ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Defensive Notebook

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Oct. 15, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama defense ranks among the national leaders in rushing defense, total defense and fewest rushing touchdowns allowed.  Find out more about the Tide defense in this week’s defensive notebook on RollTide.com.

TIDE 2ND NATIONALLY IN RUSHING DEFENSE: The Crimson Tide ranks second nationally in rushing defense after the first six games of the 2008 season. Alabama opponents have 135 rushing attempts for 305 yards, an average of 50.8 yards per game and 2.26 yards per attempt this season. The top five teams in the nation in terms of rushing defense are No. 1 TCU (22.3), Alabama, No. 3 Texas (51.8 ypg), No. 4 Georgia (62.4 ypg) and No. 5 Florida State (64.0 ypg). The Crimson Tide defense opened the season in impressive fashion by holding Clemson to zero rushing yards. The Tigers featured the tailback tandem of C.J. Spiller and James Davis, who were held in check all night by the Tide defense. The duo was held to 20 rushing yards on 12 attempts. In the Crimson Tide’s second game Alabama held Tulane to 86 rushing yards on 32 attempts, then allowed just 42 yards on 22 carries vs. Western Kentucky, 92 yards on 31 rushes at Arkansas, 50 yards on 16 carries at Georgia and just 35 yards on 20 attempts to Kentucky.

2008 Rushing Yards Allowed:  Clemson (14 carries, 0 yards, 0.00 avg), Tulane (32 carries, 86 yards, 2.69 avg.), Western Kentucky (22 carries, 42 yards, 1.91 avg.), at Arkansas (31 carries, 92 yards, 3.37 avg.), at Georgia (16 carries, 50 yards, 3.13 avg.) and Kentucky (20 carries, 35 yards, 1.75 avg.)

2008 NCAA Rushing Defense Leaders: (1) TCU (20.7 yards per game), (2) ALABAMA (50.8), (3) Texas (51.2), (4) Georgia (52.2), (5) Florida State (64.0), (6) South Florida (73.3), (7) Nevada (73.8), (8) Utah (82.4), (9) Louisville (82.6) and (10) USC (82.8).

STOPPING THE RUN: Alabama is 9-2 under Coach Nick Saban when holding opponents to less than 100 rushing yards in a game, including a 6-0 mark in 2008. The Crimson Tide held Clemson (0), Tulane (86), Western Kentucky (42), Arkansas (92), Georgia (50) and Kentucky (35) to less than 100 rushing yards in the first six games this season. Going back to 2007, the Tide has held seven straight opponents below 100 yards rushing with Colorado amassing just 75 yards in the 2007 Independence Bowl. Alabama was 3-2 last year when opponents failed to reach 100 rushing yards in a game. In Coach Saban’s 19-game tenure at Alabama, the Tide has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing 11 times.

TOUGH TO FIND THE END ZONE: Alabama is one of three schools nationally that has allowed one or fewer rushing touchdowns during the 2008 season. The Crimson Tide allowed their first rushing touchdown of the season - and first in 22 quarters of football - at Georgia. The UA defense is allowing just 50.83 yards rushing per game and 13.5 points. Texas is the only team that has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season. Alabama and Kentucky are the only other teams that have allowed just one rushing touchdown this year.

UA AMONG DEFENSIVE LEADERS: Alabama is in the top 20 nationally in four defensive categories after six games this season. The Crimson Tide ranks 10th nationally in total defense, allowing just 262.17 yards per game. The rushing defense is second in the country, giving up just 50.83 yards per contest, while the scoring defense ranks 12th nationally, allowing just 13.5 points per game, which is fourth in the SEC. Finally, the pass efficiency defense comes in at No. 19 this week, allowing an efficiency rating of just 101.54 to opposing quarterbacks.