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Football Post-Game Notes: Auburn 21, Alabama 13


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Auburn Game thumb
Freddie Roach and Charlie Peprah bring down Ronnie Brown.

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PREGAME NOTEBOOK:  The Alabama game captains for the 2004 Iron Bowl were senior right guard Danny Martz (Gaithersburg, Md.), senior defensive end Todd Bates (Heflin) and senior place kicker Brian Bostick (Cullman) ... Legendary Alabama quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath ran out the game ball prior to today’s game and presented the ball to the 2004 senior class ... Namath played at Alabama from 1962-64 and led the Tide to the national championship in his senior season ... In his three career, Namath completed 203 of 374 passes for 2,714 yards and 25 TDs ... He and Kenny Stabler were chosen as the quarterbacks on Alabama’s All-Century Football team in 1992 ... Namath later starred in the National Football League for the New York Jets, leading the Jets to an improbable 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III ... For his efforts, he was named the Most Valuable Player ... Auburn won the toss and deferred to the second half ...

SENIORS HONORED:  The University of Alabama recognized its 2004 senior class one-by-one in a ceremony prior to the game ... The Auburn game will mark the final home game for 18 senior football players ... The UA senior class has posted a 27-21 (.563) record and posted the school’s NCAA-leading 27th 10-win season in 2002 ... The members of the UA senior class include Carlos Andrews (Tallahassee, Fla.), Todd Bates (Heflin), Brian Bostick (Cullman), Wesley Britt (Cullman), Anthony Bryant (Newbern), Antonio Carter (Tallahassee, Fla.), David Cavan (Northport), Alex Fox (Pensacola, Fla.), Bo Freelend (Eutaw), Ray Hudson (Bonifay, Fla.), Matt Grice (Tuscaloosa), Chris James (Albany, Ga.), Anthony Madison (Thomasville), Danny Martz (Gaithersburg, Md.), Evan Mathis (Homewood), Matt Ragland (Huntsville), Josh Smith (Mountain Brook) and Cornelius Wortham
(Calhoun City, Miss.).

STARTERS NOTEBOOK:  Alabama had one change in its starting lineup today against Auburn ... True freshman Trent Davidson (Brewton) made his first career start at tight end, replacing the injured Clint Johnston (concussion) ... The junior from Wetumpka has started nine games for Alabama this season and missed the Miss. State and Auburn games with an injury ... In 11 regular season games, Alabama has used 34 different starters this season ...

RANKED TEAMS:  Alabama falls to 102-108-1 all-time against ranked teams ... In addition, the Crimson Tide is 44-63-1 all-time against Top 10 teams, including a 13-28 mark against Top 5 teams ... The Crimson Tide is 1-3 (.250) this season against Top 25 clubs, including a three-game losing streak ... Under Shula, Alabama is 1-8 (.111) against Top 25 teams ...

THE ALABAMA-AUBURN SERIES: Despite the loss, Alabama continues to lead the overall series with Auburn, 38-30-1 ... Today’s game was the 69th meeting in the series ... Auburn has won three straight games with Alabama for the first time since winning four in a row from 1986-89 ... Since 1990, Alabama has won nine of the last 15 meetings ... Auburn has won all five meetings here in Tuscaloosa ... The Tigers have posted wins over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa in 1895, 1901, 2000, 2002 and 2004 ... This was the 30th time the Alabama-Auburn game has been televised ... Alabama leads 17-13 in televised games ... The highest ranked team is now 36-10 all-time in the Iron Bowl ... Alabama falls to 5-3 (.625) against Auburn in years that end in the number four ... Auburn’s win today snapped a four-game winning streak as Alabama had won in 1964, 1974, 1984 and 1994 ... Alabama coach Mike Shula is 0-2 (.000) as head coach against Auburn ... As a player and coach, Shula is 2-4 (.333) against the Tigers ... Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is 4-6 (.400) in his head coaching career against Alabama, including a 4-2 mark at Auburn ... Excluding the 1971 game when both teams had a 10-0 record, the undefeated and untied team is now 11-2 in the Alabama-Auburn game ... The 2004 season marked the fourth time (1957, 1971, 1993 and 2004) that Auburn has entered the Alabama game with an unblemished record ... Auburn is 3-1 in those four games ...

SPENCER PENNINGTON NOTEBOOK:  The Alabama junior quarterback made his seventh career start today for the Crimson Tide ... The Auburn’s sixth start of the 2004 season ... Pennington is 3-4 (.429) as the Tide’s starting QB ... Pennington had the best game of his Alabama career as he completed 17 of 30 passes for 226 yards, with one interception and one touchdown ... The completions, attempts and yards were all career highs for the UA junior QB ... Pennington’s previous best was 14 completions and 28 attempts at Tennessee (Oct. 23) ...The 226 passing yards was nearly double his previous high of 114 yards set against Miss. State (Nov. 6) ... He also ran four times for 15 yards ... He completed a pass to eight different receivers today ... Pennington completed five of nine passes for 70 yards on the Crimson Tide’s only TD drive of the and ran two more times for 14 yards to account for all 84 yards on the 11-play drive that pulled UA to within 21-13 with less than two minutes to play ...

KENNETH DARBY NOTEBOOK:  The Alabama sophomore tailback had 14 rushing attempts for only 19 yards in the loss to Auburn ... Playing with an injured left ankle, Darby missed most of the first quarter of today’s game ... Darby (Huntsville) also had one pass reception for five yards ... For the season, Darby has 223 rushing attempts for 1,056 yards and eight TDs ... He also has 12 receptions for 65 yards this season ...

SCORING STREAK:  With Bostick’s 22-yard field goal at the nine minute mark of the second quarter, Alabama has now scored in the second quarter in all 11 games this season and 12 straight games dating back to the 2003 season ... The Crimson Tide has outscored the opposition 90-36 in the second quarter this year ...

NOVEMBER NUMBERS:  Alabama falls to 250-115-14 all-time in the month of November ...The Crimson Tide is 2-5 (.286) under coach Shula in the month of November ... In games played on Nov. 20, Alabama slips to 3-4 (.429) all-time, including 1-2 mark against Auburn ...

OFFENSIVE NOTEBOOK:  Alabama scored on its opening possession of the game for just the second time this season ... The only other time that UA scored on its opening drive of the game came in the Crimson Tide’s 52-0 win over Western Carolina on Sept. 18th ... Bostick’s 42-yard field goal gave Alabama a 3-0 lead with 10:40 left in the first quarter ... Bostick’s field goal marked the first time that Alabama has held a lead on Auburn in the five meetings here in Tuscaloosa ... Alabama was held to just 50 rushing yards in the loss to Auburn (31 attempts) ... In its last two games, Alabama has managed only 132 rushing yards (74 attempts) against two of the nation’s top defenses in LSU (43-82) and Auburn ... Freshman tailback Aaron Johns (Thomasville) was Alabama’s leading rusher today ... Johns had nine carries for 24 yards ... The freshman also had one reception for 19 yards in his Iron Bowl debut ... Redshirt freshman Matt Caddell (McCalla) was Alabama’s leading receiver for the second week in a row ... Caddell had four catches for 76 yards (19 avg) in the loss ... Last week at LSU, Caddell had two catches for 66 yards ... In the last two weeks, Caddell has six receptions for 142 yards (23.67 avg) against LSU and Auburn ... Sophomore Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) also had four catches for 42 yards in the loss ... Prothro has one pass reception in 16 consecutive games dating back to his freshman season ... Overall, he has one catch in 17 of his 20 games at Alabama ... The  17 pass completions are the most since UA completed 20 passes in a 52-0 win over Western Carolina on Sept. 18th ... The 226 passing yards are the second-most by Alabama this year ... The Tide threw for 231 yards (20-for-32) in the win over Western Carolina ... Freshman D.J. Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) had three catches for 21 yards, including an 18-yard TD catch from Pennington with 1:26 left in the game ... The 18-yard catch was the first career TD for Hall ...

DEFENSIVE NOTEBOOK:  The Alabama defense force Auburn to punt on its opening possession of the game, marking the first time all season the Tigers had to punt following its first possession ... Auburn had scored eight times and had two turnovers on its opening drive in the previous 10 games ... Senior CB Anthony Madison (Thomasville) recorded his third interception of the season and fourth of his Alabama career in the second quarter ... Madison picked off a Jason Campbell pass at the AU 25-yard line and gave Alabama a first-and-goal at the six with a 19-yard return ... Madison’s third interception of the season gives Alabama at least one turnover in all 11 games this season and 16 straight games dating back to last year ... Overall, Alabama has forced at least one turnover in 20 of the 24 games under coach Mike Shula ... Junior linebacker DeMeco Ryans (Bessemer) stripped Auburn tight end Cooper Wallace of the football at midfield and junior safety Roman Harper (Prattville) recovered the fumble at the Alabama 46-yard line in the second quarter ... Alabama shutout Auburn in the first half, marking the first time this season the Tigers did not score in the first 30 minutes ... Entering the game, Auburn had outscored the opposition 194-26 in the first half this season ... Alabama yielded just its second 200-passing game of the season today against Auburn ... The Tigers senior quarterback Jason Campbell completed 18 of 24 passes for 224 yards and one TD in the win ... The 224 passing yards are the most allowed this season by Alabama ... The previous high was 205 yards by Utah State in the season opener on Sept. 4th ... The Crimson Tide held Auburn’s vaunted running game to 74 yards on 41 rushing attempts ... Alabama did not allow an opposing running back to rush for 100 yards in a game this year ... Ronnie Brown led the AU ground game with 55 yards and one TD on 16 attempts ... Carnell Williams added 15 rushing attempts for 41 yards one TD ... The duo combined for just 96 yards and two TDs on 31 attempts against Alabama ... The Crimson Tide had nine TFLs (-23) in the loss to Auburn ... Senior linebacker Cornelius Wortham (Calhoun City, Miss.) led Alabama with 15 tackles in the loss to Auburn ... Junior safety Charlie Peprah had nine tackles, including one TFL ... Ryans added eight stops and forced one fumble ...

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTEBOOK:  Bostick scored seven of the Crimson Tide’s 13 points in the loss to Auburn, including a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter ... The senior has made eight straight field goals, dating back to the second half of the Southern Miss game ... Overall, Bostick has made 11 of last 12 FG attempts, dating back to the first quarter of the Kentucky game on Oct. 9th ... The Lou Groza award candidate has made at least one 40-yard FG in four of his last five games ... For the season, he has made four of six kicks from 40-plus yards ... Prothro had two punt returns in the game for 65 yards, including a career-long 40-yard return in the second quarter ... He also added two kickoff returns for 29 yards in the game ... For the game, Prothro had 10 plays for 153 all-purpose yards against the Tigers ...

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula Postgame Quotes

“I can’t say enough about the way our defense played, especially in the first half. These guys have been the strength of our football team week in and week out. Our whole football team laid it on the line. We had guys in there in all three areas, offensive and defensive that never would have thought at the beginning of the year that they’d be in there. Some of them were in there with bad ankles. I’m proud of our guys because they left everything out there on the field. We came up short. We didn’t play nearly as good as we needed to in the second half. We got off to a bad start after having a good start in the first half defensively. Those things catch up to you offensively when you have the ball in scoring position and you don’t get touchdowns.

“In the second half we were moving it a little bit and I made the decision to go for it on fourth down and we don’t make it and that ends up hurting us. They get the ball there and they go down and take it in for another score. It was a tough call. I felt like we could make it. It hurt us field position wise. And later, I felt like early in the fourth quarter when we got the ball back, moved it down there and just came up a little bit short right there on fourth down when we didn’t get the completion.

“But I’m proud of the way our guys fought. A lot of young guys made contributions on offense. D.J. Hall and Keith Brown came up with some plays there. Spencer (Pennington) played better, played within himself, and managed the game much better. They’re a good football team. They’ve got a really good defense. It’s a tough one but we’ve got to get through it.”

On Kenneth Darby’s Injury:

“We were hoping his ankle was going to get better during the course of the week. These guys are all going to tell you they are ready to play and they want to play in this game, but if definitely affected him. And he also had a little bit of a stomach muscle pull. But Aaron came in and fought hard, had a couple of good runs but you’d like to have K.D. at full strength but we didn’t.”

On Alabama’s Bowl Eligibility:

“They are excited about that but they are disappointed about the loss this week and a couple of other weeks. There have been a lot of changes at this university over the last few years and these guys had to deal with a lot of things thrown at them, more so than any other kids in the country, maybe ever. But they’ve been the one constant here, the way they stuck together. They had a chance to go somewhere else a couple of years ago. The way they fought through and the way they’ve come together as a football team, the way the upper classmen have led the freshmen and shown them how it’s supposed to be done the right way; the way they’ve helped us recruit. And that’s what makes me proud to be back here and to be associated with these guys.”

Alabama Player Quotes

#11 Matt Caddell

“Our defense played lights out. I think we had like three times in the five to get in points. That would have changed the game.”

(On the end of second half) “We knew when we took the field we had to be ready to score two touchdowns. We wanted that on side kick.”

“We knew last week Kenneth (Darby) would be limited. Aaron Johns played well.  He matured tonight.”

#16 Cornelius Wortham

“(After the first half) We knew we had them, they hadn’t been in that situation all season. They did their x’s and o’s and it worked.”

(Auburn’s play in the second half) “They (Auburn) went to their normal package. Auburn throws a lot at you. They make big plays.”

#13 Spencer Pennington

“We came out and started fast.  We talked about taking the deep ball out early and we did that.”

“We had the ball twice inside the five or ten and we only came away with 6 points we needed to put more than that up.”

(The 4th quarter) “I had the chance to throw the ball.  I thought I saw Trent Davidson.  That could have been another touchdown.”

“Anytime you have a playmaker like Kenneth Darby, it’s hard to be without him. When he’s not at 100 percent, our offense is not at 100 percent.”

Auburn Head Coach Tommy Tuberville Postgame Quotes

“Obviously I’m proud of our guys. We’re 11-0. It was a hard ball game. We knew we were going to be in for a battle. All week long we kept telling our players; sometimes it soaks in, sometimes it doesn’t. We just didn’t have any rhythm in the first half and Alabama did something about that. They came to play and played well, and we just couldn’t find the right combination in the first half. In the second half we kind of got more in the rhythm. We started throwing the ball down the field. We got them out of eight and nine man fronts and they just took a chance and it worked in the first half. But in the second half it just didn’t work.

“I’m proud of our defense and how they played. This thing could have been over at halftime if the defense hadn’t of shown up, as many mistakes as we made. But again it’s a team effort. We’ve played like that all year. I think it’s only the second time in 11 games that we’ve been behind. We never lost our poise, we never lost our confidence. We just kept fighting back and we made the plays. But again, Mike and his staff did a tremendous job. We knew coming over here that it would be a battle to the end and obviously it was.

“This is the Iron Bowl. This is not any other rivalry. This is the Iron Bowl and it should be like that. I’m proud of our seniors, to go 11-0 in a major college season. Last year there were not any, this year there are three or four and we’ve got some work to do there. But it’s special; it’s special for all of Auburn, our university. Our football program has gotten stronger. What a difference a year makes. This time last year I didn’t think I was going to be back. Hopefully this year they’ll let me come back. Again, it was an Iron Bowl, and I’m proud of both teams.

“They (Alabama) fought hard. They had a lot of injuries. Our guys fought hard and that’s the way it ought to be.”

Auburn Player Quotes

Carnell Williams, RB, No. 24

“Bama came out with a great game plan in the first half. They had guys after us. When me and Ronnie (Brown) get the ball we try and make plays. I don’t think it was a lack of concentration that slowed us down in the first half.”

“Jason stepped it up in the second half and I think our receivers stepped up in the second half. They made big plays and the whole offense just stepped it up. 11-0 in college football, that’s special.”

“The way coach Tuberville handled that whole (off-season) situation, as a team we saw that and we knew what kind of guy he was. He’s special. We rallied around him. We all grouped together and we’re a tight mixed team.”

“I told our team the whole time that this is a four quarter game. Nobody said it was going to be easy. I told our guys all week that this game was going to be very, very tough. When we were down no one panicked or pointed fingers. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we knew if we continued to execute and run our offense then things were going to be successful.”

Marcus McNeill, LT, No. 73

“Coming into the game we didn’t want to slack off, being 11-0 is real important. We wanted to make a real good impression on the nation, especially the Orange Bowl staff. We want to go to Miami.”

“We knew everything was going their way at halftime. We wanted to keep our composure and we knew our offense was going to maintain that composure. All we needed to do is catch a rhythm, and we caught that rhythm.”

Derrick Graves LB, No. 29

“I got to start for Antarrious Williams, who got hurt and my heart goes out to him. I played this game for him. I had his number on the tape of my shoes.”

“It’s very special (to play in my hometown). Not many people can say they played their last senior game at home. I was glad to see my friends on Alabama’s team and glad to see my family at Tiger Walk. I’m looking forward to staying home for a few days and seeing my family.”

Silas Daniels, WR, No. 85

“I don’t feel like our backs were against the wall. That’s the kind of team we are. We look for those kinds of challenges. We felt like we were in the ballgame and had to play. Carnell and Ronnie told us to be patient, you can’t blow everybody out. We kept playing hard, we knew we were going to pump the team up."

(Photos by Kent Gidley)

Auburn Game 01
Joe Namath hands the game ball to AC Carter.

Auburn Game 02
Freddie Roach, Charlie Peprah, and the Tide defense swarm Auburn's Ronnie Brown.

Auburn Game 03
Roman Harper recovers an Auburn fumble.

Auburn Game 04
Todd Bates brings down Auburn QB Jason Campbell.