Oct. 21, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama is averaging 41.33 points per game in its three road games this season against then-No. 9 Clemson, Arkansas and then-No. 3 Georgia. Senior quarterback John Parker Wilson has completed 68 percent of his passes in those three wins. Check out this week’s offensive notebook on RollTide.com.
JPW ON THE ROAD: Wilson has quarterbacked the Crimson Tide to a 7-0 record and a No. 2 national ranking as a senior. But his play on the road in 2008 has been a key to his team’s performance. The Hoover, Ala. native has completed 68.3 percent of his passes away from Bryant-Denny Stadium for 459 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He led the Tide to wins over top 10 foes Clemson (at the Georgia Dome) and Georgia away from home as well as a 49-14 win at Arkansas. Wilson threw for 180 yards against the Tigers in Atlanta with two touchdowns and followed with 205 yards and a score in Athens. In Wilson’s last trip to Neyland Stadium in 2006, he completed 13-of-29 passes for 158 yards in a 16-13 loss.
Wilson's 2008 Stats Away From Home
vs. Clemson - 22 of 30 for 180 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
at Arkansas - 6 of 14, 74 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
at Georgia - 13 of 16, 205 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
2008 Totals - 41 fo 60, 459 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
WILSON NAMED JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM FINALIST: Wilson was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The prestigious Golden Arm Award is presented annually to the nation’s top senior quarterback by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. Seven games into his senior season; Wilson has guided the Crimson Tide to a 7-0 record and a No. 2 national ranking. The Hoover, Ala., native has passed for 1,082 yards while completing 60.5 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns. The 2008 winner will be presented with the Golden Arm Award at the Tremont Grand Meeting & Banquet Facility in downtown Baltimore, Md., on Dec. 5.
FAST-STARTING TIDE: Alabama allowed its first first-quarter points of the season against Mississippi, but still outscored the Rebels 7-3 and finished the half with a 24-3 lead. The Crimson Tide has outscored its opposition this season a combined 171-23 in the first half, including a 95-3 edge in the first quarter of its first seven 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 an 83-20 edge in second-quarter scoring this season.
Alabama’s First-Half Scoring Advantage
Game 1st Qtr 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
Mississippi 7-3 24-3
Totals 95-3 171-23
OUT IN FRONT: Alabama has trailed for a total of 1:15 over the last eight games dating back to a loss at Auburn in 2007. The Crimson Tide have been tied 0-0 to start the game or led in just under 479 of the last 480 minutes of football. In those six of those seven games (Mississippi), Alabama has scored in the first quarter to take an early lead and held that lead for 433:50 of those games. The Tide has spent 44:55 tied at 0-0 to begin those games.
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 (32:44) currently leads the SEC and ranks tied for seventh nationally in time of possession. The Crimson Tide have won the time of possession battle in five of seven games this season and have had the ball 37:18 more than its opponents this season (229:09/191:51).
O-LINE EXPERIENCE: Alabama’s offensive line has been a dominant force early in the 2008 season. The Crimson Tide ranks 19th nationally in rushing - with the No. 18 individual rusher Glen Coffee (108.57) - and have physically dominated their opposition. A big reason for their success is their ability to play as a cohesive unit. Coming into the Tennessee game, the five have combined to start 119 games over their careers – Antoine Caldwell (41 starts), Andre Smith (32 starts), Mike Johnson (20 starts), Marlon Davis (19 starts) & Drew Davis (7 starts).
THIRD DOWN SUCCESS: The Alabama offense has been outstanding at converting third downs in 2008. The Crimson Tide is fourth in the SEC and 40th nationally by converting 43.3 percent (39 of 90) 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 3 for 3 in fourth-down situations this season.
TIDE TIDBITS: Alabama has the top-ranked rushing offense (209.29 yards per game) in the SEC this season … That figure also ranks 19th nationally … The Crimson Tide is second in the league in scoring, averaging 32.29 points per game … Alabama is third in the league in passing efficiency, with a 131.81 rating … Junior running back Glen Coffee is third in the league with 108.57 rushing yards per game … Julio Jones is ninth in the league with 48.71 receiving yards per game.