Oct. 23, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama is second nationally in non-offensive touchdowns this season. The UA special teams has contributed two of those five non-offensive scores with an 87-yard punt return by Javier Arenas and an 17-yard punt return by Chris Rogers, both coming in the Tulane game on Sept. 6. Read about the UA special teams in this week's notebook on RollTide.com.
TIDE 2ND NATIONALLY IN NON-OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS: Alabama is second nationally in the Football Bowl Subdivision with five non-offensive touchdowns in 2008. 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 4-yard fumble return by Rolando McClain. UA is joined by Missouri (4 INT, 1 KOR) and Florida (3 INT, 2 PR) while all three teams trail Kansas State, who has five punt returns and one fumble return on the year for six non-offensive touchdowns.
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. For the season, Tiffin has converted all 26 extra point attempts, giving him 64 in a row, dating back to the 2006 season. He has also made 10 of 14 field goals this season, including a 24-yard field goal in the Tide's 17-14 win over Kentucky. Dating back to 2006, Tiffin has made 29 of his last 37 field goal attempts. 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.
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. Fitzgerald averaged 39.7 yards in his seven punts against Ole Miss, but landed three inside the 20-yard line, which equaled his total through UA's first six games.
TIDE TIDBITS: Junior Javier Arenas is fourth in the SEC in punt return (15.85) and kickoff return (25.90) yards and 10th in all-purpose yards (91.29) through seven games ... Junior kicker Leigh Tiffin is fourth in the league in field goals (1.84) per game and tied for 5th in the SEC in points (8.0) per game ... Fitzgerald had three punts inside the 20-yard line last week against Ole Miss ... He had dropped only three punts in the 20-yard line in his first six games of 2008 ... Arenas had 118 all-purpose yards last week against Mississippi, his second-highest total of the season ... He had a season-high 218 yards against Tulane, including a 87-yard punt return ... Tiffin has made 64 consecutive extra points, dating back to the 2006 season.