Tide and Vols renew their rivalry in KnoxvilleTuesday, October 19, 2004
Alabama Crimson Tide (5-2, 2-2) at Tennessee Volunteers (5-1, 3-1)
October 23, 2004 2:30 p.m. CST (CBS Sports)
Neyland Stadium Knoxville, Tennessee
COMPLETE GAME NOTES:
ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:
- The 2004 season marks the first time since 1997 that Tennessee did not have an open date prior to the Alabama game ...
- Alabama leads the SEC in eight statistical categories, including rushing offense (243.3), time of possession (33:59), passing defense (103.0), total defense (225.6), pass efficiency defense (81.92), kickoff returns (34.4), punting average (41.8) and net punting average (40.4) ...
- Alabama also leads the NCAA in two statistical categories, including kickoff returns (34.4) and pass efficiency defense (81.92) ...
- Alabama is last in the SEC in passing offense (126.3) and has thrown for only 279 yards in the last four games ...
- The Alabama offensive line has allowed only seven sacks this season ...
- The Crimson Tide offense is 25-for-28 (.893) in the "red zone" this season, including 18 TDs ...
- The Alabama defense has forced an SEC-best 50 three-and-outs this season ...
- UA has forced 17 turnovers which have resulted in 66 points ...
- The Bama defense has pitched a shutout in 16 of 28 quarters ...
ALABAMA MEETS NO. 11 TENNESSEE
The Alabama Crimson Tide (5-2, 2-2 SEC) will renew one of its oldest football rivalries this weekend as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the 11th ranked Tennessee Volunteers (5-1, 0-0 SEC) in a nationally televised game (CBS Sports) beginning at 2:34 p.m. (CT). Alabama is coming off a 27-3 win over then-No. 24 Southern Miss last Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide defense dominated the Golden Eagles all afternoon. USM managed only 23 passing yards in the loss against the nation's No. 1 rated pass defense. Tennessee is coming off a 21-17 win at Ole Miss last weekend. After jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead, the Vols trailed 17-14 in the fourth quarter before pulling out another road win. The Alabama-Tennessee game will feature two of the leagues "newcomers" on the ground. UA sophomore tailback Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) ran 29 times for 197 yards and one TD last week in his first career start. Darby has replaced senior Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla.), who is out for the season with a knee injury. Tennessee turned its rushing attack over to junior tailback Gerald Riggs (Chattanooga), who ran 26 times for 118 yards and scored one touchdown in his first career start last week at Ole Miss. UA leads the nation in pass efficiency defense (81.92) and leads the SEC in passing defense (116.3) and total defense (225.57), but will be tested this weekend by two of the top freshman quarterbacks in the county. Erik Ainge (79-for-142, 1,062 yards, 12 TD) and Brent Schaeffer (15-for-29, 234 yards, 2 TD) lead a Tennessee offense that produces more than 400 yards per game this season. Handling the broadcast duties for CBS Sports will be Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter). The game will also be televised on a tape delayed basis by the Crimson Tide Sports Network with David Crane (play-by-play) and Chris Stewart (color). Fans can also tune to the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (analyst) and Tom Roberts (sidelines) describing the action.
THE HEAD COACHES
Coach Mike Shula (9-11, .450) is 5-2 (.714) in his sophomore season as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Shula compiled a 4-9 (.308) record in his rookie season at Alabama last year against the nation's most difficult schedule. The Crimson Tide lost to both teams (Oklahoma and LSU) that played in the BCS National Championship game last season. Shula previously served as an assistant coach in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Chicago and Miami. A three-year letterman at Alabama (1984-86), Shula was a two-time All-SEC selection and threw for over 2,000 yards as a junior (1985), leading Alabama to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn. Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer (118-29, .803) is in his 13th season with the Volunteers and is the dean of SEC football coaches. A former Vol offensive lineman (1968-71), Fulmer was an assistant at Tennessee (1972-73, 1980-91), Wichita State (1974-78) and Vanderbilt (1979) before replacing Johnny Majors as UT's head coach during the 1992 season. Fulmer has compiled a 30-8 (.789) record against SEC Western Division teams. He is 9-2 (.818) in his career against Alabama.
Alabama will enjoy its only open date of the 2004 season next week. The Crimson Tide's next game is Saturday, Nov. 6 at home against Mississippi State.
ALABAMA PLAYER PARTICIPATION
*Alabama has played 77 different players in its first seven games this season.
*The newest addition to the list is junior punter Jeremy Schatz (Homewood), who made his debut in the Crimson Tide's 27-3 homecoming win over Southern Miss on Oct. 16.
*Schatz punted one time and dropped his 40-yard punt at the Southern Miss six-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
*Junior tight end Greg McClain (Lineville), made his 2004 debut on Oct. 9 at Kentucky.
*McClain played 10 snaps at tight end in the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide's 45-17 win.
*The list includes 35 first-time players, including 11 "true" freshmen.
*The Crimson Tide dressed 101 players for the 2004 season opener with Utah State and 65 players saw action in 48-17 win.
*Of the 101 players that dressed for the Utah State game, a total of 57 had never played in a game for the Crimson Tide.
*Alabama's opening day depth chart showed that 23 of the 44 players listed had never played in a game before the season opener.
*A total of 27 players made their debut against Utah State, including 10 "true" freshmen.
*Alabama used 58 players in its win over Ole Miss, but none were first-time players.
*Alabama dressed more than 100 players for the Western Carolina game and played a season-high 74 players in the 52-0 win.
*The Crimson Tide used seven first-time players, including one "true" freshman in the win over the Catamounts bringing the season total to 34 first-time players.
*The most notable first-time players to see action against Western Carolina were true freshman Curtis Dawson and redshirt sophomore Marcus McKnight.
*Dawson played last year at Hoover High School and came to Alabama as a linebacker. He moved to the defensive line prior to the Ole Miss game and made his debut at defensive tackle in the win over WCU.
*McKnight came to Alabama as a true freshman in 2002 and had not played in a game until his debut against Western Carolina on Sept. 18, 2004. McKnight also hauled in a 14-yard pass reception from Marc Guillon, his first career reception with the Tide.
*Other first-timers to play against Western Carolina included Kyle Bennett, Bryan Kilpatrick, Allen Long, Forress Rayford and Travis West.
*Alabama played 57 of the 70 players that dressed out for the Arkansas game on Sept. 25.
*Alabama played 58 of the 80 players that dressed for the South Carolina game on Oct. 2.
*In the win at Kentucky (Oct. 2), Alabama played 67 of the 70 players that dressed for the game. UA used every available man on the roster in its 45-17 win with the exception of its three backup quarterbacks Marc Guillon, Adam Thrash and A.J. Milwee.
*The Crimson Tide dressed 127 players for its homecoming game with Southern Miss (Oct. 16) and 66 saw action in the 24-point win.
START ME UP
*The Crimson Tide has used 11 first-time starters in the first seven games of the 2004 season.
*In fact, Alabama has used at least one first-time starter in all but one game this season.
*The South Carolina game is the only game this season in which the Crimson Tide did not use at least one first-time starter.
*The newest addition to the list of first-time starters is sophomore tailback Kenneth Darby (Huntsville), who took over as the starting tailback when senior Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla.) was lost on Oct. 9 with a season-ending knee injury.
*Against Kentucky (Oct. ), redshirt freshman linebacker Demarcus Waldrop (Pinson) subbed at weakside linebacker for the injured Juwan Garth (shoulder).
*In the Sept. 4 season opener with Utah State, Alabama used four first-time starters, including two on offense and two on defense.
*On offense, Alabama employed two first-time starters, including Kyle Tatum (RT) and Tyrone Prothro (WR).
*On defense two more players made their first career starts, including juniors Rudy Griffin (LDT) and Juke King (SLB).
*King subbed for the injured preseason All-American DeMeco Ryans, who saw limited action while still trying to completely heal from a preseason ankle sprain.
*Ryans and Anthony Bryant were not in the starting lineup in the 2004 season opener to snap their lengthy starting streaks with the Crimson Tide.
*Ryans suffered an ankle injury on Aug. 21 and saw limited action as a backup linebacker in the Utah State game, which ended his streak of 14 consecutive starts for the Tide.
*Bryant lost his starting job to Griffin in the preseason and saw his streak end at 13 consecutive starts.
*Alabama used three first-time starters in its 28-7 win over Ole Miss in its Southeastern Conference opener on Sept. 11.
*All three were on offense and included senior tailback Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla) and freshmen wide receivers DJ Hall (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) and Keith Brown (Gulfport, Miss.).
*Hudson snapped a streak of 37 consecutive games without a start in the win over Ole Miss.
*Another first-time starter, freshman wide receiver Matt Caddell, made his first collegiate start in the win over Western Carolina on Sept. 18.
*Sophomore quarterback Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.) made his first career start at Arkansas on Sept. 25, subbing for the injured Brodie Croyle.
*Only four current UA players have started 20 or more consecutive games entering Saturday's game against Tennessee.
*Senior Evan Mathis has now made 42 consecutive starts for Alabama, the longest active streak on the team.
*Mathis' first career start came at South Carolina on Sept. 29, 2001 and he started 35 straight games at the right tackle position.
*He moved to left guard in this spring and has started all seven games this season to extend his streak to 42 consecutive starts.
*Mathis' former right tackle position is now anchored by sophomore Kyle Tatum, who switched from the defensive line to the offensive line this spring.
*Junior free safety Roman Harper and junior strong safety Charlie Peprah have logged 21 straight starts, while senior cornerback Anthony Madison has started 20 consecutive games.
*Senior Chris James (LCB) has played more games (43) than anyone on the Alabama team without at least one career start.
*Senior Carlos Andrews (FS) has also played in 43 games in his Alabama career, but has started only once.
PENNINGTON NOW UNDER CENTER
*Junior Spencer Pennington (Fayette) became the third different quarterback to start for Alabama this season when he made his second career start at Kentucky on Oct. 9.
*In addition, Pennington is the fourth different starting quarterback in Shula's 20 games as head coach.
*Pennington, subbing for the injured Marc Guillon (sore back) led the Crimson Tide to a 45-17 win over the Wildcats for his first career win at the starting quarterback.
*Pennington is 2-1 (.667) in his UA career as the starting quarterback.
*The junior won his second straight start under center as the Crimson Tide beat No. 24 Southern Miss 27-3 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Oct. 16.
*In the win, Pennington completed only four of nine passes for 72 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
*He engineered the Crimson Tide to a 45-17 win at Kentucky (Oct. 9) in his first start of the 2004 season.
*Against the Wildcats, Pennington completed seven of 11 passes for 83 yards and engineered six scoring drives, including three drives of 78 yards or longer.
*Pennington, who opened the season as the third-string quarterback, replaced Marc Guillon (Chico, Calif.) following the loss to South Carolina on Oct. 2.
*Guillon (Chico, Calif.) made two starts this season in the absence of junior Brodie Croyle (torn ACL).
*Guillon was 0-2 (.000) as the starter, losing two SEC games against Arkansas and South Carolina.
*He suffered a back injury during the week leading up to the Kentucky game was replaced by Pennington.
*Guillon made his first career start on Sept. 25, 2004 in a 27-10 loss at Arkansas.
*Guillon took all 64 snaps under center in his debut with the Crimson Tide.
*The redshirt sophomore completed just six of 18 passes for 54 yards and threw one interception in the loss. He also had one rushing attempt for minus one yard.
*In his second start against South Carolina (Oct. 2), Guillon completed nine of 18 passes for 63 yards and threw two interceptions before being benched in the third quarter.
*Prior to the Arkansas game, Guillon had taken just 18 snaps this season in games against Utah State and Western Carolina.
*He took 15 snaps under center against the Catamounts, leading the Crimson Tide to a pair of second-half touchdowns.
*Guillon was 5-for-7 for 71 yards and one TD in the 52-0 win.
*He made his Crimson Tide debut against Utah State on Sept. 3 and took three snaps at the end of the game, handing the ball off all three times to freshman tailback Aaron Johns.
*Croyle (Rainbow City) started the first three games of the season for Alabama before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third quarter of the Western Carolina game on Sept. 18.
*In those three games, Croyle completed 44 of 66 passes for 534 yards and five touchdowns. He did not have an interception in leading the Crimson Tide to a 3-0 start.
*For the second year in a row, Alabama has used three different starting quarterbacks this season.
*Croyle (3), Pennington (2) and Guillon (2) have each started at least two games for the Crimson Tide this year.
*In fact, Alabama has used four different starting quarterbacks in Shula's 20 games as the Crimson Tide's head coach.
*Alabama also started three different quarterbacks in 2003 in Shula's first season.
*The list of starting quarterbacks last season included Croyle, Pennington and Brandon Avalos.
*Croyle started the first four games of the 2003 season before injuring his shoulder in the double-overtime loss to Arkansas (Sept. 27, 2003).
*Pennington made his first career start on Oct. 4., 2003 at Georgia. He completed nine of 20 passes for 109 yards, with one TD and one interception before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.
*Avalos, the third-string quarterback, started the next week against Southern Miss (Oct. 11) and led UA to a 17-3 win despite just 12 passing yards.
*Prior to the 2003 season, the last time a third-team quarterback eventually started a game for Alabama was Oct. 17, 1987 when Jeff Dunn led the Crimson Tide to a 41-22 win over Tennessee at Legion Field.
*Dunn replaced an ineffective Vince Sutton after a 13-10 loss to Memphis State the previous week (Oct. 10). Sutton had become the starter when David Smith suffered a season-ending injury at Vanderbilt on Sept. 26, 1987.
SECOND QUARTER SUCCESS
*The second quarter has been the most productive quarter for the Crimson Tide this season.
*Alabama has scored 64 points in the second quarter this season and averages almost 10 points per game during the second quarter.
*Alabama has scored during the second quarter in all seven games this season and eight straight games dating back to last season.
*In seven games this year, Alabama is averaging 132.3 yards per game in the second quarter.
*In its last two games, Alabama is 6-of-10 on third down conversions in the second quarter.
UA HAS SEC'S TOP RUSHING OFFENSE
*The Alabama Crimson Tide enters this weekend's game against Tennessee with the best rushing offense in the SEC.
*Alabama leads the league with 243.3 rushing yards per game. Alabama also ranks ninth in the nation in rushing offense this season.
*In seven games, Alabama has rushed the ball 321 times for 1,703 yards and 16 touchdowns.
*The rushing offense has really been emphasized the last two weeks as Alabama has run the ball 114 times for 566 yards.
*Alabama averaged 283 rushing yards per game in wins over Kentucky and Southern Miss.
*In those two wins, Alabama ran the ball 114 times (.851) out of a possible 134 offensive snaps.
*Alabama's best rushing attack of the season came at Kentucky on Oct. 9 as the Tide ran a season-high 63 times for 304 yards in a 45-17 win.
*The 63 rushing attempts and 304 rushing yards were the most in the Shula era.
*The last time Alabama rushed for 300 yards in a game was Sept. 21, 2002 when the Crimson Tide had 64 carries for 351 yards in a 20-7 win over Southern Miss.
*The bulk of the Crimson Tide's rushing offense this season has come from senior tailback Ray Hudson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Kentucky.
*In six games this season, Hudson had 92 rushing attempts for 638 yards and four touchdowns. Hudson was the SEC's second-leading rusher at the time of his injury.
*Sophomores Kenneth Darby (Huntsville) and Tim Castille (Birmingham) and true freshman Aaron Johns (Thomasville) will pick up the rushing load in Hudson's absence.
*Darby is the second-leading rusher on the team and fourth best in the SEC with a 90.6 average this season.
*In seven games, he has rushed the ball 108 times for 634 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns.
*He had a career-high two rushing touchdowns at Kentucky on Oct. 9th.
*Darby had 29 rushing attempts for 197 yards and one TD in the Crimson Tide's 27-3 win over Southern Miss on Oct. 16, his first career start for the Crimson Tide.
*Castille has 55 rushing attempts for 239 yards and five touchdowns in seven games this season. He averages 4.3 yards per carry for the Crimson Tide.
*Darby (6), Castille (5) and Hudson (4) have scored 15 of the Crimson Tide's 16 rushing TDs this season.
*Johns has played in only four games, but got some valuable experience at Kentucky on Oct. 9, when he had a season-high 12 carries for 30 yards in the fourth quarter.
*For the season, Johns has 32 rushing attempts for 136 yards, including 11 carries for a season-high 86 yards in the win over Western Carolina (Sept. 18).
BAMA DEFENSE LEADS SEC
*The Alabama defense has shown marked improvement this season.
*Through seven games, Alabama has allowed 225.57 yards per game to lead the SEC and rank third nationally in total defense.
*Alabama has trimmed 88 yards per game off last year's five-game total entering Saturday's game with Tennessee.
*Last year at this time, the Crimson Tide defense had given up an average of 316.3 yards per game.
*Through seven games in 2003, Alabama ranked sixth in the SEC and 22nd nationally in total defense.
*Alabama also leads the SEC this season in pass defense (103 yards) and pass efficiency defense (81.92 rating).
*On the national scale, Alabama leads the nation with its 81.92 pass efficiency defense rating.
*The Crimson Tide also ranks second in pass defense (103 yards), third in total defense (225.57) and ninth in scoring defense (13.0 ppg) through seven games.
*One stat that jumps off the page is the improvement in pass defense from since last season.
*The Alabama defense has allowed just 103 passing yards per game, compared to 217.7 yards per game last year, an improvement of more 100 yards per game.
Alabama has scored at least 40 points in three games in a season for the first time since 1993 ... The last time UA scored 40 or more points four times in a season was 1991 ... UA's 45 points at Kentucky (Oct. 9) are the most in an SEC game since a 45-7 win over Ole Miss in 2000 ... The 45 points are also the most in an SEC road game since a 48-17 win over Vanderbilt in 1991 ... Alabama continues to lead the SEC in rushing (243.3) ... Alabama also leads the SEC in time of possession (33:59) ... Alabama held the ball for 41:05 in its win at UK on Oct. 9th ... The last time Alabama held the ball for more than 40 minutes was the 1999 SEC Championship game against Florida (40:11 TOP) ... The Crimson Tide's average time of possession in their 32 scoring drives this season is 2:45 ... Alabama has 14 scoring drives of less than two minutes ... Bama has eight scoring drives of more than five minutes ... UA's 99-yard scoring drive against Kentucky (14-99-7:30) is the longest in the SEC this season ... The Crimson Tide also logged a 98-yard scoring drive against Ole Miss (10 plays, 5:24 TOP) earlier this year ... Alabama had two scoring drive of 85 yards or more in the Ole Miss game ... Bama has five scoring drives this season of 80 or more yards ... Alabama ranks last in the SEC in passing offense (126.3) ... In the last four games, Alabama has thrown for 279 total yards and has not surpassed 100 yards in any of four games ... Bama has only one touchdown pass in its last four games, compared to six TD passes in the first three games ... The offensive line has allowed only seven sacks this season ... The Bama o-line did not allow a sack against Western Carolina, Arkansas or Kentucky ... Sophomore receiver Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) is the only UA player with at least one pass reception in all seven games this season ... Prothro has at least one reception in 13 of his 16 games at UA, including 13 straight ... Sophomore fullback Tim Castille (Birmingham) does not have a pass reception in his last two games ... He did not catch a pass at Kentucky (Oct. 9) to snap his streak of 13 consecutive games with at least one reception ... Castille has caught at least one pass in 16 of his 19 games at UA ... Bama quarterbacks Brodie Croyle (7-9), Spencer Pennington (2-1) and Marc Guillon (0-2) are a combined 9-12 (.429) in their 21 career starts for the Tide ... Alabama is 5-0 this season when scoring first ...Under coach Shula, Alabama is 8-4 (.667) when scoring first ... Bama is 0-2 (.000) this season when opponents score first ... Under Shula, Alabama is 1-7 (.125) when opponents score first, including a seven-game losing streak ... Alabama has scored 64 second-quarter points, the most in any quarter this year ... UA has scored in the second quarter in all seven games this season and in eight straight games dating back to last year ... Alabama is 25-for-28 (.893) in the "red zone" this season, with 18 touchdowns ... The Crimson Tide's "red zone" successes have resulted in 162 points this season ... Alabama has 19 plays this season of 25 or more yards and eight plays of 40 or more yards ... Alabama has scored via the rush, pass, interception return and punt return ... Alabama has scored 66 points off turnovers this season, including 14 in each of the last two weeks against Kentucky (Oct. 9) and Southern Miss (Oct. 16) ... Alabama has played two turnover-free games this season (Utah State and Kentucky) ... The last time Alabama did not commit a turnover in an SEC game was Nov. 9, 2002 against Miss. State ... The last time UA did not have a turnover in an SEC road game was Nov. 2, 2002 at Vanderbilt ... Alabama threw a season-high four interceptions in its loss to South Carolina (Oct. 2) ... The Crimson Tide opened the season with 77 pass attempts before its first interception ... All five of UA's interceptions this season have come in two games (Arkansas and South Carolina) ...
Alabama has forced an SEC-best 50 three-and-outs this season ... Bama leads the nation in pass efficiency defense (81.92) this week ... Alabama also leads the SEC in passing defense (103.0) and total defense (225.6) ... The Crimson Tide ranks in the Top 10 nationally in passing defense (2nd), total defense (3rd) and scoring defense (9th) ... UA has allowed only 140 total passing yards in the second half in its last five games ... Opponents are averaging just 28 passing yards in the third and fourth quarter the last five weeks against the Tide defense ... Bama's defense is third in the SEC this season with the fewest TDs (11) allowed ... The Crimson Tide held Southern Miss to just 23 total passing yards in its 27-3 win on Oct. 16th ... It was the fewest passing yards allowed by Alabama since limiting Southern Miss to 21 passing yards in 2001 ... Alabama has held Southern Miss without an offensive TD in its last three meetings ... Alabama defense held Kentucky to 29 total yards (19 snaps) in the final 27:17 of the game in Lexington ... During that time, Alabama also forced three turnovers and blocked one punt ... Senior linebacker Cornelius Wortham (Calhoun City, Miss.) recorded his 200th career tackle against South Carolina ... He now has 211 career stops for the Tide ... Junior free safety Roman Harper (Prattville) is just two tackles shy of 200 career tackles ... Harper is second on the team and fourth among SEC defensive backs with total 42 tackles this season ... Wortham leads Alabama in and is fourth among SEC linebackers with 46 total tackles ... He also ranks 14th in the league with 6.6 stops per game ... Harper leads UA with 27 solo stops ... Freshman defensive tackle Wallace Gillberry (Bay Minette) is sixth in the SEC with three QB sacks ... Senior cornerback Anthony Madison (Thomasville) is third in the SEC with eight passes defended ... Freshman cornerback Simeon Castille (Birmingham) is eight in the SEC with five passes defended ... Alabama has forced 17 turnovers this season ... UA has scored on 10 of those turnovers, resulting in 66 points, including a 31-yard interception return by Simeon Castille in the season opener against Utah State ... Bama has allowed only 10 plays this season of 25 or more yards ... The Crimson Tide has allowed just one play of more than 25 yards (38-yard TD pass at UK) in its last two games ... Alabama has the second-best "red zone" defense in the SEC this season ... UA opponents are 11-for-16 (.688) this season, with eight TDs ... Alabama allowed only 17 "red zone" points (3-for-5) in its five wins this season ... UA has allowed 47 "red zone" points (8-for-11) in its two losses ... The UA defense has pitched a shutout in 16 of 28 quarters this season ... In a three-game stretch with Ole Miss, Western Carolina and Arkansas, the Alabama defense allowed only 14 points in 11 quarters ... Alabama is the only team in the SEC with at least one shutout in each of the last three seasons ...
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTEBOOK:
The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in punting average (41.8) and net punting average (40.3) this season ... Alabama's 40.4 net punting mark is the 10th best average in among Division I teams ... Tennessee ranks second in the league in punting (41.6) and net punting (40.3) average this season ... UA continues to lead the NCAA in kickoff returns (34.14) this season ... Tyrone Prothro leads the SEC with a 35.4 kickoff return average ... He would lead the NCAA in kickoff returns but falls just shy of the NCAA minimum (1.2 returns per game) through seven games ... Prothro tied the Alabama record with a 100-yard kickoff return against Kentucky on Oct. 9th ... It was the seventh 100-yard kickoff return in school history and first since 1988 ... He had two kickoff returns at Kentucky (125 yards) for a 62.5 yard average ... In his last three games, Prothro has five kick returns (216 yds) for a 43.2 yard average ... Brandon Brooks (Birmingham) is averaging 32.5 yards per kickoff return this season, which would be second in the SEC and fifth nationally is he had the NCAA required minimum (1.2 per game) number of returns ... By contrast, Alabama is 11th in the SEC and 94th in the NCAA with a 6.4-yard punt return average this season ... Senior kicker Brian Bostick has made all but three kicks (35 of 38) this season ... He has made all 27 PAT attempts and is 8-for-11 in field goals ... Bostick ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring and is third among SEC kickers with 7.3 points per game ... Redshirt freshman Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) handles the kickoffs for the Tide ... Christensen has 15 touchbacks in 42 kickoffs this season ... He had four touchbacks in six kickoff attempts against Southern Miss (Oct. 16th) ... Freshman Marcel Stamps (Brantley) had a blocked punt return (29 yards) for a touchdown against Western Carolina ... Anthony Madison recorded his first blocked punt of the season at Kentucky ... It was the second of his UA career ...
*Alabama and Tennessee are meeting for the 87th time this Saturday in Knoxville. The Crimson Tide holds a 43-36-7 (.562) all-time series lead over the Volunteers in a series that dates back to the 1901 season.
*UT has won eight of the last nine meetings, including last year's 51-43 five-overtime epic in Tuscaloosa.
*During that stretch, Tennessee posted a seven-game winning streak (1995-2001) over Alabama.
*The Vols' seven-game winning streak is the longest in series history against the Crimson Tide. UT 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 a seven-game series losing streak with a 34-13 win over UT in the last meeting (2002) in Knoxville.
*Alabama will be looking for its second straight win in Neyland Stadium for the first time since 1992 and 1994. In fact, UA won five straight games in Knoxville from 1986-94.
*One of college football's most colorful series celebrates its 87th renewal this Saturday as the Tennessee Volunteers host the Alabama Crimson Tide in Knoxville.
*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 a 9-1-1 record in the first 11 meetings with Tennessee, including seven 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 over Tennessee in 1963.
*The Vols snapped Bama'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).
*Bama 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.
*The 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.
*The Crimson Tide won its last game in Knoxville to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Volunteers. Santonio Beard ran for 65 yards and two TDs for the Crimson Tide, while Brodie Croyle a 5-for-7 for 128 yards through the air.
*Alabama also forced a season-high six turnovers (three INTs and three fumbles) in the win over Tennessee.
*The Vols won last year's meeting in Tuscaloosa, posting a 51-43 win in an epic five-overtime thriller.
*The game was tied 17-17 at the end of regulation before the overtime fireworks began.
*Alabama head coach Mike Shula is 0-1 (.000) in his coaching career against Tennessee.
*As the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback (1984-86), Shula was 1-2 (.333) against the Vols, winning 56-28 in Knoxville in 1986.
*Overall, Shula is 1-3 (.250) against the Vols as a player and head coach.
*The 2004 season will be his first trip to Neyland Stadium since leading Alabama to a 56-28 win over Tennessee in 1986.
*Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer has a 9-2 (.818) record against Alabama.
*The Crimson Tide and Volunteers have also combined to win 34 SEC Championships. Alabama heads the list with 21 crowns, including 15 outright titles. Tennessee is second with 13 league titles, including nine outright.
*The Tennessee game is the longest current running series in the UA record books. Tennessee and Alabama are meeting for the 75th consecutive year (neither team fielded a football team in 1943).
*Here is a look at the Crimson Tide's longest current series with SEC teams.
LONGEST CONSECUTIVE GAME STREAKS
Opponent Streak Series Began
Tennessee 75 1928
Auburn 56 1948
Miss. State 56 1948
*Vanderbilt 50 1953
*Alabama's 86 games with Tennessee is the second-most in school history against one team.
MOST GAMES VS. OPPONENT
Opponent Games 1st Meeting
Miss. State 88 1896
Tennessee 87 1901
Vanderbilt 79 1903
Auburn 67 1892
LSU 67 1895
*True freshman tailback Theo Townsend (Antioch) is the only Crimson Tide player from the state of Tennessee. Townsend has not played in the first seven games and is likely headed for a redshirt season at Alabama.
*Tennessee has four players on its roster from Alabama including sophomore receiver Jayson Swain (Hunstville), junior defensive back Jason Allen (Muscle Shoals), senior tailback Corey Larkins (Opelika) and sophomore offensive lineman Aaron Sears (Russellville).
*Alabama running backs coach Sparky Woods' son, Casey, is a walk-on receiver at Tennessee.
*Tennessee assistant head coach and defensive coordinator John Chavis is a former assistant coach at Alabama A&M (1980-83, 1986-88) and Alabama State (1984-85).
*Tennessee quarterbacks coach Pat Washington played collegiately at Auburn under former head coach Pat Dye from 1982-85.
*Washington is a native of Mobile, Ala., and prepped at Murphy High School before signing with Auburn.
*Tennessee sophomore offensive tackle Michael Munoz (Mason, Ohio) is the son of NFL Hall of Famer, Anthony Munoz. The elder Munoz played at Southern California and went head-to-head with Alabama twice, losing in 1977 (21-20) in Los Angeles and winning in 1978 (24-14) at Legion Field.
ALABAMA ON THE TUBE
*Alabama has compiled a 151-95-5 (.612) all-time record on television since its first televised game in 1951.
*The South Carolina game was Alabama's 250th all-time television appearance since 1951.
*The Tennessee game will be Alabama's fifth television appearance of the season and fourth in the last five games.
*Last year's Ole Miss game (Oct. 18, 2003) marked Alabama's 200th televised regular-season game.
*The Crimson Tide has compiled a 126-78-3 (.616) record in 207 regular-season TV games.
ALABAMA'S ROAD RECORD
Alabama has compiled a 226-117-12 (.653) all-time road record in 355 games.
*The above record does not include neutral site games, bowl games or the Alabama-Auburn game played at Legion Field from 1948-88.
*Alabama is 2-5 (.286) on the road in the Shula era, including a 1-1 mark this season.
*The Crimson Tide was 1-4 (.200) on the road last season.
*Alabama is 9-8 (.529) in its last 17 road games, including a 7-5 (.583) mark in its last 12 SEC road games.
*Historically Alabama has been a strong road team.
*From 1970-75, Alabama won a school record 21 consecutive road games.
*From 1970-82, Alabama was 35-6 (.854) in 41 road games.
*Since 1982, Alabama is 61-30-1 (.668) on the road.