Alabama Begins Preparations for SEC-Rival Tennessee One of college football great traditional rivalries takes place this weekend as the University of Alabama football team hosts the University of Tennessee in the annual Third Saturday in October clash at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The game wi
GAME 8: ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (5-2) vs. TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (4-2) Oct. 20, 2007 -- Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) -- Tuscaloosa, Ala. 11:34 a.m. (CDT) -- Lincoln Financial Sports
ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:
Sophomore return specialist Javier Arenas ranks second in the SEC and 12th nationally with a 16.06 punt return average ... Alabama is second in the SEC and 9th nationally with a 16.47-yard punt return average ... Arenas (104.8) and Terry Grant (104.4) have combined for 209.8 all-purpose yards in the Tide’s five wins this season ... Alabama has recorded nine sacks (-50 yards) in its last two games, compared to only five sacks (-46 yards) in the first five games of the season ... Baron Huber is a native of Knoxville, Tenn., and played for the same high school coach as former Vols two-sport star and current Colorado Rockies first baseman, Todd Helton ... Simeon Castille has 10 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions in his career against the Vols ... DJ Hall has recorded back-to-back 100-yard games against Tennessee ... He had 10 catches for 139 yards against UT in Tuscaloosa in 2005 and added seven catches for 102 yards (14.6 per catch) last year in Knoxville ... Terry Grant (101) needs two rushing attempts to tie Kerry Goode’s single-season freshman record (103) for rushing attempts ...
THE THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER
One of college football great traditional rivalries takes place this weekend as the University of Alabama football team hosts the University of Tennessee in the annual “Third Saturday in October” clash at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports with kickoff set for 11:34 a.m. (CDT). The Alabama-Tennessee game will be shown on 67 stations throughout the nine-state SEC territory, plus ESPN GamePlan with Dave Neal (play-by-play), Dave Archer (analyst) and Dave Baker (sideline reporter). The 62-station Crimson Tide Sports Network will also air the game on radio, 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 125). Alabama (5-2, 3-1 SEC) moved into a three-way tie for first in the SEC Western Division with its win at Ole Miss (27-24) last Saturday in Oxford, Miss. Senior wide receiver DJ Hall had 11 catches for 140 yards to lead all UA receivers. Sophomore Javier Arenas sparked the Tide with outstanding special teams play. Arenas returned four kickoffs for 93 yards and two punts for 71 yards, including a 54-yard punt return to set up the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) brings a three-game winning streak and No. 20 national ranking (AP Poll) into Saturday’s game at Alabama. The Vols defeated Mississippi State, 33-21, last weekend in Starkville. Quarterback Erik Ainge completed 22 of 36 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns in the road win. Lucas Taylor had 11 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown.
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 96-44-1 (.684) 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). Saban is 2-1 (.667) in his career against Tennesse, including two regular-season overtime games and win in the 2001 SEC Championship Game. Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee, 1972) is in his 16th season at the helm of the Tennessee football program. He has recorded a 141-43 (.766) career record since taking over in 1992. He led the Vols to a 13-0 record and the national championship in 1998. Tennessee has won or shared six SEC Eastern Division titles under Fulmer. Fulmer has served as a player, assistant coach and head coach at Tennessee. He was a three-year letterman (1969-71) as an offensive guard on Tennessee teams that went 30-5 and captured the 1969 SEC Championship. He was the offensive line coach from 1980-91. Fulmer is 11-2 (.846) in his career against Alabama.
IT AIN’T OVER ...
Alabama has had a flair for the dramatic during the 2007 season.
The last five games have been decided by a touchdown or less, with three of the five games decided on the final play.
I have a message for everyone,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “When we play, don't leave early. We’ll make it interesting. We have guests here, we have recruits here, I want to make it interesting.”
Alabama’s 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.
ALABAMA’S LAST FIVE GAMES
Sept. 15, 2007
Alabama 41, Arkansas 38
Sept. 22, 2007
Georgia 26, Alabama 23 (ot)
Sept. 29, 2007
Florida State 21, Alabama 14
Oct. 6, 2007
Alabama 30, Houston 24
Oct. 13, 2007
Alabama 27, Ole Miss 24
The Crimson Tide posted a five-game winning streak from Oct. 19 through Nov. 30, 1991 and the five games were decided by 24 total points.
ALABAMA’S 1991 FIVE-GAME STRETCH
Oct. 19, 1991
Alabama 24, Tennessee 19
Nov. 2, 1991
Alabama 13, Miss. State 7
Nov. 9, 1991
Alabama 20, LSU 17
Nov. 16, 1991
Alabama 10, Memphis 7
Nov. 30, 1991
Alabama 13, Auburn 6
On Sept. 15, junior quarterback John Parker Wilson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Matt Caddell with eight seconds left in the game to give Alabama a 41-38 win over Arkansas.
The following week, Wilson’s six-yard run with just over one minute left in the game forced overtime against Georgia. Alabama kicked a field goal on its overtime possession before Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a 25-yard pass to Mikey Henderson for the 26-23 win.
In the loss to Florida State, Alabama scored touchdowns on its final two possessions and nearly recovered an on-side kick in the 21-14. Wilson threw touchdown passes to DJ Hall and Keith Brown to pull UA to within 21-14. Tide freshman Kareem Jackson actually recovered the on-side kick, but the ball inadvertently hit Jimmy Johns in the back of the helmet before traveling the required 10 yards and FSU was awarded possession.
Senior cornerback Simeon Castille recorded his first interception of the season in the end zone on the final play of the game to preserve the Tide’s 30-24 homecoming win over Houston. The Crimson Tide led 23-0 after the first quarter but held off the Cougars late rally. The defense forced two turnovers in the final quarter.
Alabama scored 10 points in the fourth quarter for a 27-24 win at Ole Miss. Terry Grant’s 3-yard run with 7:11 left in the game tied the game and Leigh Tiffin’s 24-yard field goal with 5:14 left. Ole Miss drove to the Alabama 45-yard line in the final seconds and appeared to completed a fourth down pass to the UA 4-yard line, but the Ole Miss receiver had stepped out of bounds nullifying the play and the Tide ran out the clock.
Alabama has 15 scoring drives of two minutes or less and has at least one in all seven games this season.
The Crimson Tide had five scoring drives of less than two minutes in its 41-38 win over Arkansas on Sept. 15.
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) directed the Alabama offense to a pair of late-scoring drives against Arkansas (Sept. 15) and to force overtime with Georgia (Sept. 22).
During those two games, Wilson completed 9-of-12 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown and added a 6-yard touchdown run.
Against the Razorbacks, he led the Tide to a 9-play, 73-yard drive in the final two minutes which resulted in a 4-yard touchdown 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.
Alabama also had multiple scoring drives of two minutes or less against Western Carolina (2), Vanderbilt (2), Georgia (2) and Ole Miss (2).
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 with just over one minute to play.
Wilson completed 2-of-3 passes for 51 yards and accounted for 57 yards of total offense on the drive.
Alabama marched 60 yards in eight plays and used just 56 seconds to score in the final two minutes against Florida State on Sept. 29.
Wilson’s 17-yard pass to senior wide receiver Keith Brown (Pensacola, Fla.) with 1:06 left in the game pulled UA to within seven, 21-14.
Alabama has recorded nine sacks (-50 yards) in its last two games, compared to only five sacks (-46 yards) in the first five games of the season.
A total of eight different defensive players have at least one sack this season.
Senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry (Bay Minette) lead the Crimson Tide with four sacks (-13 yards) this season.
He has recorded all four sacks in the last two games against Houston (2-4) and Ole Miss (2-9).
Brandon Deaderick, Lorenzo Washington and Ezekial Knight have two sacks each.
Rashad Johnson, Rolando McClain, Darren Mustin and Bobby Greenwood have one apiece.
The Crimson Tide had a season-high five sacks in its win over Houston on Oct. 6. Gilberry had two sacks, while Deaderick, Washington and Mustin added one each.
The five sacks against Houston were the most by Alabama since the 2005 season opener against Middle Tennessee.
ALABAMA GAME-BY-GAME SACKS
The Alabama offensive line has seen some changes over the last two weeks due to some personal issues involving two starters.
Junior Marlon Davis (Columbus, Ga.) did not start the Houston game on Oct. 6 after missing two days of practice due to a death in the family.
Davis played against the Cougars and returned to the starting lineup at right guard against Ole Miss.
Senior Justin Britt (Cullman, Ala.) did not travel to the Ole Miss game on Oct. 13 due to a family medical emergency. The Ole Miss game snapped Britt’s streak of 19 consecutive games and 18 consecutive starts, dating back to the 2005 season.
Senior Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery, Ala.) has started three different positions on the offensive line in the last three weeks.
Caldwell was the Tide’s starting center for 18 consecutive games until he moved to right guard in place of Davis for the Houston game on Oct. 6. He started in place of Britt at left guard against Ole Miss on Oct. 13.
Sophomore Evan Cardwell (Killen, Ala.) has started the last two weeks at center, which included his first career start against Houston on Oct. 6.
Sophomores Andre Smith (Birmingham, Ala.) and Mike Johnson (Pensacola, Fla.) have started all seven games at left and right tackle respectively this season.
ALABAMA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Alabama is 106-117-6 (.469) all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.
The Crimson Tide is 1-1 (.500) against Top 25 teams this season following a 41-38 win over Arkansas (Sept. 15) and a 26-23 overtime loss to Georgia (Sept. 22).
The 41-38 win over then No. 16 Arkansas on Sept. 15 snapped a four-game losing streak to Top 25 teams.
Alabama lost all four games to ranked opponents in 2006, including No. 5 Florida (28-13), No. 7 Tennessee (16-13), No. 12 LSU (28-14) and No. 14 Auburn (22-15).
Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) enters this weekend’s game ranked 20th (AP) and 22nd (Coaches Poll) in the polls.
RANKED OPPONENTS AT BRYANT-DENNY
Overall, Alabama is 17-24 (.405) against Top 25 teams at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Prior to the 1999 season, the traditional “bigger” games were played at Legion Field in Birmingham.
Alabama moved the Tennessee game to Tuscaloosa in 1999 and the Auburn game followed in 2000.
In 2004, Alabama played all of its home games in Tuscaloosa, leaving historic Legion Field after a successful 75-year relationship with the venerable ballpark.
Alabama’s most successful season came in 1999, when the Crimson Tide went 3-1 against Top 25 clubs in Tuscaloosa.
In 2002, Alabama beat No. 21 Ole Miss 42-7. The 35-point win over Ole Miss equalled the most-lopsided win by Alabama over a ranked team in the history of Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide also posted a 35-point win over No. 17 Mississippi State (35-0) on Nov. 2, 1974.
Alabama has four opponents ranked in this week’s AP Top 25.
The combined record of those four teams is 20-7 (.741) heading into Saturday’s games.
There are six opponents on Alabama’s schedule this year who won nine or more games last season. Houston (10-4), Arkansas (10-4), Georgia (9-4), Tennessee (9-4), LSU (11-2) and Auburn (11-2) each had nine or more wins in 2006.
Alabama and Tennessee will meet for the 90th time this Saturday.
The Crimson Tide holds a 44-38-7 (.534) series lead over the Volunteers in a series that dates back to the 1901 season.
Tennessee has won 10 of the last 12 meetings, including the last year’s 16-13 come-from-behind win in Knoxville on Oct. 21, 2006.
The last four meetings have been decided by 18 total points. UT is 3-1 in those four meetings with an eight-point win (2003, 5OT), four-point win (2004) and three-point win (2006).
Alabama defeated Tennessee 6-3 on Oct. 22, 2005 in the last meeting between the two teams in Tuscaloosa.
The 6-3 win in 2005 was the Crimson Tide’s first home win over the Vols since 1991. Alabama had gone 0-5-1 in its last six home games with Tennessee before the win in 2005.
Alabama has not won back-to-back home games with Tennessee since 1989 and 1991.
The 2007 meeting will mark the eighth in series history in Tuscaloosa. UT has won four of the previous seven meetings.
The two teams first met in Tuscaloosa in 1913, 1928 and 1930. Alabama won the initial meeting, 6-0, in 1913. The Vols claimed a 15-13 win in 1928 and UA came back with an 18-6 win in 1930.
The two teams would not meet on the UA campus again until 1999. Tennessee has posted wins here in 1999, 2001 and 2003. Alabama won for the only time in the modern era in 2005.
Tennessee posted a seven-game winning streak (1995-2001) over Alabama, marking the Vols longest winning streak in series history.
UT also had a six-game unbeaten streak against Alabama from 1955-60, posting a 5-0-1 ledger.
The Vols seven-game winning streak (1995-2001) was also the longest by any opponent against Alabama. UA snapped that streak with a 34-13 win in Knoxville in 2002.
One of college football’s most colorful series celebrates its 90th renewal this Saturday as the Alabama Crimson Tide meets the Tennessee Volunteers in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama and Tennessee have met every year since 1928, with the exception of the 1943 season when neither school fielded a football team due to World War II.
The very first meeting took place Nov. 28, 1901 in Birmingham, when the two schools played to a 6-6 deadlock.
Alabama posted an 8-1-1 record in the first 10 meetings with Tennessee, including eight shutouts, before the series was halted from 1915-27.
The series resumed on Oct. 20, 1928, the first of 66 consecutive meetings on the third Saturday in October, with Tennessee claiming a 15-13 win in Tuscaloosa.
Over the next 20 years (1928-48), the two teams would split 20 meetings, with both teams winning nine times and playing to a pair of ties.
The Big Orange, however, dominated the next decade, as UT posted an 8-3-1 record from 1949-60. During that stretch, the Vols won four straight games (1955-58) and posted five shutouts in six years.
Alabama ended Tennessee’s six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) with a 34-3 win over the Vols in Birmingham during the 1961 season, Coach Paul Bryant’s first national championship at Alabama.
Since the 1950s, the series has been nothing but streaks. After Tennessee’s 8-3-1 record over a 12-year period, Alabama answered with a 5-0-1 mark from 1961-66.
Following Alabama’s dramatic 11-10 win in Knoxville during the 1966 season, the Volunteers reeled off four straight wins from 1967-70.
Entering the 1971 game at Legion Field, the series was tied 23-23-7. Alabama then won 11 consecutive games (1971-81) over Tennessee to gain the upper hand in the series. .
The 11-game winning streak included a 27-0 win over the Vols in Knoxville marking the first shutout since a 35-0 win over Tennessee in 1963.
The Vols snapped Alabama’s streak with a 35-28 win in Knoxville in 1982 and then won four consecutive games (1982-85) in the series.
Alabama ended that streak with a 56-28 win in Knoxville behind Bobby Humphrey’s 217 rushing yards.
The 1986 victory was the first in the Tide’s nine-game unbeaten streak from 1986-94. The two teams played to a 17-17 tie at Legion Field in 1993 (but was later forfeited to Tennessee due to NCAA sanctions).
UA quarterback Jay Barker directed the team on a last-minute drive and David Palmer, who ran the ball in from three yards out, clinched the tie on a two-point conversion.
Alabama’s nine-game unbeaten streak came to an abrupt halt in 1995 as Tennessee handed Alabama a sound 41-14 thrashing at Legion Field. UT set the tempo on the game’s first play as Peyton Manning threw an 80-yard TD pass to Huntsville, Ala., native Joey Kent.
The Vols extended their lead to 21-0 before claiming their largest margin of victory over Alabama in a quarter-century.
The 1995 victory was the first in UT’s seven-game winning streak over Alabama. The Vols also posted wins in 1996 (20-13), 1997 (38-21), 1998 (31-18), 1999 (21-7), 2000 (20-10) and 2001 (35-24).
The 1999 Alabama-Tennessee game was the first to be played in Tuscaloosa since the 1930 season. The 5th-ranked Vols beat 10th-ranked Alabama 21-7 in a game that saw Alabama lose its starting quarterback (Andrew Zow) and running back (Shaun Alexander) to injuries.
Alabama snapped a seven-game series losing streak with a 34-14 win in Knoxville in 2002. Santonio Beard ran for 65 yards and two TDs for the Crimson Tide, while Brodie Croyle was 5-for-7 for 128 yards through the air.
Tennessee and Alabama staged an epic clash in 2003 as the Vols outlasted the Crimson Tide, 51-43, in five overtimes at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The game was tied 17-17 at the end of regulation and ended as the highest scoring game (94 points) in series lore.
The 2003 loss to Tennessee in five overtimes is the only time in history Alabama has not won a game when scoring between 40-49 points. The Crimson Tide is 93-1 all-time when scoring 40-49 points.
The Crimson Tide won 6-3 in 2005 to snap a five-game home losing streak to the Vols.
It was the first time since 1990 that Alabama and Tennessee played without scoring a touchdown. The Crimson Tide prevailed 9-6 in Knoxville in 1990 on three Philip Doyle field goals, including a 47-yarder as time expired.
Jamie Christensen’s 34-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter was his second straight game-winning field goal.
The winning points were set up when Roman Harper caused a fourth-quarter fumble (Cory Anderson) in the Tide end zone with 5:08 left in the game.
The 2005 game was the 11th lowest scoring game in series history. The two teams have played three scoreless ties in 1936, 1944 and 1953.
Tennessee won last year 16-13 in Knoxville when Arian Foster’s 1-yard run with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter gave UT its only lead of the game.
THIRD SATURDAY IN OCTOBER
For 66 years the annual Alabama-Tennessee game was simply referred to as “The Third Saturday in October.”
Alabama and Tennessee first played on the traditional third Saturday date on Oct. 20, 1928. The tradition continued through the 1994 season.
In 1995, the Southeastern Conference Office realigned its conference football schedule, putting an end to the 66-year third Saturday tradition that had become Alabama-Tennessee football.
The Oct. 14, 1995 game was played on the second Saturday in October.
The 2006 Alabama-Tennessee game will be the first one played on the third Saturday in October since 2001.
Since 1996, Alabama and Tennessee have met on the third Saturday in October just five times, including this year’s meeting.
The series became so popular that the late Al Browning, former sports editor of The Tuscaloosa News and Knoxville News- Sentinel, wrote a book entitled Third Saturday in October, recapping each game in this tradition-rich football series.
Alabama has compiled a 324-100-16 (.755) all-time record in 440 games in the month of October.
The Crimson Tide has won nine of its last 10 games in the month of October, dating back to the 2005 season.
Alabama played its first-ever October game on Oct. 14, 1893, losing 4-0 to Birmingham Athletic Club in Tuscaloosa.
In 1909, Alabama posted a 4-0-1 record in October and shutout all five opponents. The Crimson Tide and Ole Miss played to a scoreless tie.
Alabama posted an impressive 16 consecutive shutouts from Oct. 21, 1916 through Oct. 30, 1920.
Coach Xen Scott’s 1920 squad shutout all five opponents in the month of October by a composite 205-0 score.
Alabama posted a 26-game winning streak in the month from Oct. 31, 1914 through Oct. 22, 1921.
The Crimson Tide also posted a 14-game winning streak during the 1924-26 seasons.
Alabama had three significant winning streaks in the month of October during Coach Paul Bryant’s 25-year tenure.
The Crimson posted 28-game unbeaten streak from Oct. 9, 1976 through Oct. 16, 1982.
Alabama had a 23-game winning streak from Oct. 24, 1970 through Oct. 25, 1975
During those same two periods (Oct. 24, 1970 through Oct. 16, 1982), Alabama lost only one football game in the month of October and posted an incredible 50-1-1 (.971) record over a 12-year period in the month.
The Crimson Tide’s only loss in that 12-year period was a 21-0 shutout loss at Georgia on Oct. 2, 1976, snapping Alabama’s 69-game scoring streak.
SABAN’S OCTOBER RECORD
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has compiled a 29-15 (.659) record in the month of October.
His best record in the month is a 3-1 record which he has achieved five times (1990, 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2004).
He was 12-6 (.667) in October games at LSU.
ON THIS DATE
Alabama has compiled an 8-5 (.615) record in games played on Oct. 20.
This will be the 11th Alabama-Tennessee game to be played on this date. The Crimson Tide owns a 6-4 (.600) record over the Vols on this date.
Alabama’s first game on this date is also the most-lopsided loss in school history. Vanderbilt beat Alabama 78-0 on Oct. 20, 1906 for the worst loss in Crimson Tide lore.
The Crimson Tide’s first televised game took place on this date in 1951, a 27-13 loss to Tennessee in Birmingham.
Tennessee ended an 11-game series losing streak with a 28-27 win over Alabama on this date in 1984 in Knoxville.
Philip Doyle’s 47-yard field goal as time expired gave Alabama an improbable 9-6 win over Tennessee on this date in 1990.
Alabama is 1-1 in games played in Tuscaloosa on this date, beating Mississippi College in 1917 and losing to Tennessee in 2001.
GAMES PLAYED ON OCTOBER 13
Result of Game
Vanderbilt 78, Alabama 0
Alabama 40, Mississippi College
Alabama 7, Sewanee 0
Alabama 13, Tennessee 6
Alabama 25, Tennessee 7
Tennessee 27, Alabama 13
Tennessee 24, Alabama 0
Alabama 27, Tennessee 7
Alabama 42, Tennessee 21
Alabama 27, Tennessee 17
Tennessee 28, Alabama 27
Alabama 9, Tennessee 6
Tennessee 35, Alabama 24
SABAN ON THIS DATE
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 1-1 (.500) on Oct. 20. He suffered his first loss as a collegiate head coach at Central Michigan on Oct. 20, 1990 while at Toledo.
SABAN GAMES COACHED ON OCTOBER 20
Result of Game
Central Michigan 13, Toledo 12
LSU 42, Mississippi 0
With the regular season at the midway point, several members of the Crimson Tide were listed on Phil Steele’s mid-season All-American and All-Conference teams.
Sophomore offensive tackle Andre Smith was named a second team All-American and a first team All-SEC performer.
Senior Antoine Caldwell was recognized on Steele’s All-America third team and All-SEC second team.
Senior wideout D.J. Hall was listed on the All-SEC second team.
Defensively, senior cornerback Simeon Castille was fourth team All-American honoree.
Castille was joined by safety Rashad Johnson were on the All-SEC first team.
Freshman Rolando McClain was on the All-SEC second team.
Alabama does not play again until Saturday, Nov. 3, when the Crimson Tide hosts LSU at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama and LSU both have open dates on Saturday, Oct. 27.