ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Special Teams Notebook The Alabama special teams accounted for 16 points and 237 all-purpose yards against LSU last Saturday. Sophomore Leigh Tiffin scored 10 points, including two field goals, and now leads the SEC with 1.88 field goals made per game. Sophomore Javier Are
ALABAMA SPECIAL TEAMS
Alabama returns all but one of its specialists from last season.
The Crimson Tide’s special teams have shown marked improvement during the first nine games of the 2007 season.
Alabama leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally with its 17.45-yard punt return average.
Sophomore place kicker Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) leads the SEC with 1.88 field goals made per game.
Arenas is second nationally with five 50-yard kick returns this season.
Arenas is also second in the SEC and sixth nationally with a 17.16-yard punt return average.
For the season, he has 19 returns for 326 yards and one touchdown. In 21 career games, he has 50 punt returns for 612 yards and three touchdowns.
He has three punt returns for touchdowns which ties Harry Gilmer for second place all-time at UA. David Palmer (1991-93) owns the school record with four punt return TDs.
Arenas has 23 kickoff returns for 547 yards (23.8 average) this season. In 21 career games, he has 41 kickoff returns for 891 yards.
He has been named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this season against Ole Miss (Oct. 13) and LSU (Nov. 3).
Arenas had a season-best 237 all-purpose yards, including a 61-yard punt return for a touchdown against LSU on Nov. 3. He had a career-high eight returns for 168 yards against LSU.
He had 164 all-purpose yards (93 KOR and 71 PR) against the Rebels.
Arenas also added a season-high 62-yard kickoff return against Tennessee on Oct. 20.
Junior Jonathan Lowe (Phenix City, Ala.) is the backup to Arenas.
Lowe has nine kickoff returns for 224 yards (17.6 average) this season. He made his Alabama debut with a 23-yard kickoff return and a 17-yard punt return against Western Carolina on Sept. 1.
Tiffin is the Crimson Tide’s starting kicker, handling all kickoffs, field goal and extra attempts.
Tiffin is 30-for-30 in extra points this season and 41-of-42 in his two-year career.
Tiffin is 17-of-24 on field goal attempts this season and has been successful on nine of his last 11 attempts.
He has converted 25-of-38 career field goal attempts for the Tide.
He appeared in five games last season and hit 8-of-13 field goals and 12-of-13 extra point attempts.
His father, Van (1983-86), was an All-American kicker at Alabama in 1986 and set the UA record with 135 consecutive career extra points.
Sophomore Andrew Friedman (Fairhope, Ala.) made his 2007 season debut with his first career extra point attempt against Arkansas on Sept. 15. He has played in four games at UA.
Senior Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.), who has also handled kickoffs the last three years, has hit 29 of 42 career field goal attempts and 40 of 42 career extra points.
He also has three-game winning field goals to his credit, beating Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas Tech during the 2005 season.
Sophomore punter P.J. Fitzgerald (Coral Springs, Fla.) is back for his second year as the Crimson Tide’s punter and holder.
Fitzgerald has punted 47 times for 1,788 yards. He averages 38 yards per kick.
He had a career-high 58-yard punt at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
He had a career-high 10 punts in the loss to Florida State, including two that traveled more than 50 yards.
Fitzgerald punted 10 times for a 40-yard average against Houston on Oct. 6.
He ranks second in the SEC with 14 punts inside the 20-yard line.
In 20 career games, Fitzgerald has 104 punts for 3964 yards (38.1 average). He has 30 punts inside the opponents 20-yard line.
The Crimson Tide is breaking in its third long snapper in as many years this season as they replace last year’s snapper Luke Spaulding.
Junior Brian Selman (Vestavia Hills, Ala.) has handled all snapping duties this year.