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ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Special Teams Notebook



Oct. 16, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama ranks second nationally with five non-offensive touchdowns this season, including two by the Tide special teams.  Find out more about the Tide special teams in this week’s notebook on

TIDE 2ND NATIONALLY IN NON-OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS: Alabama is second nationally in the Football Bowl Subdivision with five non-offensive touchdowns in the 2008 college football campaign. The Crimson Tide has two interceptions returns for touchdowns - a 74-yarder by Justin Woodall and a 63-yarder by Javier Arenas - to go along with an 87-yard punt return from Arenas, a 17-yard return of a blocked punt by Chris Rogers and a four-yard fumble return by Rolando McClain. UA is joined by Missouri (4 INT, 1 KOR) and both teams trail Kansas State, who has five punt returns and one fumble return on the year for six non-offensive touchdowns.

FITZGERALD FLIPPING FIELD FOR TIDE: Junior punter P.J. Fitzgerald’s performance at Arkansas was one of his best punting games at Alabama. He averaged 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 42.1-yard per kick to rank fifth in the SEC with three punts inside the 20. Fitzgerald has been outstanding in three SEC games, averaging 44.15 on 13 punts. He averaged 45.2 at Arkansas, 44.5 at Georgia and 43.2 against Kentucky. For the season, Fitzgerald is 29th nationally with a 42.1-yard per kick 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 against Clemson, hitting on 4-of-5 field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder. Tiffin has made 28 of his last 36 field goal attempts dating back to the Georgia game last year, including 9 of 13 in 2008. His 54-yarder vs. Clemson 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 23rd nationally with 1.60 field goals per game in 2008. He now has 50 points in six games this season, averaging 8.3 per contest that ranks fourth in the SEC.