ALABAMA FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE vs. OLE MISS REBELS
October 13, 2007 ?? Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (60,580) ?? Oxford, Miss.
ROAD COMEBACK VICTORY IS FIRST SINCE ??99
Today’s 27-24 Alabama win over Ole Miss marks the Tide’s first victory at an opponent’s stadium when trailing entering the fourth quarter since a 28-17 win at Auburn on Nov. 20, 1999. In that game, the Crimson Tide entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-8. Today, Alabama entered the fourth quarter trailing Ole Miss, 24-17. Leigh Tiffin’s 24-yard field goal with 5:14 remaining in the fourth quarter gave Alabama a 24-21 lead, just a few plays following a three-yard run by Terry Grant that tied the game at 21-21.
ANOTHER CARDIAC FINISH
The outcome of today’s game was in doubt until a reversal of a call via replay with seven seconds remaining, erasing an Ole Miss pass completion to the Alabama three-yard line on a 43-yard pass play. The game marked the fifth Alabama game in a row this season that has been decided by a touchdown or less, with three of the five games decided on the final play. The last five games have been decided by a total of 22 points and marks the closest five-game string for an Alabama team since a similar stretch in 1991 in which the games were decided by a total of 24 points: a 24-19 win over Tennessee, a 13-7 win over Ole Miss, a 20-17 win over LSU, a 10-7 win over Memphis State, and a 13-6 win over Auburn.
DJ HALL MATCHES CAREER-HIGH
Senior receiver DJ Hall caught a season-high 11 passes for 140 yards today, extending his streak of games with a catch to 26 while tying his single-game career-high for receptions. Today’s performance also marks Hall’s 12th Alabama game of at least 100 yards receiving, his second such performance this season. Hall also eclipsed 10 catches in a game for the fourth time in his UA career. Hall is the school’s all-time leader in both career receptions (164) and receiving yards (2,497). In seven games this season, Hall leads the team with 37 catches for 579 yards and three touchdowns.
Hall’s Top Games (by receptions)
11 at Ole Miss, Oct. 13, 2007 (140 yards, 0 TDs)
11 Utah State, Oct. 29, 2005 (157 yards, 1 TD)
10 Mississippi State, Nov. 4, 2006 (125 yards, 0 TDs)
10 Tennessee, Oct. 22, 2005 (139 yards, 0 TDs)
ARENAS HAS CRUCIAL PUNT RETURN
Sophomore return specialist Javier Arenas made a crucial 54-yard punt return to the Ole Miss 21-yard line with 8:56 left in the fourth quarter to set up an Alabama touchdown that tied the game 24-24. That long return was Arenas’ fourth punt return this season of at least 45 yards. Arenas entered today’s game third in the SEC in punt returns (13.29) and sixth in kickoff returns (22.4).
GRANT’S TD TIES THE GAME, AND TIES FRESHMAN TD MARK
Redshirt freshmen running back Terry Grant’s three-yard run for a touchdown with 7:11 remaining in the fourth period and gave Grant six rushing TDs in 2007, tying the freshman record for rushing touchdowns with four. Grant is now tied with Shaun Alexander, who scored six rushing TDs in 1996. Grant rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts today. Through seven games, Grant leads Alabama with 101 rushing attempts for 593 yards and six touchdowns.
WILSON CONTINUES TO MOVE UP CAREER PASSING LISTS
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson completed 26-of-40 passes for 265 yards and one interception today while improving to 11-9 (.550) as the starting quarterback for the Tide. Today’s performance marked Wilson’s fifth 250+-yard performance for the Tide and the 265 yards was his second-highest single-game total at UA. Wilson moved to sixth on the UA list for pass attempts in a career with 643; improved to fifth on the UA career completions list with 364, and moved into sixth on the UA career passing yardage list with 4,318 yards.
Alabama scored on its first possession of today’s game, capping a 14-play, 61-yard drive with a 27-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin with 8:25 left in the first period. That started a first half of offensive effectiveness that featured scores on Alabama’s first three possessions spanning 39 plays as the Tide converted seven of its first eight third down plays into first downs while scoring 17 points. It’s the second consecutive game in which the Alabama offense has scored on its first three possessions. Last week, the Tide scored touchdowns on its first three possessions. Alabama did not punt in the first half of today’s game, running 44 plays from scrimmage in the first half today. This season, Alabama has scored on its first possession in all five victories (four touchdowns, one field goal), having scored on its first possession against Western Carolina, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Houston and Ole Miss.
TIDE HAS EARLY THIRD DOWN SUCCESS
The Tide opened today’s game by successfully converting 8-of-9 third down plays into first downs in the first half, a trend that continued into the third period as Alabama converted its first third down for a 9-for-10 start. Alabama ended the day 9-of-16 on third downs. The Crimson Tide entered today’s game converting only 37 percent (34-of-91) third downs into first downs.
JOHNSON NABS ANOTHER INTERCEPTION
Junior free safety Rashad Johnson intercepted an Ole Miss pass with 5:39 left in the third period today, running his team-leading total for 2007 to four interceptions.
CASTILLE NOW TIED FOR 8TH ON TIDE CAREER INTERCEPTIONS LIST
Senior cornerback Simeon Castille intercepted an Ole Miss pass at the Alabama 42-yard line with 1:16 left in the second quarter. The pickoff by Castille was his second this season (his second in consecutive games) and the 12th of his Alabama career, ranking him in a tie for eighth place on the Alabama career interceptions list with Tommy Johnson (1991-94) and Kevin Jackson (1995-96). Antonio Langham (1990-93) holds the UA record with 19 interceptions in his career.
KNIGHT’S INTERCEPTION SETS UP GO-AHEAD SCORE
Junior linebacker Zeke Knight intercepted a deflected Ole Miss pass and returned it to the Ole Miss six-yard line to set up a field goal that gave Alabama a 24-21 lead late in the game. The interception was the first of Knight’s career at Alabama. Knight started his UA career as a tight end before switching to linebacker prior to this season.
BRITT MISSES GAME
Starting left guard senior Justin Britt missed today’s game while attending to family business in Birmingham where his mother, Vera Britt, is hospitalized following an accident that occurred last weekend in Tuscaloosa. Britt’s absence caused changes in the Tide’s lineup with Antoine Caldwell moving to left guard, Evan Cardwell starting at center, and Marlon Davis starting at right guard.
ALABAMA-OLE MISS SERIES
Today’s three-point victory margin for Alabama marks the third consecutive meeting between Alabama and Ole Miss to be decided by that margin, along with a 26-23 victory in 2006 and a 13-10 win at Oxford in 2005. Alabama now leads the series with Ole Miss, 45-8-2 since the first meeting in 1894. Since 1977, Alabama has won 20 of the last 23 meetings with Ole Miss, including today’s victory. After losing two of three games to the Rebels from 2001-03, Alabama has bounced back to post a four-game series winning streak. The last three meetings have been decided in the game’s final seven seconds. The Crimson Tide now owns a 16-4 record in the series in televised games.
ALABAMA’S TV RECORD
Alabama has compiled a 166-110-5 all-time record in 281 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts. The Crimson Tide owns a 142-92-3 record in 237 regular-season televised games. Alabama is 3-2 in televised games this season.
ALABAMA’S ROAD RECORD
Alabama improved to 231-124-12 all-time in road games in 357 games. That record does not include neutral site games, bowl games or the Alabama-Auburn game played at Legion Field from 1948-88. From 1970-82, Alabama was 35-6 in 41 road games. Since 1982, Alabama is 65-37-1 on the road for a combined 100-43-1 record on the road since 1970.
ALABAMA’S NEXT GAME
Alabama returns home next Saturday, Oct. 20, for its annual “Third Saturday in October” clash with the Tennessee Volunteers. Kickoff time has not been determined.