Wednesday Notebook: Defense and Special Teams

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Nov. 4, 2009

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK:  The latest installment of the Alabama Football Notebook takes at look at the Crimson Tide defense heading into Saturday’s game with the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  The game will be nationally televised by CBS Sports with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. (CT).  The UA defense and special teams are highlighted each Wednesday on RollTide.com.

ARENAS HONORED: Alabama senior cornerback Javier Arenas was named one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award on Tuesday, Nov. 3.  Arenas is one of three SEC players among the semifinalists.  The finalists will be announced Nov. 23 and the winner will be named at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 10 in Orlando, Fla.  Arenas is coming off the best game of his career against Tennessee, where he had a game-high 14 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss (-31) and one sack (-12) in the Tide’s 12-10 win.  He also added one quarterback pressure.  For the season, Arenas is the Tide’s third-leading tackler with 45 stops in seven games. He leads Alabama with 8.5 tackles for loss (-66) and is tied for second on the team with four sacks (-43). He has also added two pass breakups, one quarterback pressure and one interception.

Javier Arenas 2009 Game-By-Game Stats Get Acrobat Reader

Javier Arenas Career Stats Get Acrobat Reader

ARENAS NEARING SEC & NCAA PUNT RETURN YARDAGE RECORD:  Arenas is quickly sneaking up on the all-time great punt returners in college football history. He has already broken all of the Crimson Tide punt return records, and now has his sights set on the SEC and NCAA records as well. He is the NCAA active leader in career punt returns, yards, touchdowns, returns per game and yards per game. Arenas, who has 1,579 career punt return yards on 112 returns, is just 117 punt return yards away from breaking Lee Nalley’s long-standing SEC record of 1,695 (102 returns for a 14.4 ypr average). Nalley set that record from 1947-1949 and it stood for 54 years as the NCAA record until Texas Tech’s Wes Welker broke it in 2003. Welker finished his Tech career with 1,761 punt return yards and Arenas needs 183 yards to break his record and become the NCAA’s all-time leader in punt return yards.

NCAA CAREER PUNT RETURN YARDS
1.                 1,761            Wes Welker (Texas Tech) (152 returns)                     2000-03
2.                 1,695           Lee Nalley (Vanderbilt) (109 returns)                           1947-49
3.                 1,677           Ryne Robinson (Miami-Ohio) (121 returns)                  2003-06  
4.                 1,646           David Allen (Kansas State) (103 returns)                     1997-2000
5.                 1,599           Steve Breaston (Michigan) (127 returns)                      2003-06
6.                       1,579               Javier Arenas (Alabama) (112 returns)                             2006-Present
7.                 1,471            Leodis McKelvin (Troy) (112 returns)                          2004-07
8.                 1,424           Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) (113 returns)                   2001-04   
9.                 1,347           Jim Leonhard (Wisconsin) (105 returns)                      2001-04
10.               1,333           Greg Myers (Colorado State) (000 returns)                   1992-95

NCAA CAREER PUNT RETURN TOUCHDOWNS
1.                 8                  Wes Welker (Texas Tech)                                        2000-03
                    8                  Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma)                                    1991-94
3.                 7                  Leodis McKelven (Troy)                                            2004-07
                    7                  David Allen (Kansas State)                                       1997-2000
5.                       6                        Javier Arenas (Alabama)                                                      2006-Present
                    6                  DeSean Jackson (Cal)                                              2005-07
                    6                  Ted Ginn, Jr. (Ohio State)                                         2004-06
                    6                  Chad Owens (Hawai’i)                                               2002-05
                    6                  Steve Suter (Maryland)                                             2001-04
                    6                  Derek Abney (Kentucky)                                           2000-03
                    6                  Santana Moss (Miami)                                              1997-2000

SEC CAREER PUNT RETURN YARDS
1.                 1,695           Lee Nalley (Vanderbilt) (109 returns)                          1947-49
2.                       1,579               Javier Arenas (Alabama) (112 returns)                             2006-Present
3.                 1,332           Tony James (Mississippi State) (121 returns)               1989-92
4.                 1,253           Damien Gray (Georgia) (114 returns)                          2000-03
5.                 1,208            Brandon James (Florida) (100 returns)                       2006-Present
6.                 1,170           Thomas Bailey (Auburn) (125 returns)                        1991-94
7.                 1,163            Bobby Majors (Tennessee) (117 returns)                    1969-71                         
8.                 1,142            Junie Hovious (Mississippi) (117 returns)                    1938-41
9.                 1,126            Domanick Davis (LSU) (94 returns)                            1999-02
10                1,119             Harry Gilmer (Alabama) (83 returns)                         1944-47

DEFENSE STINGY WITH TOUCHDOWNS: Alabama held Tennessee without a touchdown until the final minutes of a 12-10 win over Tennessee on Oct. 24. Before that touchdown, the Crimson Tide had not allowed a touchdown in more than 11 quarters of football, dating back to the fourth quarter of the Kentucky game, a span of 192 minutes. The Tide did not surrender touchdowns in consecutive games against Mississippi and South Carolina.

PASS RUSH IMPORTANT FOR UA DEFENSE:The Alabama defense will be looking to get pressure on LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson in an effort to slow down the Tigers passing attack. The UA defense exploded for five sacks in each of its first two games of the 2009 season and then tallied five more against South Carolina. The Tide has 23 on the season after recording only 26 during the entire 2008 season. UA ranks tied for 14th nationally while leading the SEC in sacks with 2.88 per game. The Tigers offensive line has surrendered an average of just 2.88 sacks per game to rank tied for 101st nationally. Defensive end Marcell Dareus leads the Tide with 4.5 (-32) sacks while Javier Arenas and Eryk Anders are second with 4.0. Rolando McClain and Lorenzo Washington both have two sacks each. UA also ranks 18th nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 7.38 per game. That mark also leads the Southeastern Conference and accounts for 285 lost yards by UA opponents. Arenas leads the Tide with 8.5 tackles for loss (-66) while Anders is second with 8.0 (-56) and McClain is third with 7.0 (-28).

STIFLING DEFENSE PUTTING UP IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS: Alabama’s defense over the past 22 games – or two seasons – has developed a reputation for its toughness, talent and pure speed, a reputation verified on the stat sheet. The Crimson Tide has held 19 teams under 100 yards rushing over the past 22 games with only LSU and Florida in 2008 and Kentucky in 2009, able to crack the 100-yard barrier as a team. In 2009, only Kentucky has managed more than 74 yards rushing on the Tide. UA has surrendered just 1,570 yards on the ground in the last 22 games, an average of 71.36 yards per game. No running back has cracked the 100-yard mark since Mississippi’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis went for 131 on Oct. 13, 2007, a span of 27 games.  The Alabama defense has held opponents under 200 yards of total offense in nine of the last 22 games, including a 155-yard effort by Virginia Tech, a 187-yard showing by North Texas and a 197-yard game by Mississippi in 2009. The sub-200-yard games in that span: Clemson (188); Western Kentucky (158); Tennessee (173); Arkansas State (158); Mississippi State (167); Auburn (170); Virginia Tech (155); North Texas (187); Mississippi (197).

TIFFIN MOVES UP CAREER SCORING CHART: Alabama senior placekicker Leigh Tiffin is rapidly moving up the Alabama career scoring chart. After the conclusion of the Tennessee game, when he kicked four field goals and scored all 12 of the Tide’s points, the Muscle Shoals, Ala., native has 337 career points. The Tennessee performance moved him into second place on the career points scored list, just eight points from career leader Phillip Doyle, who had 345 points. Tiffin passed his father; Van (312), for third place on the Tide’s all-time career list earlier this season. Tiffin is two points shy of tying Doyle’s all-time record for most points by a kicker with 339 points.  Doyle converted 108 extra points, 78 field goals and scored one touchdown in his career to become the school’s all-time leader with 345 career points.  Tiffin needs nine points to be the school’s all-time scoring leader.

Leigh Tiffin 2009 Game-By-Game Stats Get Acrobat Reader

Leigh Tiffin Career Stats Get Acrobat Reader

SEC Career Total Points Scored by Kicking
1.                  409— Billy Bennett, Georgia (87 FGs, 148 PATs)                           2000-03
2.                 371— Jeff Hall, Tennessee (61 FGs, 188 PATs)                             1995-98
3.                 368— Jeff Chandler, Florida (67 FGs, 167 PATs)                            1997-2001
4.                 363— Colt David, LSU (201 PATs, 54 FGs)                                    2005-09
5.                 353— Kevin Butler, Georgia (77 FGs, 122 PATs)                            1981-84
6.                 339— Philip Doyle, Alabama (78 FGs, 105 PATs)                           1987-90
7.                       337— Leigh Tiffin, Alabama (118 PATs, 73 FGs)                                     2006-
8.                 326— Michael Proctor, Alabama (65 FGs, 131 PATs)                       1992-95
9.                 325— James Wilhoit, Tennessee (148 PAT, 59 FG, 50 games)        2003-06
10.               317— John Becksvoort, Tennessee (52 FGs, 161 PATs)                   1991-94

SEC Career Points Scored
1.                  409— Billy Bennett, Georgia (148 PAT, 87 FGs, 50 games)              2000-03
2.                 371— Jeff Hall, Tennessee (188 PAT, 61 FGs, 46 games)                 1995-98
3.                 369— Colt David, LSU (201 PATs, 54 FGs, 1 TD, 52 games )             2005-09
4.                 368— Jeff Chandler, Florida (67 FGs, 167 PATs, 46 games)              1997-2001
5.                 353— Kevin Butler, Georgia (122 PAT, 77 FGs, 44 games                 1981-84
6.                 345— Philip Doyle, Alabama (105 PAT, 78 FGs, 1 TD, 43 games)      1987-90
7.                       337— Leigh Tiffin, Alabama (118 PATs, 73 FGs, 40 games)                   2006-
8.                 326— Michael Proctor, Alabama (131 PAT, 65 FGs, 47 games)          1992-95
9.                 325— James Wilhoit, Tennessee (148 PAT, 59 FG, 50 games)          2003-06
10.               318— Kevin Faulk, LSU (53 TDs, 41 games)                                    1995-98

TIFFIN SECOND ON UA’S CAREER FIELD GOALS LIST: Tiffin keeps inching closer to the Alabama career field goals made leader. He converted four field goals against Tennessee to give him 73 career field goals, second all-time at Alabama. He surpassed his father, Van Tiffin (59 from 1983-86) earlier this season against North Texas and then moved past Michael Proctor vs. Mississippi. Tiffin’s 73 field goals leaves him just five shy of the school record held by Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90).

SEC Career Field Goals Made
1.                  87— Billy Bennett, Georgia (110 atts.)                                 2000-03
2.                 78— Philip Doyle, Alabama (105 atts.)                                 1987-90
3.                 77— Kevin Butler, Georgia (98 atts.)                                    1981-84
4.                      73— Leigh Tiffin, Alabama (97 atts.)                                                 2006-
5.                 71— Fuad Reveiz, Tennessee (95 atts.)                                1981-84
6.                 67— Jeff Chandler, Florida (80 atts.)                                    1997-2001
7.                 65— Michael Proctor, Alabama (91 atts.)                               1992-95
8.                 61— Kanon Parkman, Georgia (85 atts.)                               1991-95
                    61— David Browndyke, LSU (75 atts.)                                   1986-89
                    61— Jeff Hall, Tennessee (89 atts.)                                     1995-98