Countdown to Kickoff
ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Special Teams Notebook



Oct. 30, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama junior kicker Leigh Tiffin leads the SEC and ranks 13th nationally with 1.62 field goals per game this season. Check out the latest on the UA special teams in this week’s notebook on

TIFFIN ON LOU GROZA WATCH LIST: 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. In eight games this season, Tiffin has made all 28 extra point attempts and converted 13 of 17 field goals (.765) for a team-leading 67 points. He has made 9-of-10 field goal attempts on the road this season, including all three kicks at Tennessee on Oct. 25. He opened the season by making 4-of-5 field goals, including a career-long 54-yarder, in the win over Clemson. Tiffin has made 32 of his last 40 field goal attempts dating back to the Georgia game last year. 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. He leads the SEC and is tied for 13th nationally with 1.62 field goals per game in 2008. He now has 67 points in eight games this season, averaging 8.38 per contest that ranks sixth in the SEC.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Junior Chris Rogers leads all special team’s players with four Player of the Week honors this season, including each of the last two weeks. The Tide coaching staff named Rogers special teams player of the week against Tulane, Western Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Tiffin has been named Player of the Week by the UA coaching staff three times this season - against Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee.  Fitzgerald and freshman Robby Green has been honored twice each, while Javier Arenas, Roy Upchurch, Courtney Upshaw, Tyrone King and Marquis Johnson were recognized one time each.

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 four-yard fumble return by Rolando McClain. UA is joined by Missouri (4 INT, 1 KOR) with five non-offensive touchdowns while Kansas State (5 PR and 1 FR) and Florida (4 INT, 2 PR) have 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 41.9-yard per kick to rank fifth in the SEC with six punts inside the 20. Fitzgerald has been outstanding in three SEC games, averaging 43.0 on 16 punts. He averaged 45.2 at Arkansas, 44.5 at Georgia and 43.2 against Kentucky.

TIDE TIDBITS: Senior Brian Selman has started 21 consecutive games as the Tide’s snapper … Heath Thomas made his Alabama playing debut in the Tide’s win over Tulane on Sept. 6 … Thomas handled kickoff duties after an injury to Tiffin in the game … Andrew Friedman made his 2008 debut and handled the kickoffs in the win over Mississippi on Oct. 18 … Junior Javier Arenas was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week following the Tulane game on Sept. 6.