Countdown to Kickoff
Alabama Begins Preparations for Florida International



October 28, 2006 -- Bryant-Denny Stadium (92,138) -- Tuscaloosa, Alabama
2:07 p.m. (CDT) -- 2006 Homecoming -- CSTM Pay-Per-View

ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:  Alabama celebrates its 86th homecoming this weekend ... The Crimson Tide has posted a 71-13-1 all-time record in homecoming games, including a four-game winning streak ... Alabama is 14-0 against Sun Belt Conference teams, including a 41-7 win over Louisiana Monroe on Sept. 16th ... Florida International will be Alabama’s 122nd different football opponent ... Alabama is 89-30-2 (.743) all-time against first-time opponents ... Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson set the UA single-season record with seven straight 200-yard games in his first seven games of the season ... The streak ended at Tennessee on Oct. 21st ... Wilson needs one more 200-yard game to match Gary Hollingsworth’s single-season record of eight 200-yard games set in 1989 ...Junior wide receiver DJ Hall has five straight 100-yard games ... In those five games, he has caught 31 passes for 606 yards and four touchdowns ... He is averaging 6.2 receptions and 121.2 yards per game during the streak ... Hall owns the UA single-season (5) and career (8) record for 100-yard games ... The UA offense has not had a turnover in the last two games ... Bama is 8-3 all-time on October 28 ...


The University of Alabama welcomes back its many alumni as the Crimson Tide celebrates its 87th Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 28 against the Florida International Golden Panthers.  The annual homecoming game will kickoff at 2:07 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised by the Crimson Tide Sports Network on a pay-per-view basis with David Crane  (play-by-play), Tyler Watts (color) and Chris Stewart (sideline reporter) handling the call.  The game will also be carried on the 65-station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (analyst) and Tom Roberts (sideline reporter). Alabama (5-3, 2-3 SEC) is coming off a 16-13 loss at No. 7 Tennessee last Saturday in Knoxville.  The Crimson Tide owned a 13-9 lead with just over five minutes to play before the Vols mounted a 70-yard drive for the game-winning touchdown.  Florida International (0-7) brings the nation’s fourth-longest losing streak to Tuscaloosa on Saturday.  FIU is coming off a 35-0 loss to Miami, Fla. on Oct. 14 at the Orange Bowl.  The Golden Panthers did not play last weekend. 


Alabama head football coach Mike Shula (Alabama, 1986) is in his fourth season with the Crimson Tide and has compiled a 25-20 (.556) record.  Shula’s teams have made progress each season under his watch.  After a 4-9 mark in his rookie campaign in 2003, Alabama went 6-6 in 2004 and finished with a No. 8 national ranking after last year’s 10-2 mark and Cotton Bowl win over Texas Tech.  Shula was named Alabama’s 26th head coach just 114 days prior to the start of the 2003 season and did not have a spring practice session.  He 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 the Crimson Tide to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn. Florida International head coach Don Strock (Virginia Tech, 1973) is in his fourth season as head coach of the Golden Panthers.  Strock is 15-36 (.294) in his career and is the only coach in FIU history.  Strock is best known for his playing days in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, where he played mostly as a backup quarterback for Coach Don Shula.  In 14 seasons at Miami, Strock completed 388-of-688 passes for 4,613 yards and 39 touchdowns and received much credit for the development of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, early in his illustrious career.  Despite spending almost his entire career as a backup, Strock is in the franchise’s top five in most career passing categories, including yards, touchdowns, attempts, completions and consecutive completions.  He has a higher career completion percentage than NFL Hall of Famer Bob Griese.  Strock was a two-time All-American at Virginia Tech.  He still holds the school’s single-game passing record with 527 yards against Houston in 1972.


Alabama returns to Southeastern Conference action next Saturday, Nov. 4 when the Crimson Tide hosts Mississippi State at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be regionally televised by Lincoln Financial Sports with kickoff set for 11:30 a.m. (CST). 


*The University of Alabama tradition of Homecoming Week events will continue this year on Oct. 22-28 with the theme “175 Years of Crimson Glory ... Welcome Home.”

*The celebration began with the 17th annual Roll Tide Run on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. The run will begin on Capstone Drive, with registration held at the rear entrance of Gorgas Library.

*Paint the Town Red took place Monday, Oct. 23 from 1-4 p.m. as campus organizations show their school spirit across Tuscaloosa. At 9:30 p.m., the UA Homecoming Bowling Tournament will take place at Bama Bowl.

*Also on that Monday beginning at 10 a.m. in front of Hardaway Hall, students will build a storage shed to be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

*The building project will last all week with the finished product on display in the Homecoming Parade. The shed will be delivered to the local Habitat chapter for use in their building program.

*Tuesday, Oct. 24 will featured Homecoming Queen Elections from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. in the Ferguson Center.

*Also, “The Urban Comedy Tour” will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Ferguson Theater. Students can also participate in a basketball tournament at 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

*On Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. University Programs will present a comedy show in the Ferguson Theater.

*Dodgeball will also begin at 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

*Events on Thursday, Oct. 26 include the annual choreography contest in Coleman Coliseum at 7 p.m., the Battle of the Bands from 8 p.m.-midnight, location to be announced, and the banner competition judging at 5 p.m.

*The events scheduled for Friday, Oct. 27 also include the judging of the lawn decorations and Paint the Town Red competition at 1 p.m.

*The bonfire and Homecoming Pep Rally will be held Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. on the UA Quad.

*After the pep rally and bonfire, at approximately 9 p.m., University Programs will present the Homecoming Concert featuring two music acts -- country singer Neal McCoy and the Ying Yang Twins rap duo -- live on the Quad.

*The NPHC step show will also be held that Friday at 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

*The Homecoming Parade will take place Saturday, Oct. 28 at 9 a.m., going from downtown Tuscaloosa to the UA campus.

*Former Tide star Jay Barker, UA quarterback from 1991-1995, will serve as Grand Marshal. Barker finished his career as one of the most successful quarterback in Alabama history, receiving All-American honors as well as the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.


*The Crimson Tide will play its 86th Homecoming football game this Saturday as they host the Utah State Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  

*Alabama has compiled a 71-13-1 (.839) all-time homecoming record, including last year’s 38-3 win over Utah State.

*The Crimson Tide has won its last four homecoming games, its longest winning streak since a a six-game winning streak from 1991-96.

*Since 1988, UA is 11-5 (.688) in its last 16 homecoming games.

*Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was a perfect 25-0 (1.000) in homecoming games at Alabama. 

*In addition, the Crimson Tide won a school record 26 consecutive homecoming games from 1958-83.

*The entire 1987 season, including Bama’s 38-10 homecoming win over Southwestern Louisiana,  was played in Birmingham’s Legion Field due to stadium renovations at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

*Alabama’s most common homecoming opponent is Mississippi State.  The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs have met 24 times, with Alabama posting a 20-4 record against MSU.


*This will be the first meeting ever between Alabama and Florida International.


*The Alabama roster contains 11 players from the state of Florida. 


Player, Pos.                             Hometown

Javier Arenas, PR                   Tampa

Keith Brown, WR                     Pensacola

Glen Coffee, RB                       Ft. Walton Beach

DJ Hall, WR                             Ft. Walton Beach

Marquis Johnson, DB              Sarasota

Mike Johnson, OL                   Pensacola

Charlie Kirschman, DL            St. Augustine

Will Oakley, WR                       Ponte Vedra

Chris Rogers, LB                     Lakeland

Roy Upchurch, RB                   Tallahassee


*Alabama is 14-0 (1.000) against the current Sun Belt Conference field. 

*The Crimson Tide has played only four Sun Belt Conference teams and have added two more to the list (ULM and FIU) this season.


Opponent                                 Record

Louisiana Lafayette                 8-0

Middle Tennessee                   2-0

North Texas                             2-0

Arkansas State                        1-0

Louisiana Monroe                   1-0


*Florida International will be playing its first game against an SEC school when the Panthers take on Alabama this Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.


*Alabama owns a 42-17-1 (.708) record against teams from the state of Florida.

*FIU is the second team from the state of Florida the Crimson Tide has faced this season.  Alabama lost at No. 5 Florida, 28-13, on Sept. 30 in Gainesville.


Opponent                                 Record

Central Florida                        0-1

Florida                                     21-13

Florida State                           2-0-1

Miami, Fla.                              14-3

Pensacola Athletic Club          1-0

Pensacola N.A.S.                    2-0

South Florida                          1-0

Tampa                                     1-0


*FIU is 0-2 (.000) all-time against teams from the state of Alabama.

*The Crimson Tide will be just the second team from the state of Alabama to play against FIU.

*Both of FIU’s losses have come to Troy.

*The Panthers and Trojans will meet again, on Dec. 2, 2006, in Troy, marking FIU’s second trip to the state of Alabama this season.


*Florida International head coach Don Strock has many ties to the Shula family and the Alabama football program.

*He played collegiately at Virginia Tech (1970-72) and was a third-team Associated Press All-American in 1972.

*He was recruited to Virginia Tech by then-head coach Jerry Claiborne, who played for Paul “Bear” Bryant at Kentucky.

*Strock played two seasons under Claiborne and then played his senior season under coach Charlie Coffey, who succeeded Claiborne, who left Virginia Tech for Maryland after the 1972 season.

*Virginia Tech and Alabama met twice   during Strock’s playing days in Blacksburg.

*Alabama was 2-0 in those three meetings and won by a combined 103-31 score.

*The Crimson Tide defeated the Hokies, 51-18, on Sept. 19, 1970, at Legion Field during Strock’s sophomore season.

*Alabama also beat Virginia Tech, 52-13, on Nov. 18, 1972, in Tuscaloosa.

*Strock completed 15 of 35 passes for 98 yards in the loss, with one touchdown and four interceptions.

*Strock’s outstanding college career involved a pass-oriented offense at Virginia Tech.  There, he completed 628 of 1,174 (53.5 percent) pass attempts for 6,009 yards that still stands as Tech’s career record. 

*He led the nation in passing as a senior with a Tech single-season record 3,243 yards.

*He was selected to play in the 1973 Blue-Gray All-Star Game in Montgomery, Ala. 

*He also played in the 1973 Hula Bowl.

*Following his collegiate career, Strock was a fifth-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins.

*He played for NFL Hall of Famer, Don Shula, during his days with the Dolphins.

*In 14 years (1974-87) with the Dolphins, he completed 388-of-688 passes for 4,613 yards and 39 touchdowns and received much credit for the development of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, early in his illustrious playing career.

*Despite spending almost his entire playing career as a backup, Strock is in the franchise’s top five in most passing categories, including attempts, completions, consecutive completions, completion percentage, yards and touchdowns.

*His 56.4 career completion percentage is higher than NFL Hall of Famer Bob Griese’s career total.

*Strock has also had coaching stints in the Arena Football League and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

*He is the first and only head coach in FIU annals.  He built the program from scratch and has moved from Division I-AA to Division I-A status during his tenure.

*Former Alabama and Miami Dolphins running back Tony Nathan, served as FIU’s running backs coach from 2000-05.  He left the Golden Panthers after the 2005 season and now works for the Baltimore Ravens and his former UA teammate Ozzie Newsome.


*Florida International is the second straight team to have a bye week before they play Alabama. Tennessee also had an extra week to prepare heading into last weekend. 

*The last game for the Golden Panthers was a 35-0 loss to Miami, a game in which fight broke out and 18 FIU players are  suspended for the Alabama game.

*Three weeks ago FIU tied a NCAA record with a seven-overtime game against North Texas, falling 25-22. Five of their seven losses have come by less than seven points.

*The Golden Panther’s defense leads the nation in tackles for a loss, averaging 9.43 per game.

*The FIU offense has struggled this season ranking 114th in total offense (253.43 ypg.) and rushing offense (72.71 ypg.). They are also 111th in scoring offense (13.14 ppg.) and are last in the country in net punting with an average of 26.11 per kick.

*Chandler Williams has been the bright spot on offense for the Golden Panthers. He is 14th in the nation with 6.14 receptions per game and 61st with 62.43 receiving yards per outing. He is second in the Sun Belt Conference in both categories.

*Keyonvis Bouie is averaging 10.14 tackles per game, good for 11th among the national leaders. He leads the Sun Belt in that category.

*Antwan Barnes leads the Sun Belt Conference with 0.71 sacks per game. He ranks 26th in the nation in sacks.

*Lionell Singleton is sixth in the country with 0.71 interceptions per game. He leads the Sun Belt Conference in picks.

*The FIU defense is tops in the conference in pass efficiency defense, holding opponents to a mark of 112.44.


*Florida International will be Alabama’s 122nd different football opponent and second of the 2006 season.

*The Crimson Tide also played Lousiana Monroe for the first time in school history on Sept. 16, 2006.  Alabama won the game, 41-7.

*Alabama has compiled an 89-30-2 (.743)  all-time record against first-time opponents.

*The Crimson Tide is 74-21-1 (.776) during the regular season against first-time foes.

*Alabama also owns a 15-9 (.625) record in bowl games when playing an opponent for the first time.

*The FIU game will mark the eighth first-time opponent the Crimson Tide has faced under Coach Shula.

*Alabama is 5-2 (.714) in those previous seven games, with losses to Northern Illinois (2003) and Minnesota (2004).

*The five wins under Shula have come against South Florida (2003), Utah State (2004), Western Carolina (2004), Texas Tech (2005) and Louisiana Monroe (2006).

*The 1999 season is the last time Alabama did not play a first-time opponent.


*Sophomore quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) set the Alabama single-season record by throwing for 200 or more yards in seven consecutive games.

*The previous record was five consecutive 200-yard games by Gary Hollingsworth in 1989-90.

*Wilson threw for 200 or more yards in each of his first seven starts for the Crimson Tide, including a career-high 243 yards in a 24-23 double-overtime loss at Arkansas on Sept. 23.

*Wilson’s streak ended when he threw for 158 yards in a 16-13 loss at No. 7 Tennessee on Oct. 21 in Knoxville.

*He is just one 200-yard passing game away from tying the UA single-season mark of eight set by Hollingsworth in 1989.

*He is currently tied for fifth all-time at Alabama with seven career 200-yard games.  The UA career record is 14, 200-yard games by Brodie Croyle (2002-2005) and Andrew Zow (1998-2001).


Player, Year                                             Total

John Parker Wilson, 2006                       7

Gary Hollingsworth, 1989-90                  5

Mike Shula, 1985                                    4


Player, Year                                             Total

Gary Hollingsworth, 1989                        8

John Parker Wilson, 2006                       7

Scott Hunter, 1969                                  6

Andrew Zow, 1998                                  6

Brodie Croyle, 2003                                6

Brodie Croyle, 2005                                6


Player, Year                                             Total

Brodie Croyle, 2002-05                          14

Andrew Zow, 1998-2001                        14

Scott Hunter, 1968-70                              9

Gary Hollingsworth, 1989-90                    9

Freddie Kitchens, 1993, 1995-97             8

Jay Barker, 1991-94                                 7

Walter Lewis, 1980-83                              7

John Parker Wilson, 2006-                       7


*DJ Hall has already eclipsed the Alabama single-season and career marks for 100-yard games.

*Hall owns the single-season standard with five this year, breaking the old mark of four set by NFL Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome in 1977.

*He broke Newsome’s single-season standard when he caught seven passes for 102 yards in a 16-13 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 21 for his fifth 100-yard game of the season.

*Hall also owns the Alabama career record with eight, 100-yard games.  The previous record was six 100-yard games held by Newsome from 1974-77.

*Hall broke the all-time record with his sixth career 100-yard game against Ole Miss (5-119-1) on Oct. 14, 2006 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

MOST 100-YARD GAMES (Career)

Total        Player (Years)

 8             DJ Hall (2004-06)

 6             Ozzie Newsome (1974-77)

 5             David Bailey (1969-71)

 5             Dennis Homan (1965-67)

 4             Freddie Milons (1998-01)

 4             Wayne Wheeler (1971-73)

 4             David Palmer (1991-93)

MOST 100-YARD GAMES (Season)

Total        Player (Year)

 5             DJ Hall (2006)

 4             Ozzie Newsome (1977)

 3             Freddie Milons (1999)

 3             David Palmer (1993)

 3             David Bailey (1969)


Yards                                       Opponent (Year)

130                                          Southern Miss (2005)

139                                          Tennessee (2005)

157                                          Utah State (2005)

144                                          Arkansas (2006)

117                                          Florida (2006)

124                                          Duke (2006)

119                                          Ole Miss (2006)

102                                          Tennessee (2006)


Yards                                       Opponent (Year)

112                                          Southern Miss (1975)

145                                          Notre Dame (1976)

132                                          Nebraska (1977)

124                                          Louisville (1977)

106                                          Miami (1977)

119                                          Auburn (1977)


*Hall will be looking to extend his own record Saturday, Oct. 28 against Florida International as the junior seeks his sixth  consecutive 100-yard receiving game.

*Hall set the Alabama standard on Oct. 14, 2006 against Ole Miss when he caught five passes for 119 yards and one touchdown for his fourth straight 100-yard game.

*The previous record for consecutive 100-yard games was held by Freddie Milons, who had three in-a-row against Arkansas, Florida and Ole Miss in 1999.

*During his five-game streak, Hall has caught 31 passes for 606 yards and four touchdowns.

*He is averaging 6.2 catches and 121.2 yards per game over those five games.

DJ Hall’s Consecutive 100-Yard Games

Yards       Opponent                 Date

144          at Arkansas             Sept. 23, 2006

117          at Florida                 Sept. 30, 2006

124          Duke                        Oct. 7, 2006

119          Ole Miss                  Oct. 14, 2006

102          at Tennessee           Oct. 21, 2006

Freddie Milons’ Consecutive 100-Yard Games

Yards       Opponent                 Date

109          Arkansas                 Sept. 25, 1999

119          at Florida                 Oct. 2, 1999

133          at Ole Miss              Oct. 16, 1999


*Alabama junior wide receivers Keith Brown (Pensacola) and DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) have combined for the second-most receiving yards in the nation through seven games.

*Brown and Hall have combined for 1,218 yards entering Saturday’s game against Florida International.

*New Mexico State’s duo of Chris Williams and Derek Dubois lead all NCAA receivers with 1,356 combined yards this season.

*LSU’s duo of Dwayne Bowe (620) and Craig Davis (595) have forged into third place with 1,215 yards, just three yards behind Alabama’s second-place total.

*Ohio State’s duo of Anthony Gonzaelz (591) and Ted Ginn, Jr., (589) are fourth this week with 1,180 yards.

*Tennessee’s double threat of Robert Meachem (762) and Jayson Swain (451) dropped to fifth this week with 1,173 yards.


*Alabama leads the SEC and ranks fourth nationally with a +1.38 turnover margin per game this season.

*The Crimson Tide has forced 20 turnovers in its first eight games, an average of 2.5  per game.

*Alabama’s 20 forced turnovers leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally heading into this week’s game with Florida International.

*The Crimson Tide defense has 13 interceptions and seven fumbles recovered thus far.

*Alabama ranks sixth nationally with those 13 interceptions.

*Junior defensive back Simeon Castille leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally with 0.63 interceptions per game.  Castille leads UA with five interceptions in eight games.

*Sophomore defensive back Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Ga.) is second in the SEC and 12th nationally with 0.57 interceptions per game.

*The Crimson Tide is 43rd nationally with seven fumbles recovered.

*Castille and freshman linebacker Prince Hall lead the team with two fumbles recovered this season. 

*Hall had a 50-yard return for a touchdown against Florida on Sept. 30.

*Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 38 of 45 games under Coach Shula. 

*Since 2003, the Crimson Tide has forced 88 turnovers in 45 games, an average of 1.96 per game under Shula’s watch.

*Alabama has forced at least one turnover in seven of eight games this season.

*Alabama did not force a turnover in its 26-23 overtime win over Ole Miss on Oct. 14. 

*On the flip side, Alabama has committed only nine turnovers in eight games this season to rank 14th nationally.

*Alabama is 16th nationally with four fumbles lost.  Michigan and Northern Illinois have the fewest fumbles (1) lost this season.

*Alabama is 20th nationally with five interceptions thrown in eight games. 


*Alabama’s offense has not had a turnover in its last two games against Ole Miss and Tennessee.

*The last time Alabama played two consecutive games without a turnover was last year when UA did not have a turnover in the final three games against LSU, Auburn or Texas Tech.

*The Crimson Tide offense has run 150 plays from scrimmage since its last turnover. 

*The last UA turnover came with 4:47 left in the third quarter against Duke on Oct. 7, 2006.  John Parker Wilson was intercepted by Duke’s John Talley in Alabama territory.

*Alabama has thrown 64 consecutive passes without an interception, dating back to the Duke game.

*The Crimson Tide has been even more impressive by running 229 consecutive plays from scrimmage without losing a fumble.

*The 229 consecutive snaps also includes 189 consecutive rushing attempts without losing a fumble.

*The last time Alabama lost a fumble was the third quarter of the Arkansas game in Fayetteville on Sept. 23. 

*Wilson lost the fumble and Arkansas’ Randy Kelly had a 39-yard return to give the Razorbacks a 17-10 lead.


*Sophomore defensive back Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Georgia) is fourth in the nation with 131 interception return yards this season.

*He is just one of 10 Division I-A players with 100 or more interception return yards this season.

*Mitchell has four interceptions for 131 yards and one touchdown through eight games.

*In addition, he is tied for second in the SEC and ranks 12th nationally with 0.57 interceptions per game.

*He recorded his first career interception on the final play of the game as Alabama beat Hawai’i, 25-17, in the season opener on Sept. 2, 2006.

*Mitchell added his second interception of the season with a 51-yard return against Arkansas on Sept. 23 in Fayetteville.

*He scored his first collegiate touchdown with a 50-yard interception return in the Tide’s 30-14 win over Duke on Oct. 7.

*Mitchell’s fourth interception of the season came on the final play of the first half against No. 7 Tennessee in Knoxville on Oct. 21. 

*Mitchell picked off an Erik Ainge pass at the Bama 10-yard line and was credited with a 30-yard return before being forced out of bounds as the second quarter ended.


Player (School)                                        Yards

Stanley Franks (Idaho)                            220

Marty Tadman (Boise State)                    142

Lionel Mitchell (Alabama)                       131

John Talley (Duke)                                  130

Londen Fryar (Western Michigan)           123

Alterraun Verner (UCLA)                         123

Jamal Lewis (Georgia Tech)                   117

Adam Shada (Iowa)                                 113

Craig Steltz (LSU)                                    111

Leonard Peters (Hawai’i)                         101


*Sophomore defensive back Lionel Mitchell (Stone Mountain, Georgia) ranks fourth in the nation with 131 interception return yards this season.

*Those 131 return yards are already good enough for the third-best single-season total in Alabama history.

*Mitchell is just 32 yards shy of the single-season record held by Cecil “Hootie” Ingram during the 1952 season.

*Ingram had 10 interceptions for a school-record 163 yards (16.3 per return) in 1952.


Player (Year)                                            Yards

Cecil “Hootie” Ingram (1952)                  163

Bobby Luna (1953)                                  158

Lionel Mitchell (2006)                             131

Reggie Myles (2000)                               127

Antoino Langham (1992)                         114

Ricky Davis (1974)                                  110

Steve Higginbotham (1971)                     108

Steve Higginbotham (1970)                     107

Fernando Bryant (1997)                          106

Jeremiah Castille (1981)                         101