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Alabama Football: Offensive Notebook



Oct. 14, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama offense leads the SEC with 226.3 rushing yards per game this season. Find out more about the Tide offense in this week’s notebook on

FAST-STARTING TIDE: Alabama scored 14 first half points on Oct. 4 against Kentucky and has outscored its opposition this season a combined 147-20 in the first half, including an 88-0 edge in the first quarter of its first six games. Alabama has shut out Clemson (13-0), Tulane (13-0), Western Kentucky (17-0), Arkansas (21-0), Georgia (10-0) and Kentucky (14-0) in the first period this year, and has a 59-20 edge in second-quarter scoring this season.

Alabama’s First-Half Scoring Advantage
Game             1st Quarter   Halftime
Clemson         13-0            23-3
Tulane            13-0            13-3
W. Kentucky    17-0            31-7
Arkansas         21-0            35-7
Georgia           10-0           31-0
Kentucky         14-0           14-0
Totals             88-0          147-20

ANOTHER FIRST-HALF EXPLOSION: Alabama once again broke out to an early lead against Kentucky with a 14-0 halftime lead. That continued a trend of quick starts by the Crimson Tide in 2008. The Tide has scored on its first possession of the game in four of six games this season. The Crimson Tide had a 35-point first half at Arkansas and then a 31-point first half at Georgia. The 35 points at Arkansas was the most by an Alabama team since the Tide scored 42 points in the first half of a 56-7 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2001, at Legion Field, game UA lead 42-0 at halftime. Below are the top scoring halves for Alabama under second-year head coach Nick Saban:

First-Half Scoring
35 at Arkansas Sept. 20, 2008 (1st Half)
31 at Georgia Sept. 27, 2008 (1st Half)
31 Western Kentucky Sept. 13, 2008 (1st Half)
28 Western Carolina Sept. 1, 2007 (2nd Half)
27 Colorado Dec. 30, 2007 (1st Half)
24 Tennessee Oct. 20, 2007 (2nd Half)
24 Western Carolina Sept. 1, 2007 (1st Half)

OUT IN FRONT: Alabama has not trailed at any point in its last seven games dating back to the 2007 Independence Bowl against Colorado. The Crimson Tide have been tied 0-0 to start the game or led in every second of the last 420 minutes of football. In those seven games, Alabama has scored in the first quarter to take an early lead and held that lead for 384:40 of those games. The Tide has spent 35:20 tied at 0-0 to begin those games and scored in an average of 5:03. Alabama has led an average of 54:57 in each game.

TIME OF POSSESSION: An Alabama trademark this season has been its ability to control the line of scrimmage offensively and, consequently, control the tempo of the game. This has been particularly evident in games with Clemson, Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky. Alabama (33:07) currently leads the SEC and ranks fourth nationally in time of possession. The Crimson Tide have won the time of possession battle in four of six games this season and have had the ball 36:28 more than it’s opponents this season (198:44/162:16).

OFFEE HAS CAREER-BEST RUSHING DAY: Junior running back Glen Coffee rushed for a career-high 218 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries against Kentucky. The performance, the sixth-best single-game rushing performance in Alabama history, outpaced his previous single-game high of 162 yards accomplished against Arkansas on September 20 in Fayetteville. This season, Coffee has rushed for 708 yards on 95 carries (7.45-yard per carry average) and has scored four touchdowns. The performance marked Alabama’s first 200-yard rushing performance since Kenneth Darby rushed for 200 yards against Mississippi State on October 6, 2004, and the most since Shaun Alexander went for a school-record 291 yards against LSU on Nov. 9, 1996, in Baton Rouge.

Top Rushing Performances in Alabama History
Yards  Player vs. Opponent (attempts)   Date
291 Shaun Alexander at LSU (20 attempts)  Nov. 9, 1996
284 Bobby Humphrey at Mississippi State (30 att.) Nov. 1, 1986
233 Bobby Marlow vs. Auburn (25 att.)  Dec. 2, 1951
221 Johnny Musso vs. Auburn (42 att.)  Nov. 28, 1970
220 Bobby Humphrey at Penn State (27 att.)  Sept. 12, 1987
218 Glen Coffee vs. Kentucky (25 att.)  Oct. 4, 2008

COFFEE HAS SEC’S TWO LONGEST RUNS: Glen Coffee has the two longest runs in the Southeastern Conference this season. He busted loose on an 87-yard touchdown run at Arkansas, which was the fourth-longest run in Crimson Tide history and a career long for him at Alabama. He then ripped off a 78-yard touchdown run against Kentucky. Coffee has three rushes of 50 yards or more, including a 51-yard touchdown run against Western Kentucky. Coffee ranks second in the SEC and 11th nationally in rushing at 118.0 yards per game and leads the top 10 SEC rushers at 7.45 yards per carry.

RUSHING DIFFERENTIAL: Alabama has one of the highest rushing differentials in the country in 2008. The Crimson Tide is averaging an SEC-best 226.3 yards per game (15th nationally) while allowing an SEC-low 50.8 rushing yards (2nd nationally) to its opponents, a difference of 175.5 yards per game. The next best mark in the Southeastern Conference is Georgia, who is rushing for 159.2 yards per game while the defense is allowing just 52.2 yards on the ground for a difference of 107.0 yards per game. Nevada leads the nation in rushing differential (+235.0) followed by TCU (+212.29), Navy (+189.0), Alabama (+175.5) and Oregon (172.43).

3RD DOWN SUCCESS: The Alabama offense has been outstanding at converting third downs in 2008. The Crimson Tide is third in the SEC and 26th nationally by converting 45.6 percent (36 of 79) of their third-down opportunities. UA was especially good at converting third downs against Clemson and Western Kentucky. The Tide converted 11 of 17 (64.7 percent) third-down chances against the Tigers in the season opener and then made good on 64.3 percent (9 of 14) of their third-down plays against Western Kentucky. Alabama is also 4 for 4 in fourth-down situations this season.