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Tuesday Notebook: Alabama Offense



Nov. 17, 2009

Mark Ingram BREAKDOWN: Below is a breakdown of running back Mark Ingram’s 2009 season for the Crimson Tide as the sophomore continues to trend upward.

Ingram vs. SEC Teams: Ingram has rushed for exactly 1,000 yards (150 attempts) in seven SEC games this season. He is averaging 142.9 yards per game in SEC play with seven rushing touchdowns. He has accounted for 73.2 percent of the team’s rushing total in league play (1,000 of 1,366) and has scored seven of the team’s eight rushing touchdowns. Ingram has five 100-yard games in SEC play this season against Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, LSU and Mississippi State. He finished with a career-high 246 yards vs. No. 22 South Carolina and then busted loose on a career-long 70-yard touchdown run at Mississippi State on Nov. 14.

Ingram at Home: Averages 114.3 yards per game in six home games this season, which includes two games against Florida International and North Texas, where he saw limited action in the second half … has 99 rushing attempts for 686 yards and four TDs at Bryant-Denny Stadium this season … accounted for 55.1 percent of the team’s rushing totals at home … set a stadium record with 246 rushing yards and game-clinching touchdown against South Carolina on Oct. 17 … averages 140.8 all-purpose yards in those six home games.

Ingram on the Road: In four games away from Bryant-Denny Stadium, vs. Virginia Tech (Atlanta), at Kentucky, Mississippi and Mississippi State, Ingram is averaging 152.8 rushing yards per game this season. He has gained 611 yards in those contests on 95 carries for a 6.42 yards per carry average and six touchdowns.

Ingram in September: Ingram averaged 86.8 rushing yards in four games in September in limited action. He missed the start and most of the second half of the Tide’s win over Florida International with the flu. He then missed almost all of the second half and only received eight carries in a 53-7 blowout win over North Texas. Ingram also missed most of the fourth quarter against Arkansas after the Tide built a 35-7 lead.

Ingram in October: Ingram had a breakout month in October, averaging 164.2 rushing yards per game against four SEC opponents. He had 92 rushing attempts for 657 yards and four touchdowns for a 7.1 yards per carry average. Ingram tallied three 100-yard rushing games and had 99 yards in the win over Tennessee while averaging 175.5 all-purpose yards per game.

Ingram in November: In two games this month, Ingram has 41 rushing attempts for 293 yards and two TDs in wins over LSU and Mississippi State. He is averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 146.5 yards per game in those two contests. He ran for 144 yards in the Tide’s SEC Western Division-clinching win over No. 9 LSU on Nov. 7 and added 149 rushing yards - with a 70-yar run - and two touchdowns at Mississippi State on Nov. 14.

INGRAM NOW 6TH ON ALABAMA’S SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING LIST: Ingram rushed for 149 yards against Mississippi State, giving him 1,297 rushing yards this season. With his totals, Ingram has moved into sixth place on the Alabama single-season rushing list. He is just 87 yards from moving into second place at the Capstone and 174 yards behind single-season leader Bobby Humphrey.

Alabama’s 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons
Yards    Player (Attempts)                              Year
1,471     Bobby Humphrey (236 att.)          1986
1,383     Shaun Alexander (302 att.)          1999
1,383     Glen Coffee (233 att.)                  2008
1,367     Shaud Williams (280 att.)             2003
1,341     Sherman Williams (291 att.)         1994
1,297    Mark Ingram (194 att.)                 2009
1,255     Bobby Humphrey (238 att.)           1987
1,242     Kenneth Darby (239 att.)               2005
1,178     Shaun Alexander (258 att.)            1998
1,137     Johnny Musso (226 att.)                 1970

INGRAM ON PACE: Ingram has already turned in a big season for the Crimson Tide. His 129.7 yards per game currently ranks fifth in the country and he is on pace to rush for 1,816 yards in a 14-game season (SEC Championship and bowl game). That number would shatter the school single-season mark of 1,471 by Bobby Humphrey in 1986 and rank as the third-most rushing yards in a single season in SEC history. It would only trail Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1,891) and Arkansas Darren McFadden (1,830). And, he would do it in less carries than any running back in the top 10.

INGRAM SCORES ON CAREER-LONG RUN: Sophomore running back Mark Ingram’s 70-yard touchdown run with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter sealed Alabama’s win over Mississippi State. It also stands as the longest run of Ingram’s Alabama career (previous long: 54 yards versus South Carolina on October 17, 2009).

BAMA SCORES ON BIG PLAYS: On the year, the Alabama offense has 45 plays of 20 yards or more with 17 of those plays going for touchdowns. The Tide also has 18 plays of 35 yards or more with 12 of those going for scores.  Against Mississippi State, Alabama’s four offensive touchdowns averaged 41 yards. Junior quarterback Greg McElroy had two touchdown passes, including a 45-yard strike to Darius Hanks in the second quarter and a 48-yard TD pass to Julio Jones in the fourth quarter.  Ingram added two rushing touchdowns, a 1-yard run in the second quarter and a 70-yard burst in the fourth quarter.  Jones and Ingram’s fourth quarter touchdowns covered 118 combined yards and came on consecutive plays.

McELROY ON THE MARK: Greg McElroy has been impressive in his first 10 games as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback, completing 60.2 percent (153 of 254) of his passes for 1,913 yards and 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions. The junior boasts a 137.24 passing efficiency rating, which ranks 40th nationally and sixth in the SEC. He has won his last 26 starts at quarterback, going 16-0 as a high school senior in 2005 and 10-0 for the Tide in 2009. In his collegiate starting debut against Virginia Tech, the Southlake, Texas, native threw for 230 yards on 15-of-30 passing with one touchdown and one interception in leading the Crimson Tide to a win over the No. 7 team in the country. He also set a new Alabama record for consecutive completions against FIU by connecting on 14 straight passes. Then against North Texas, he tied the school mark for highest completion percentage with a minimum of 10 completions, going 13 for 15 (86.7 percent).

TIME OF POSSESSION: An Alabama trademark over the past two seasons has been its ability to control the line of scrimmage offensively and, consequently, control the tempo of the game. This has played out with an impressive advantage in time of possession. A year ago the Crimson Tide finished 11th nationally with an average time of possession of 32:08. In 2009, the Crimson Tide is off to another great start in that category, ranking 10th nationally at 32:32. The Tide held the ball for 37:02 in the opener against Virginia Tech and then a season-best 38:19 at Mississippi. UA also won possession time against Florida International (31:38), North Texas (30:43), Arkansas (33:36), Kentucky (33:30), LSU (32:52) and Mississippi State (31:36). The Tide has won the time of possession battle in 17 of the last 24 games overall and eight-of-10 contests in 2009.