Countdown to Kickoff
Tuesday Notebook: Alabama Offense



Nov. 24, 2009

FAST START FOR ALABAMA:  Alabama’s 21 first-quarter points against Chattanooga are the most scored by the Crimson Tide in a quarter this season.  The previous high came in the 2009 season opener when the Tide scored 18 fourth-quarter points in a 34-24 win over No. 7 Virginia Tech on September 5 in Atlanta.  Alabama scored 17 points during the third quarter of its 38-20 win at Kentucky on Oct. 3.

BAMA SCORES ON BIG PLAYS:  On the year, the Alabama offense has 49 plays of 20 yards or more with 20 of those plays going for touchdowns. The Tide also has 20 plays of 35 yards or more with 13 of those going for scores.

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 once again a leader in that category, ranking tied for sixth nationally at 32:56. The Tide held the ball for 37:02 in the opener against Virginia Tech and then again against Chattanooga. UA had a season-best 38:19 of possession 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 18 of the last 25 games overall and 9-of-11 contests in 2009.

Mark Ingram NOW 2ND ON ALABAMA’S SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING LIST: Sophomore running back Mark Ingram rushed for 102 yards on only 11 carries vs. Chattanooga last week, giving him 1,399 rushing yards this season. With his totals, Ingram has moved into second place on the Alabama single-season rushing list, passing Sherman Williams (1,341 in 1994), Shaud Williams (1,367 in 2003), Glen Coffee (1,383 in 2008) and Shaun Alexander (1,383 in 1999). He is just 73 yards from becoming the Capstone’s leader in single-season rushing yards.

Alabama’s 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons
Yards     Player (Attempts)                        Year
1,471     Bobby Humphrey (236 att.)          1986
1,399     Mark Ingram (205 att.)                2009
1,383     Shaun Alexander (302 att.)          1999
1,383     Glen Coffee (233 att.)                  2008
1,367     Shaud Williams (280 att.)             2003

INGRAM ON PACE:  Ingram has already turned in a big season for the Crimson Tide. His 127.18 yards per game currently ranks fifth in the country and he is on pace to rush for 1,780 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 fourth-most rushing yards in a single season in SEC history. It would only trail Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1,891), Arkansas’ Darren McFadden (1,830) and Auburn’s Bo Jackson (1,786). He would also do it in less carries than any running back in the top 10.

ALMOST SEVEN YARDS A CLIP: Ingram’s big runs in 2009 have also shown in his 6.82 yards per carry, which leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks fourth nationally among rushers with at least 165 carries (15 rushes per game). Fresno State’s Ryan Matthews is first with 7.00 yards per carry on 213 attempts.

AT HIS BEST, AGAINST THE BEST: Mark Ingram has been at his best against the best in 2009. The sophomore has rolled up 1,624 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 127.18 yards per game on the ground with 12 rushing touchdowns in 11 games. But those numbers climb even higher when the Crimson Tide’s opponent is ranked in the top 25. In UA’s four games with top-25 opponents - including two in the top 10 - Ingram has accounted for 712 yards on the ground (178.0 ypg) with three touchdowns. He has also caught 13 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to account for 831 all-purpose yards (203.25 ypg) in those four games.  Ingram broke free for 150 rushing yards and a touchdown while catching three passes for 35 yards and a score in the season-opener against Virginia Tech. He scampered for 172 yards on the ground, including a 36-yard touchdown run on fourth down at Mississippi. Ingram then exploded for a Bryant-Denny Stadium record 246 yards and a game-clinching touchdown vs. South Carolina and then pounded out 144 yards with five receptions for 30 yards vs. No. 9 LSU.  The Tide’s games against ranked opponents are also when he has best displayed his hard-to-tackle running style that has led to 484 total yards after contact (121.0 ypg), including 115 yards vs. Virginia Tech, 95 yards after contact at Mississippi, 167 yards against South Carolina and 107 after contact against No. 9 LSU.

INGRAM RACKING UP RUSHING/RECEIVING YARDS:  Alabama sophomore tailback Mark Ingram is not only moving up on the Tide’s single-season rushing chart (currently ranks second with 1,399 yards), but he is also among the UA greats in the all-purpose yardage category. Ingram enters today’s game with 1,624 all-purpose yards (only rushing and receiving in his case), which ranks sixth on the Tide’s single-season list. He is 172 yards out of third place and trails the Tide’s single-season record-holder Bobby Humphrey (2,016 yards in 1986) by 392 yards with three games to play. Ingram is averaging 147.6 all-purpose yards per game this season, which is the fifth-highest average in school history.

INGRAM BREAKDOWN: Below is a detailed breakdown of sophomore running back Mark Ingram’s 2009 season 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 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 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 the entire 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 7.1 yards per carry. Ingram tallied three 100-yard rushing games and had 99 yards in a win over Tennessee while averaging 175.5 all-purpose yards per game.

Ingram in November: In three games this month, Ingram has 52 rushing attempts for 395 yards and four touchdowns in wins over LSU, Mississippi State and Chattanooga. He is averaging 7.6 yards per carry and 131.6 yards per game in those three games. 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 left the game with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter vs. Chattanooga with 102 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 rushes.

McELROY ON THE MARK:  Junior quarterback Greg McElroy has been impressive in his first 11 games as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback, completing 60.0 percent (159 of 265) of his passes for 1,993 yards and 14 touchdowns with only four interceptions. The junior boasts a 137.59 passing efficiency rating, which ranks 37th nationally and fifth in the SEC. He has won his last 27 starts at quarterback, going 16-0 as a high school senior in 2005 and 11-0 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).

Julio Jones SCORES IN THREE STRAIGHT GAMES:  Sophomore Julio Jones’ receiving yards per game over the last four games against Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi State and Chattanooga has increased immensely.  In those four games, Jones has 18 catches for 287 yards and three touchdowns.  In the first seven games of the season, Jones had 13 catches for 175 yards and one TD.  He missed the North Texas game with an injury and did not have a catch against South Carolina.  In addition, Jones has had at least one TD reception in each of last three games marking the second time in his career he has caught a TD pass in three straight games.  Jones also caught a TD pass in consecutive games against Western Kentucky, Arkansas and Georgia last season.