Alabama Football: Special Teams Notebook
Here is a look a the UA special teams heading into the 2007 Alabama-Auburn game.
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 ranks second in the SEC and 10th nationally with 14.7-yard punt return average.
- Sophomore place kicker Leigh Tiffin (Muscle Shoals, Ala.) is the SEC co-leader and ranks 5th nationally with 1.9 field goals made per game.
- Tiffin is fifth in the SEC and 32nd nationally in scoring, with 8.64 points per game.
- Arenas is also second in the SEC and 10th nationally with a 15.38-yard punt return average.
- He suffered a high ankle sprain in the loss to ULM and his status for the Auburn is unknown at this time.
- He is also second nationally with five 50-yard kick returns this season.
- For the season, he has 21 punt returns for 323 yards and one touchdown. In 23 career games, he has 52 punt returns for 609 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 24 kickoff returns for 581 yards (24.2 average) this season. In 22 career games, he has 42 kickoff returns for 925 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.
- Lowe serves as the backup to Arenas in both kickoff returns and punt returns.
- He has 11 kickoff returns for 193 yards (17.5 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 32-for-32 in extra points this season and 43-of-44 in his two-year career.
- Tiffin is 21-of-29 on field goal attempts this season.
- He made nine consecutive field goals from Oct. 20-Nov. 10. His streak ended with a blocked FG attempt against ULM on Nov. 17.
- He has converted 29-of-43 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 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 54 times for 2,077 yards. He averages 38.5 yards per kick and has landed 18 punts inside the 20-yard line.
- 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 averaged a career-best 44.8 yards on four punts at Mississippi State (Nov. 10), including a 56-yard punt.
- In 22 career games, Fitzgerald has 111 punts for 4,253 yards (38.3 average). He has 36 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.