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ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Special Teams Notebook



Sept. 25, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - One week after not punting in win over Western Kentucky, junior punter P.J. Fitzgerald turned in one his better game for the Crimson Tide at Arkansas.  The Crimson Tide special team's notebook appears each Thursday on

FITZGERALD TURNS IN CAREER DAY: Junior punter P.J. Fitzgerald's performance at Arkansas was one of his best punting games at Alabama. He averaged a career-best 45.2 yards on five punts, including a 56-yarder that was his longest kick of the season. Fitzgerald also pinned the Razorbacks inside their 20-yard line twice. He is averaging a career-best 41.4-yard per kick to rank seventh in the SEC with three punts inside the 20.

RANKINGS: Several members of the UA special teams are among the NCAA and SEC leaders heading into Saturday's game with Georgia.  As a team, Alabama is 7th in the SEC and 33rd nationally in punt return yards (14.83 per return) and 6th in the SEC and 46th among NCAA teams in net punting (35.86 average).  Individually, junior kicker Leigh Tiffin is third in SEC and 24th nationally with 1.5 field goals made per game.  Tiffin is also fourth the SEC and 50th nationally in scoring with 8.5 points per game.  He was 7-for-7 in extra point attempts last week at Arkansas and has now made 52 in a row. Junior return specialist Javier Arenas is 6th in the SEC and 15th nationally with an 18.67-yard punt return average.

TIFFIN ON LOU GROZA WATCH: Alabama place-kicker Leigh Tiffin was named to the 2008 Lou Groza College Place-Kicker Award watch list by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Kickers on the Lou Groza Award Watch List were chosen based on statistics from the 2007 season and 2008 preseason expectations. Tiffin was outstanding in the opener against Clemson, hitting on 4-of-5 field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder. Tiffin has made 25 of his last 31 field goal attempts dating back to the Georgia game last year. His 54-yarder ranks third in Alabama history, exceeded only by a 57-yarder by his father, Van Tiffin, against Texas A&M in 1985 and a 55-yarder by Ryan Pflugner against Arkansas in 1998. Pflugner's kick joins Leigh Tiffin's as the longest made field goals in Tide history kicking without the benefit of a kicking tee. He set the Alabama single-season record for points as a sophomore in 2007 with 111 and led the SEC and tied for third nationally with 1.92 field goals per game.