.  In addition to the two Gator Bowl appearances, Alabama beat Florida 16-0 on Oct. 21, 1916 in Jacksonville.

ALABAMA OFFENSE

  • Alabama returns 20 lettermen and nine starters on offense from last year’s team.
  • The Crimson Tide’s 20 offensive lettermen combined for 212 starts entering the 2007 season.
  • Alabama is fifth in the SEC in scoring offense (35.0), rushing offense (205.25) and passing offense (231.0) through four games.
  • The Crimson Tide offense has run 303 plays (75.75 per game) this season, including 161 rushing attempts (53.1 percent) and 142 pass attempts (46.9 percent).
  • Alabama has 11 rushing touchdowns through the first four games.
  • The Crimson Tide has 11 scoring drives of less than two minutes this season, including five in the win over Arkansas on Sept. 15.

SCORING DRIVES UNDER 2-MINUTES

Opponent  Scoring Drives 
Western Carolina  1-47-0:22 
  3-36-1:20 
Vanderbilt  1-1-0:04 
  6-40-1:39 
Arkansas  2-9-0:39 
  6-74-1:44 
  4-80-1:08 
  5-41-1:30 
  1-2-0:06 
Georgia  7-6-0:44 
  3-37-0:48 


ALABAMA OFFENSE

  • Alabama scored the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds remaining for the 41-38 victory over Arkansas on Sept. 15.  The win was Alabama’s first by scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown since a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the 2001 Independence Bowl (an Andrew Zow to Terry Jones TD pass). That game also marked the last time prior to the Arkansas game that the Crimson Tide had overcome a fourth-quarter deficit to win a game. Alabama trailed that I-Bowl contest, 13-7, before winning in the final stanza.
  • Before the last-minute comeback, the Crimson Tide lost a 21-point lead against the Razorbacks, the largest lead lost since Alabama lost a 21-point lead against Arkansas on September 27, 2003, at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Alabama led 21-0 with 1:27 left in the first quarter on Sept. 15, 2007, and regained that edge at 31-10 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
  • The Razorbacks scored three touchdowns in the span of six minutes to tie the game with 12:05 left in the fourth quarter, and took the lead at 38-31 with 8:08 left in the fourth quarter.
  • In the 2003 game, Alabama held a 31-10 lead with 7:52 left in the third quarter, but watched Arkansas score the game's final 24 points to pull out the three-point win. The Razorbacks outscored Alabama 14-0 in the fourth quarter and put the game-winning points on the board at the end of the second overtime for the win.
  • Alabama scored 21 points in the first quarter against Arkansas, the most points scored by the Crimson Tide in a single quarter since UA scored 21 points in the third quarter against Arkansas on September 27, 2003, a game that Arkansas won 34-31 in double overtime.
  • The 52 points scored in the season opener were the most points by Alabama on opening day since a 66-0 win over Cal at Legion Field to open the 1973 season.
  • The 46-point margin of victory over Western Carolina was the largest by an Alabama team in a season opener since a 66-0 victory over California to start the 1973 season.
  • The Alabama offense racked up 35 first downs against Western Carolina.  That total broke the previous mark of 34 set against Penn State in a 34-28 loss in 1983
  • Alabama accumulated 575 yards (313 rushing, 262 passing) of total offense against Western Carolina, the most by a Tide offense since gaining 588 yards in a 56-3 win over UTEP on October 6,  2001. The 313 rushing yards were the most by an Alabama team since the Tide rushed for 338 in a win at South Carolina on September 17, 2005.
  • Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) directs the Tide offense for the second straight year.  Wilson is 9-8 (.563) as the starting quarterback.
  • In 22 career games, Wilson has completed 295 of 523 (.564) for 3,656 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
  • In four games this season, Wilson has completed 72 of 133 passes (.541) for 851 yards, with four touchdowns and three interception.
  • He has directed the Alabama offense to a pair of late-scoring drives in each of the last two games to beat No. 16 Arkansas and force overtime with No. 22 Georgia.
  • During those two games, he completed 9-of-12 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown and added a 6-yard TD run.
  • Against the Razorbacks, Wilson led the Tide to a 9-play, 73-yard drive in the final two minutes which resulted in a 4-yard pass to Matt Caddell with eight seconds left in the game as UA won 41-38.
  • Wilson completed 7-of-9 passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in the game-winning drive against Arkansas.
  • He finished the game with a career-high 327 yards in the win over Arkansas and a career-high four touchdowns. His previous career-high for passing yards in a game was 291 against LSU in 2006.
  • Wlson also set new career single-game marks for pass attempts (45), completions (24) and touchdowns (4). His previous career highs in those categories: 40 attempts at Florida in 2006 and 22 completions at LSU in 2006. His previous single-game high for scoring passes was three at Arkansas in 2006.
  • Against Georgia, Wilson led the Tide to a 10-play, 88-yard drive which resulted in his 6-yard run to tie the game at 20-20.
  • Wilson completed 2-of-3 passes for 51 yards and accounted for 57 yards of total offense on the drive.
  • For the first time in school history, Alabama has a 3,000-yard passer and a 2,000-yard receiver on its roster.
  • Senior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) is the school’s all-time leader with 2,255 receiving yards.
  • In four games this season, Hall leads UA with 16 catches for 337 yards (22.1 average) and two touchdowns.
  • In addition to Hall, Alabama has a talented corps of receivers.
  • The Crimson Tide has had 15 different players catch at least one pass this season.
  • Alabama’s wide receivers have caught 54 passes for 711 yards (13.2 yards per catch) this season.
  • Sophomore Mike McCoy (Rankin, Miss.) is tied with Hall for the most receptions (16) and ranks second on the team with 115 yards (7.2 average).
  • Senior Matt Caddell (McCalla) has 10 catches for 96 yards (9.6 average) and one touchdown.
  • He had nine catches for 91 yards and one TD in the Tide’s 41-38 win over Arkansas on Sept. 15.
  • Caddell had four catches for 41 yards on UA’s game-winning drive, including a 4-yard TD catch with eight seconds left in the game.
  • Senior wide receiver Keith Brown (Pensacola, Fla.) caught five passes for 91 yards (18.2 average) this season in three games.
  • He had his best game of the season against Georgia on Sept. 22 with three catches for 73 yards (24.3 average).
  • Brown had two catches for 61 yards on Alabama’s game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, including a 43-yard grab at the Georgia 45-yard line.  The 43-yard catch was his 100th career reception.
  • In 35 career games, Brown has 100 receptions for 1,618 yards (16.2 average) and eight touchdowns.
  • The tight ends have 10 catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Junior Nick Walker (Brundidge, Ala.) has nine  catches for 58 yards (6.4 average) and two touchdowns.  He also has a two-point conversion.
  • Junior Travis McCall (Prattville) has one catch for eight yards this season.
  • Alabama’s backfield entered the 2007 season with 43 career games and no starts.  In addition, UA backs had 733 rushing yards and three career touchdowns entering the season opener.
  • The Tide’s four running backs accounted for 296 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the win over Western Carolina. 
  • The six rushing TDs were the most by Alabama since scoring six rushing touchdowns in a 56-3 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2004.
  • The Crimson Tide running game has been solid during the first four games of the season.
  • Redshirt freshmen running back Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) leads all Crimson Tide rushers and ranks second in the SEC with 120.8 yards per game.
  • In four starts, Grant has 73 carries for 483 yadrs (6.6 average) and five touchdowns. 
  • He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week following wins over Western Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas.
  • Grant rushed for 134 yards and three  touchdowns on 18 carries in the season opener against Western Carolina. He scored on the Tide’s first play from scrimmage and had 68 yards rushing on eight carries (8.5-yard average) through the first period of action.
  • He scored on the first play from scrimmage with a 1-yard TD run at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.  He finihsed the game with 24 carries for 173 yards and two TDs.
  • Sophomore Glen Coffee (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) has 43 carries for 220 yards (5.1 average) and two touchdowns.
  • He had nine carries for a season-high 76 yards and one TD in the season opener against Western Carolina.
  • Coffee added a career-high 16 carries for 62 yards in the loss to Georgia on Sept. 22.
  • Sophomore Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee, Fla.) is third on the team with eight carries for 74  yards (9.25 yards per carry) and one TD this season.
  • Upchurch had six carries for 55 yards in the season opener against Western Carolina.  He added two carries for 19 yards against Georgia on Sept. 22.
  • The Crimson Tide’s running backs have caught 15 passes for 139 yards this season.
  • Grant is also UA’s fifth-leading receiver with eight catches for 48 yards (6.0 average) this season.
  • The Crimson Tide returns all five offensive lineman, including a pair of All-American candidates.
  • Junior center Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery, Ala.) will make his 30th consecutive start against Florida State. He is a 2007  Rimington Trophy candidate and preseason All-SEC honoree.
  • Sophomore left tackle Andre Smith (Birmingham, Ala.) has started all 17 games in his Alabama career.
  • He started 13 as a true freshman in 2006 en route to Freshman All-American and All-SEC honors.  Smith, who scored the game-tying touchdown against Oklahoma State (2-yard lateral) in the PetroSun Independence Bowl, is on the 2007 Outland Trophy watch list.
  • Senior Justin Britt (Cullman, Ala.) is another veteran lineman for the Tide. Britt has played in 39 career games, including 21 career starts.  He has started all four  games this season at left guard.
  • Junior Marlon Davis (Columbus, Ga.) has started all four games at right guard.  Overall, Davis has appeared in 21 career games with nine starts.
  • Sophomore Mike Johnson (Pensacola, Fla.)
    has started the first four games at right tackle, including his first career start in the season opener against Western Carolina.
  • Sophomore Evan Cardwell (Killen, Ala.) has played in three of four games this season.  He did not see action for the first time in his career against Georgia on Sept. 22.
  • Freshmen William Vlachos (Mountain Brook) and Patrick Crump (Hoover, Ala.) and senior B.J. Stabler (Grove Hill, Ala.) all played in the season opener.

ALABAMA DEFENSE

  • The Crimson Tide returns 24 lettermen and only five starters off last year’s squad.
  • The 24 lettermen combined for 92 career starts entering the 2007 season opener.
  • Alabama ranks sixth in the SEC in rushing defense (146.75), sixth in passing defense (179.75) and seventh in scoring defense (20.0) through four games.
  • The Crimson Tide allowed only 16 points in its first two games this season and did not allow a touchdown in the first seven quarters of the season.
  • The 16 points were the fewest points allowed in the first two games of the season since 1989.  The Crimson Tide allowed only 10 points in back-to-back games to Memphis State (35-7) and Kentucky (15-3) in 1989.
  • The Crimson Tide held Western Carolina to six points in the season opener, the lowest point total by an opponent on opening day since a 41-3 win over Temple on September 7, 1991.
  • Alabama’s defense held Vanderbilt’s All-SEC wide receiver Earl Bennett to four catches for 53 yards in the Tide’s 24-10 win at Nashville on Sept. 8.
  • The Crimson Tide also held Vandy quarterback Chris Nickson in check too.  The junior completed only 5 of 18 passes for 67 yards and threw one interception.  He added three rushing attempts for minus-seven yards before being benched in the third quarter.
  • Alabama’s defense has a three-man front, led by senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette, Ala.).  Gilberry will play his 42nd  career game for the Crimson Tide this Saturday against Floirda State.
  • In 41 career games, Gilberry has 126 tackles, 33 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.  He has also added four four forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered and three pass breakups.
  • In four games this season, Gilberry has 18 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one PBU.
  • He had a career-high four quarterback pressures in the Tide’s win at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
  • Sophomore nose guard Lorenzo Washington (Logansville, Ga.) has started all four games at nose guard.  He made his first career start against Western Carolina (Sept. 1) and first SEC start at Vanderbilt (Sept. 8).
  • He has 14 tackles, two TFLs and one sack in four games this season. 
  • Washington logged a career-high four tackles against Western Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia this season.
  • Junior Bobby Greenwood (Prattville, Ala.) starts at the other defensive end position and has 11 tackles, including four stops behind the line in four games this year.
  • Greenwood has played 29 games and logged 53 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 7  sacks in his three-year career. 
  • The defensive line is thin on experience as evidenced by the fact that three freshman have seen action up front this season.
  • True freshmen Josh Chapman (Hoover, Ala.) and Alfred McCullough (Athens, Ala.) have seen action as nose guard.
  • Sophomore Brandon Deaderick (Elizabethtown, Ky.) and redshirt freshman Milton Talbert (Hattiesburg, Miss.) have played at the ends.
  • Freshman Nick Gentry (Prattville, Ala.) made his Alabama debut against Georgia on Sept. 22 and had one tackle.
  • The linebackers returned only one starter from last year’s squad. 
  • Junior Ezekial Knight (Wedowee, Ala.) and true freshmen Chavis Williams (Dora, Ala.) play the “sam” position.
  • Knight has played in four games this season and is third on the team with 23 tackles.  He has also added 3.5 TFLs, three pass break ups, one sack (-16), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
  • He made his first career start at linebacker against Vanderbilt (5 tackles) on Sept. 8.
  • Knight was UA’s second-leading tackler with a career-high nine stops against Arkansas.
  • Knight began his career as a wide receiver before switching to defense in 2006.  He has played only six games in his career on defense.
  • True freshmen Rolando McClain (Decatur) and senior Demarcus Waldrop (Pinson) man the “mike” linebacker position.
  • McClain has started all four games and leads the Crimson Tide with 32 tackles.  He has added three TFLs, two pass breakups and one sack.
  • McClain had a career-high 11 tackles against Georiga on Sept. 22.  He has had at least six tackles in all four games.
  • Waldrop has never missed a game in his UA career and will look to play his 42nd career game against FSU.  He has 66 career tackles.
  • Sophomore Prince Hall (Riverside, Calif.) is the lone returning starting linebacker.  Hall, who earned Freshman All-American honors in 2006, had 77 tackles and led the Tide with 10 1/2 tackles for loss last season.
  • Hall made his first start of the 2007 season against Georgia on Sept. 22, subbing for the injured Darren Mustin.
  • Hall responded with a game-high 12 tackles, one shy of his career high at UA.  He had 13 tackles in a loss to Mississippi State in 2006. 
  • He has 94 career tackles in 16 games at UA, including 10.5 TFLs, two sacks, two breakups, two fumble recoveries and one TD.
  • Seniors Darren Mustin (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Marcel Stamps (Brantley, Ala.) share duties at the “will” linebacker position.
  • Mustin started the first three games before missing the Georgia game (Sept. 22) with an injury.
  • In three games, he has recorded 18 tackles, 1.5 TFLs and one interception.  He had a career-high seven tackles in the season opener against Western Carolina.
  • Mustin set up Alabama’s first score against Arkansas with an interception of a Casey Dick pass at the Arkansas 15 in the first quarter. Mustin returned the interception six yards to set up Alabama at the Arkansas 9-yard line.
  • Mustin had five tackles, including one for a loss of two yards, and the interception before leaving the Arkansas game with an injury in the first half.
  • Senior Keith Saunders (Willingboro, N.J.) and sophomore Brandon Fanney (Morristown, Tenn.) man the “jack” linebacker position.
  • Saunders, who played defensive end last season, made the move to linebacker this season.  He has 21 tackles in four games this season, including a season-high 10 tackles in the win over Arkansas.
  • Overall, Saunders has 48 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and two sacks in 34 career games for the Tide.
  • Fanney has played in all four games and logged six tackles this season, including five in the season opener against Western Carolina.
  • A pair of seniors will anchor the Alabama secondary this season. Simeon Castille (Birmingham, Ala.) and Marcus Carter (Ft. Payne, Ala.) have 34 of 64 career starts among the defensive backs.  Castille has 20 career starts and Carter has 14 starts.
  • Castille leads the UA secondary with 23 tackles, 2.5 TFLs and four pass breakups this season.  He was a First-Team All-SEC selection last season and a preseason First-Team All-SEC honoree this year.
  • He has seven tackles in each of his last two games for the Tide.
  • In 39 career games, he has 136 tackles, 12 TFLs, 10 interceptions and 21 pass breakups.
  • Castille is backed up by sophomore Marquis Johnson (Sarasota, Fla.) and senior Eric Gray (Trinity).
  • Carter has 17 tackles and 1.5 TFLs in four games this season as the starting strong safety.
  • In 39 career games, Carter has 52 tackles and 2.5 TFLs.
  • He is backed up by sophomores Ali Sharrief (Stevenson, Ala.) and Carlos Rogers (Lakeland).  Both are also prominent special teams players.
  • Junior Rashad Johnson (Sulligent, Ala.) is second on the team with 26 tackles from his starting free safety position.  He is also second on the team with 14 solo stops.
  • He had a career-high eight tackles against  Western Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia.
  • Johnson has 67 tackles in 27 career games for the Tide.  He has also added four forced fumbles, 3.5 TFLs and two interceptions and two PBUs.
  • Sophomore Javier Arenas (Tampa, Fla.) is Johnson’s backup.  Arenas has four tackles this season.
  • Junior Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is the Tide’s starting right cornerback.  Mitchell has 17 tackles in four games. He also one interception and one pass break up.
  • He has recorded 44 tackles and four interceptions in 19 career games.  Mitchell had four interceptions (TD) and 131 interception return yards in 2006, which ranks fourth all-time at UA.
  • He is backed up by true freshman Kareem Jackson (Macon, Ga.), who has started three of the first four games as the nickel back.  Jackson has 10 tackles and one forced fumble this season.

ALABAMA SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Alabama returns all but one of its specialists from last season.
  • The Crimson Tide’s special teams have shown marked improvement during the first four games of the 2007 season.
  • Sophomore Javier Arenas (Tampa, Fla.) is the Crimson Tide’s top return specialist. 
  • Arenas is second in the SEC in punt returns (15.0 average) and sixth in kickoff returns (25.0 average). He also ranks 23rd with 95 all-purpose yards per game.
  • In four games, Arenas has 12 punt returns for 180 yards, including a 69-yard return against Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
  • In 17 career games, he has 43 punt returns for 466 yards (10.8 average) and two touchdowns.  He had a 65-yard punt return against Florida International and an Alabama bowl record 86-yard punt return against Oklahoma State in 2006.
  • The Alabama career record for most punt returns is three held by Harry Gilmer.
  • Arenas has eight kickoff returns for 200 yards (25.0 average) this season, including a 45-yard return against Western Carolina in the season opener.
  • In 17 career games, Arenas has 26 returns for 544 yards (20.9 average).
  • He has had at least one 45-yard return (punt or kickoff) in three of four games this season.
  • Junior Jonathan Lowe (Phenix City, Ala.) is the backup to Arenas.  Lowe has seven kickoff returns for 114 yards (16.3 average) this season.  He made his Alabama debut with a 23-yard kickoff  return and a 17-yard punt return against Western Carolina on Sept. 1.
  • Sophomore Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) is the Crimson Tide’s starting kicker, handling all kickoffs, field goal and extra attempts.
  • Tiffin is second in the SEC and sixth nationally with 2.25 field goals made per game.
  • He ranks fourth in the SEC and 25th nationally in scoring, averaging 10.25 points per game.
  • Tiffin is 14-for-14 in extra points this season and 26-of-27 in his two-year career.
  • Tiffin is 9-of-14 on field goal attempts this season and has been successful on five of his last six attempts.
  • He has converted 17-of-27 career field goal attempts for the Tide.
  • He appeared in five games last season and hit 8-of-13 field goals and 12-of-13 extra point attempts. 
  • His father, Van (1983-86), was an All-American kicker at Alabama in 1986 and set the UA record with 135 consecutive career extra points.
  • Sophomore Andrew Friedman (Fairhope, Ala.) made his 2007 season debut with his first career extra point attempt against Arkansas on Sept. 15.  He has now played in four games at UA.
  • Senior Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.), who has also handled kickoffs the last three years, has hit 29 of 42 career field goal attempts and 40 of 42 career extra points. 
  • He also has three-game winning field goals to his credit, beating Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas Tech during the 2006 season.
  • Christensen is nursing a quad injury and has not seen action this season.
  • Sophomore punter P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs, Fla.) is back for his second year as the Crimson Tide’s punter and holder.
  • Fitzgerald has punted 18 times for 699 yards (38.8 average), including a career-high 58-yard punt at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
  • In 16 career games, Fitzgerald has 75 punts for 2,875 yards (38.3 average).  He has 25 punts inside the opponents 20-yard line. 
  • He punted 57 times for 2,176 yards (38.2 average) last year.
  • The Crimson Tide is breaking in its third long snapper in as many years this season as they replace last year’s snapper Luke Spaulding. 
  • Junior Brian Selman (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) has handled all snapping duties this year.

ON THIS DATE

  • Alabama has compiled a 6-3 (.667) all-time record in games played on Sept. 29.
  • The Crimson Tide has not played on Sept. 29 since a 37-36 loss at South Carolina in 2001.
  • Alabama’s first-ever game on Sept. 29 took place in 1923 when Wallace Wade made his Crimson Tide coaching debut with a 12-0 win over Union University.
  • The Crimson Tide had its 25-game homecoming winning streak snapped on Sept. 29, 1984 with a 30-21 loss to Vanderbilt in Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  • Gene Stallings earned his first Alabama victory on Sept. 29, 1990 with a 59-28 win over Vanderbilt at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1990.

GAMES PLAYED ON SEPTEMBER 29

Result of Game  Year 
Alabama 12, Union 0  1923 
Alabama 24, Howard 0  1934 
Alabama 21, Keesler AAF 0  1945 
LSU 13, Alabama 7  1951 
Alabama 44, Vanderbilt 0  1973 
Alabama 66, Vanderbilt 3  1979 
Vanderbilt 30, Alabama 21  1984 
Alabama 59, Vanderbilt 28  1990 
South Carolina 37, Alabama 36  2001 

NEXT GAME

Alabama welcomes back the alumni next Saturday, Oct. 6 when the Crimson Tide hosts the defending Conference USA champion Houston Cougars at the annual homecoming game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.