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Tuesday Notebook: Alabama Offense



Dec. 1, 2009

Mark Ingram 2ND ON ALABAMA’S SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING LIST: Sophomore running back Mark Ingram has 1,429 rushing yards this season to rank second on the Alabama single-season rushing list. He is just 43 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
1,429    Mark Ingram (221 att.)            2009
1,383     Shaun Alexander (302 att.)     1999
1,383     Glen Coffee (233 att.)             2008
1,367     Shaud Williams (280 att.)        2003

INGRAM’S PACE:  Ingram has already turned in a big season for the Crimson Tide. His 119.08 yards per game currently ranks 11th in the country and he is on pace to rush for 1,667 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 sixth-most rushing yards in a single season in SEC history. It would only trail Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1,891 & 1,752), Arkansas’ Darren McFadden (1,830), Auburn’s Bo Jackson (1,786) and LSU’s Charles Alexander (1,686). He would also do it in less carries - projected 258 - than any running back in the top 10.

INGRAM RACKING UP RUSHING/RECEIVING YARDS: Ingram is not only moving up on the Tide’s single-season rushing chart (currently ranks second with 1,429 yards), but he is also among the UA greats in all-purpose yardage. Ingram enters the Florida game with 1,675 all-purpose yards (only rushing and receiving in his case), which ranks sixth on the Tide’s single-season list. He is 121 yards out of third place and trails the Tide’s single-season record-holder Bobby Humphrey (2,016 yards in 1986) by 341 yards with two games to play. Ingram is averaging 139.6 all-purpose yards per game this season.
Mark 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 1,030 yards (171 attempts) in eight SEC games this season. He is averaging 128.75 yards per game in SEC play with seven rushing touchdowns. He has accounted for 71.6 percent of the team’s rushing total in league play (1,030 of 1,439) and has scored seven of the team’s nine 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, Mississippi State and Auburn, Ingram is averaging 128.2 rushing yards per game this season. He has gained 641 yards in those contests on 116 and has added 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 win over Tennessee while averaging 175.5 all-purpose yards per game.

Ingram in November: In four games in November, Ingram rushed 73 times for 424 yards and four touchdowns in wins over LSU, Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Auburn. He averaged 5.81 yards per carry and 106 yards per game in those four 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-yard 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.  He was held to a season-low 30 yards at Auburn on Nov. 27.

McELROY ON THE MARK: Junior quarterback Greg McElroy has been impressive in his first season as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback, completing 60.81 percent (180 of 296) of his passes for 2,211 yards and 16 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He boasts a 138.69 passing efficiency rating, which ranks 34th nationally and fourth in the SEC. He has won his last 28 starts at quarterback, going 16-0 as a high school senior in 2005 and 12-0 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 Florida International by connecting on 14 straight passes. 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).

RICHARDSON HAS IMPRESSIVE ROOKIE CAMPAIGN: True freshman running back Trent Richardson has enjoyed an impressive rookie season. The Pensacola, Fla., native has rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns in 115 attempts (4.89 yards per carry and 46.8 yards per game). Richardson has also added 14 receptions for 107 yards. He rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against Florida International in his second career game. He followed that up with 87 yards on 11 carries (7.9 ypc) against North Texas and 65 yards and a score vs. Arkansas. Richardson scored on runs of nine and 35 yards in the second half vs. FIU, plunged in from one yard out against North Texas and broke five tackles en route to a 52-yard touchdown vs. Arkansas.  He was Alabama’s leading rusher in the 26-21 win over Auburn in the 2009 regular season finale, as he rushed 15 times for 51 yards and one TD.

Colin Peek & Barrett Jones NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS: Alabama tight end Colin Peek and right guard Barrett Jones have been named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American Team, as selected by the College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Peek is the first Alabama player selected to the first team since Kenny King in 2002. Peek sports a 3.79 grade point average in finance and will graduate in December. He has played in 12 games in 2009 and has recorded 23 catches for 274 yards (11.9 per catch) and two touchdowns. Jones was named to the second team after compiling a 4.0 grade point average in management at the Capstone. He has started all 12 games for the Crimson Tide this season at right guard and is one of three first-year starters on an offensive line that is averaging 212.92 rushing yards per game to rank 13th nationally and ranks 20th nationally in fewest sacks allowed (1.17) per game.

MULTIPLE OPTIONS CREATE DIVERSE OFFENSIVE ATTACK: A key element of the Tide’s high-powered offense in 2009 has been its ability to find playmakers all over the field. UA quarterbacks, led by starter Greg McElroy, have completed 60.8 percent of their passes to 17 different receivers in the first 12 games of the 2009 season. That includes the SEC opener against Arkansas where McElroy spread out 17 completions to nine different targets. The UA receiving numbers are headed by Julio Jones, who has 40 receptions for 545 yards, a 13.6 yards per catch average and four touchdowns. Running back Mark Ingram is second with 28 receptions for 246 yards and three scores. Receiver Marquis Maze is third with 25 catches for 423 yards and two touchdowns. Next is tight end Colin Peek with 23 grabs for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Darius Hanks has 17 catches for 272 yards and 3 TDs. In all, the Tide has 99 receptions from its wide receivers, 57 from backs, 37 from tight ends and one from safety Mark Barron on a fake punt.

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 created 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 fifth nationally at 33:00. 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), Mississippi State (31:36) and Auburn (33:47). The Tide has won the time of possession battle in 19 of the last 26 games over the last two seasons, including 10-of-12 contests in 2009.

BAMA SCORES ON BIG PLAYS: On the year, the Alabama offense has 50 plays of 20 yards or more with 21 of those plays going for touchdowns. The Tide also has 20 plays of 35 yards or more with 13 of those going for scores.

FOURTH QUARTER DOMINANCE: Finishing has been a focus for Alabama over the past two seasons as the Tide has ascended into the nation’s elite. And no one in the SEC has been better in the fourth quarter in 2009 than the 12-0 Crimson Tide. Alabama has outscored its opponents 102-24 in the fourth quarter, a margin of 78 points. That number grows to 175-62 in the third and fourth quarters for a margin of 113 points.