Minnesota Game Notes
ALABAMA QUICK NOTES:
- Alabama leads all Division I teams in bowl appearances (52) and bowl wins (29) entering the Music City Bowl ...
- Alabama is 2-1-1 (.625) in its previous four New Year's Eve bowl games ...
- Minnesota will be the Crimson Tide's 32nd different bowl opponent ...
- Bama is 2-2 in its previous four bowl games played in the state of Tennessee ...
- The Music City Bowl will feature three 1,000-yard rushers (Minnesota's Laurence Maroney and Marion Barber III and Alabama's Kenneth Darby) ...
- Only seven current UA players have prior bowl game experience ...
- The Crimson Tide has 13 college graduates on its 2004 Music City Bowl roster, including seven this month ...
- UA leads the nation in passing defense (116.5) ...
- Alabama leads the SEC in seven statistical categories, including total defense, passing defense, pass efficiency defense, kickoff returns, turnover margin, time of possession and fewest sacks allowed ...
- UA ranks 112th in the nation in pass offense, while UM is 112th in the nation in pass defense ...
- Coach Mike Shula was 2-0 in his bowl career as a player for the Tide ...
ALABAMA FACES MINNESOTA IN MUSIC CITY
The nation's all-time leader in bowl appearances and bowl victories is bowling once again. The Alabama Crimson Tide (6-5, 3-5 SEC) makes its NCAA-leading 52nd bowl appearance at the 2004 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl as they face the Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-5, 3-5 Big 10) on New Year's Eve morning (11 a.m.) at The Coliseum in Nashville, Tenn. The game will be televised by ESPN. In addition to its NCAA-record 52 bowl games, Alabama has also won more bowl games (29) than any other school. The 2004 Music City Bowl is Alabama's first post-season bowl appearance since a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the 2001 Independence Bowl. This is also the second time that Alabama has played in the Music City Bowl. The last experience was not a memorable one at all for the Crimson Tide as they fell 38-7 to Virginia Tech in the inaugural bowl game at Vanderbilt Stadium in 1998. Alabama is coming off back-to-back losses to No. 15 LSU (26-10) and No. 2 Auburn (21-13). Minnesota opened the year with five straight wins and was on the verge of a Top 10 national ranking before losing five of its last six games, including three straight to close out the year. Handling the broadcast duties for ESPN will be Dave Barnett (play-by-play), Bill Curry (analyst), David Norrie (analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline reporter). Fans can also tune to the 80-plus station Crimson Tide Sports Network with Eli Gold (play-by-play), Kenny Stabler (analyst) and Tom Roberts (sidelines) describing the action.
THE HEAD COACHES
Coach Mike Shula (10-14, .417) is 6-5 (.556) in his sophomore season as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Shula compiled a 4-9 (.308) record in his rookie season at Alabama last year against the nation's most difficult schedule. The Crimson Tide lost to both teams (Oklahoma and LSU) that played in the BCS National Championship game last season. Shula previously served as an assistant coach in the NFL with Tampa Bay, Chicago and Miami. A three-year letterman at Alabama (1984-86), Shula was a two-time All-SEC selection and threw for over 2,000 yards as a junior (1985), leading Alabama to dramatic come-from-behind wins over Georgia and Auburn. Overall, Shula is 2-3 (.400) as a player and coach against the Tigers, including last year's 28-23 loss in his coaching debut on the Plains. Minnesota head coach Glen Mason (109-109-1, .500) is in his 19th season as a collegiate head coach, including eight years with the Golden Gophers. Since his arrival in the "twin cities", Mason has guided Minnesota to a 50-45 (.526) record and five bowl berths in the last six years. His 36 wins over the last five years represent the best five-year win total at UM since 1903-07. His best season with the Golden Gophers came last year when he led UM to a 10-3 overall record. Prior to his arrival at Minnesota, Mason spent nine years at Kansas (1988-96), where he compiled a 47-54 (.465) record. His best year at KU was a 10-2 mark in 1995. He also served as head coach at Kent State (1986-87) and compiled a 12-10 (.545) worksheet. He has been named Coach of the Year in three different conferences in his career, winning Big 10 honors in 1999, Big 8 honors in 1991 and 1995 and Mid-American honors in 1986.
BAMA WILL BE VISITING TEAM
Alabama will be the visiting team at the 2004 Music CIty Bowl and wear their road white jerseys.
2004 ALABAMA FOOTBALL AWARDS AND HONORS
Alabama Crimson Tide
*Collegesportsreport.com SEC Team of the Week (vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 11)
*Collegesportsreport.com SEC Team of the Week (vs. Miss. State, Nov. 6)
Todd Bates, DE
*SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (vs. Southern Miss, Oct. 16)
Brian Bostick, PK
*First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, Rivals.com)
*Semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award
*SEC Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. Miss. State, Nov. 6)
Wesley Britt, LT
*2004 Jacobs Award Winner (SECs Most Outstanding Blocker)
*First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, The Birmingham News. Rivals.com)
*CNN/SI Honorable Mention All-America
*College Football News Midseason All-American
*SI.com Midseason Honorable Mention All-American
*SEC Football Good Works Team (vs. Kentucky, Oct. 9)
Kenneth Darby, TB
*Second-Team All-SEC (AP, The Birmingham News)
*SEC Offensive Player of the Week (vs. Miss. State, Nov. 6)
*Collegesportsreport.com SEC Player of the Week (vs. Miss. State, Nov. 6)
Bo Freelend, P
*Semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award (Nation's Best Punter)
Wallace Gilberry, DL
*Freshman All-American Team (Rivals.com)
*First-Team Freshman All-SEC (Coaches)
Roman Harper, FS
*Second-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, The Birmingham News)
*SEC Defensive Player of the Week (vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 11)
Ray Hudson, TB
*Collegesportsreport.com SEC Player of the Week (vs. Ole Miss, Sept. 11)
Clint Johnston, TE
*Honorable Mention All-SEC (AP)
Danny Martz, RG
*SI.com Midseason Honorable Mention All-American
Evan Mathis, LG
*First-Team All-SEC (AP, Rivals.com)
*Second-Team All-SEC (Coaches, The Birmingham)
*SI.com Midseason All-American
Tyrone Prothro, WR/KR
*First-Team All-SEC (The Birmingham News, Rivals.com)
*Second-Team All-SEC (Coaches)
*SEC Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. Kentucky, Oct. 9)
Freddie Roach, LB
*Second-Team All-SEC (Coaches, The Birmingham News)
*CNN/SI Honorable Mention All-America
DeMeco Ryans, LB
*Second-Team All-SEC (Coaches)
*Honorable Mention All-SEC (AP)
*CBS Sports Scholar/Athlete of the Game (vs. Auburn, Nov. 20)
Cornelius Wortham, LB
*First-Team All-SEC (AP, Coaches, The Birmingham News)
ALABAMA OFFENSIVE NOTEBOOK
Alabama has lost four starters to season-ending injuries this year, including Brodie Croyle, Ray Hudson, Tim Castille and David Cavan ... Alabama is 5-2 (.714) when scoring first ... Under Shula, Bama is 8-6 (.571) when scoring first ... Alabama is 1-3 (.250) when the opponent scores first ... Under Shula, UA is 2-8 (.200) when the opponent scores first ... Alabama snapped an eight-game losing streak against Miss. State (Nov. 6) when the opposition scores first in a game ... Alabama is 4-1 when committing one turnover or less ... The Tide is 2-4 with two or more turnovers ... Alabama is 4-3 (.571) when the opposition has two or more turnovers ... UA is 2-2 when the opposition has one turnover or less ... Alabama is 6-0 when scoring more than one TD ... The Crimson Tide is 0-5 when scoring one or fewer TDs ... Alabama has committed at least one turnover in nine of 11 games, including the last five games ... Bama has nine TOs its last five games ... The Crimson Tide offense ranks second in the SEC in rushing (200.0) ... Alabama leads the SEC in time of possession (32:52) ... The Crimson Tide also has the SEC's best "red zone" offense, scoring on 37 of 43 (.860) chances ... UA's 43 "red zone" chances have resulted in 203 points ... Bama has scored on 22 of its last 25 trips into the "red zone", including 13 TDs ... The Crimson Tide had scored on 19 consecutive "red zone" trips before the controversial interception at LSU (Nov. 13) ... Alabama has rushed for 220 or more yards in seven of its 11 games ... Alabama has had 39 or more rushing attempts in nine of 11 games ... Bama ranks second in the SEC with 20 rushing TDs ... UA has at least one rushing TD in nine of 11 games (South Carolina and Auburn) this season ... Bama had a season-high 63 rushing attempts for 304 yards in the win at Kentucky, the first 300-yard rushing game in the Shula era ... Kenneth Darby has the third and fourth highest rushing total in the league, including 200 yards against Miss. State (3rd) and 197 against Southern Miss (4th) ... Darby also has the top two rushing attempts in the SEC, including 36 vs. Miss. State (Nov 6) and 35 at LSU (Nov. 13) ... UA's five rush TDs at Kentucky tie for the most in the league in 2004 ... Alabama has had more time of possession than its opponents in nine of 11 games (South Carolina and Auburn) ... UA has held the ball for 10+ minutes in 11 of 44 quarters ... Alabama held the ball for 41:05 in its win at UK on Oct. 9th ... The last time Alabama held the ball for more than 40 minutes was the 1999 SEC Championship game against Florida (40:11 TOP) ...Alabama's 46 scoring drives have averaged 6.4 plays, 48.8 yards and 2:58 possession time ... Bama has 18 scoring drives under two minutes ... UA leads the SEC with 11 scoring drives over five minutes ... Alabama is last in the SEC and 112th nationally in passing yards (132.5) per game ... The Crimson Tide has thrown at least one interception in seven of its last eight games, including six in a row ... UA did not have an interception in its first three games ... In fact, Alabama opened the season with 77 pass attempts without an interception ... Since then, UA has thrown 11 interceptions in its last 148 attempts ... The starting offensive line has played 3,350 snaps ... Senior Evan Mathis has logged 2,829 career snaps, while senior Wesley Britt has 2,811 snaps ... The Crimson Tide allowed the fewest sacks (13) in the SEC ... UA did not allow a sack in five (Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kentucky, Miss. State and Auburn) of its 11 games ... Bama quarterbacks Brodie Croyle (7-9), Spencer Pennington (3-4) and Marc Guillon (0-2) are a combined 10-15 (.400) in their 25 career starts for the Tide ... Bama has scored in the second quarter in all 11 games this season and 12 straight games dating back to the 2003 season ... UA has outscored the opposition 90-36 in the second quarter ... UA also has the SEC's best fourth-quarter scoring margin at +40 points, outscoring its opponents 83-43 in the final stanza ... Sophomore receiver Tyrone Prothro eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in career all-purpose yards in the Auburn game ... Prothro is the only UA player with a least one reception in all 11 games ... Overall, Prothro has at least one catch in 17 of his 20 career games, including 17 in a row ... UA has scored at least 40 points in three games in a season for the first time since 1993 ... The last time UA scored 40 or more points four times in a season was 1991 ... UA's 45 points at Kentucky (Oct. 9) are the most in an SEC game since a 45-7 win over Ole Miss in 2000 ... The 45 points are also the most in an SEC road game since a 48-17 win over Vanderbilt in 1991 ... UA's 99-yard scoring drive against Kentucky (14-99-7:30) is tied with Auburn (vs. La. Tech and Ole Miss) for the longest in the SEC this season ... The Crimson Tide also logged a 98-yard scoring drive against Ole Miss (10 plays, 5:24 TOP) earlier this year ... Alabama had two scoring drives of 85 yards or more in the Ole Miss game ... Bama has eight scoring drives of 80+ yards ... UA has 26 plays of 25 or more yards and 14 plays of 40 or more yards ... Bama has scored 83 points off turnovers, including 45 points in the last six games ... Alabama has played two turnover-free games (Utah State and Kentucky) ... The last time Alabama did not commit a turnover in an SEC game was Nov. 9, 2002 against Miss. State ... The last time UA did not have a turnover in an SEC road game was Nov. 2, 2002 at Vanderbilt ... Alabama threw a season-high four interceptions in its loss to South Carolina (Oct. 2) ...
ALABAMA DEFENSIVE NOTEBOOK
Alabama has forced an SEC-best 68 three-and-outs ... Alabama has allowed the second fewest first downs (143) in the SEC (LSU has allowed the fewest, 142) ... Bama leads the SEC in opponents third down conversions (39-for-143, 27.3 percent) ...Bama leads the nation in passing defense (1116.5) and ranks second in the nation in total defense and pass efficiency defense ... Bama also ranks 10th nationally in scoring defense ... Alabama is fifth in the SEC with 25 sacks (-166)... Bama has at least one sack in nine of its 11 games this year ... Alabama has recorded 10 sacks in the last three games against Miss. State (5-31), LSU (4-30) and Auburn (1-5) ... For the season, Alabama has 88 TFLs (-283), including one in all 11 games ... The Crimson Tide had 31 combined TFLs (-101 yards) in the last three games, including 11 vs. Miss. State (-41), 10 vs. LSU (-37) and 10 vs. Auburn (-23) ... The Crimson Tide held nine of its 11 opponents to less than 200 passing yards ... Utah State (205) and Auburn (224) are the only two teams to throw for 200 or more yards against Bama ... The Crimson Tide held Southern Miss to just 23 total passing yards in its 27-3 win on Oct. 16th ... It was the fewest passing yards allowed by Alabama since limiting Southern Miss to 21 passing yards in 2001 ...Alabama has held five opponent to less than 200 yards in total offense ... The Crimson Tide has allowed the second-fewest TDs (21) in the SEC ... Bama has also allowed the fewest passing TDs (9) in the SEC ... Alabama has held six opponents under 100 yards rushing ... Alabama defense held Kentucky to 29 total yards (19 snaps) in the final 27:17 of the game in Lexington ... During that time, Alabama also forced three turnovers and blocked one punt ... Alabama has forced at least one turnover in all 11 games this season and 16 straight games, dating back to last season ... The last time Alabama did not force a turnover came in a 43-28 loss at Ole Miss on Oct. 18, 2003 ... The Crimson Tide has forced at least one turnover in 20 of the 24 games under Shula ... UA has forced 23 turnovers ... Bama has scored on 13 of those 23 turnovers, resulting in 83 points, including a 31-yard interception return by Simeon Castille in the season opener against Utah State ... The Tide ranks second in opponents points off turnovers (24) to Auburn's league-leading 20 points by opponents ... Bama's defense has allowed only 14 points following 16 UA turnovers ... Opponent's defenses have scored 14 points off two UA fumbles (Tennessee and LSU) ... Castille has one of 10 interception returns in the SEC ... Alabama has the second-best "red zone" defense in the SEC as opponents have scored on 16 of 23 (.696) possessions ... Bama is third in the league in fewest "red zone" TDs (10) allowed ... Miss. State did not have any trips into the "red zone" ... UA has allowed only 17 "red zone" points (3-for-5) in its six wins ... UA has allowed 67 "red zone" points (12-for-18) in its five losses ... Senior linebacker Cornelius Wortham leads Alabama with 86 tackles ... Wortham is fourth in the SEC with 7.8 tackles per game ... Junior linebacker DeMeco Ryans is 23rd in the SEC wtih 5.9 tackles per game, while junior safety Roman Harper is 25th with 5.7 stops per game ... Redshirt freshman Wallace Gilberry is fifth in the SEC with 6.5 sacks ... Gilberry has 3.5 sacks and seven total TFLs (-26) in his last three games for Alabama ... He has at least one TFL in eight of 11 games, including six of his last seven games ... Senior DE Todd Bates has four sacks in eight SEC games this year ... Junior DE Mark Anderson has one TFL in eight straight games .. . Freddie Roach has one TFL in five straight games... Bama has allowed only 18 plays this season of 25 or more yards ... The UA defense has pitched a shutout in 22 of 44 quarters this season ... In a three-game stretch with Ole Miss, Western Carolina and Arkansas, the Alabama defense allowed only 14 points in 11 quarters ... Alabama is the only team in the SEC with at least one shutout in each of the last three seasons ...
ALABAMA SPECIAL TEAMS NOTEBOOK
The Crimson Tide leads the SEC and ranks third in the NCAA in kickoff returns (26.3 avg) ... Sophomore Tyrone Prothro (Heflin) would lead the SEC and rank third in the NCAA with his 29.1 KO return average, but he does not have the minimum number of returns to qualify ... Prothro has 13 returns in 11 games, missing the minimum by one return ... He was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week against Kentucky (Oct. 9) ... He tied the Alabama record with a 100-yard kickoff return against Kentucky on Oct. 9th ... It was the seventh 100-yard kickoff return in school history and first since 1988 ... He had two kickoff returns at Kentucky (125 yards) for a 62.5 yard average ... Brandon Brooks (Birmingham) is averaging 24.4 yards per kickoff return this season, which would be second in the SEC and 26th nationally if he had the NCAA required minimum (1.2 per game) number of returns ... By contrast, Alabama is fifth in the SEC and 72nd in the NCAA with a 8.4 yard punt return average ... Senior punter Bo Freelend (Eutaw, Ala.) was a semifinalist for the 2004 Ray Guy Award, presented annually to the nation's top punter ... He averaged 47 yards on four kicks in the win over Southern Miss (Oct. 16) ... Against Tennessee, he averaged 42.2 yards on a season-high eight punts in the loss to the Vols ... Freelend has punted 24 times in the last four games for a 37.4 average ... Senior kicker Brian Bostick (Cullman) was a semifinalist for the 2004 Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's top place kicker ... Bostick was also a First-Team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press and the SEC head coaches this year ... Earlier this season, he was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week in the win over Miss. State (Nov. 6) ... Bostick connected on a career-high three FG attempts, including a season-high 47-yarder in the fourth quarter that gave UA a 23-14 lead ... He also made all three PAT attempts and finished the game with 12 points, one shy of his career high ... In 11 games this season, Bostick has made 49 of 52 (.942) kicks for the Tide, including all 33 PAT attempts ... He is 16-for-19 (.842) in field goals and ranks second in the SEC in field goals per game (1.45), field goal percentage and scoring (7.4) ... In SEC play, Bostick has made 28 of 30 kicks this year, including all 16 PAT attempts and 9 of 11 FGs ... In non SEC action, he has made 21 of 22 (.955) kicks, including all 17 PATs and 7 of 8 FGS ... Bostick has made 11 of his last 12 FG attempts, including eight in a row ... He has also made nine straight FGs in SEC play ... Redshirt freshman Jamie Christensen (Norcross, Ga.) handles the kickoffs for the Tide ... Christensen has 22 touchbacks in 56 kickoffs this season ... He had four touchbacks in six kickoff attempts against Southern Miss (Oct. 16th) ... Freshman Marcel Stamps (Brantley) had a blocked punt return (29 yards) for a touchdown against Western Carolina ... Anthony Madison recorded his first blocked punt of the season at Kentucky ... It was the second of his UA career ...
*Heading into the 2004 post-season, Alabama has 13 players who have earned their undergraduate degree.
*There were seven players who earned their degree prior to the 2004 season. That list includes Carlos Andrews (Management), Brian Bostick (Electrical Engineering), Wesley Britt (Management), Antonio Carter (Human Environmental Sciences), Danny Martz (Criminal Justice), Evan Mathis (Management) and Cornelius Wortham (Human Environmental Sciences).
*Another six players were on track to graduate on Dec. 18, 2004 and extends the list of graduates to 13 on the Alabama football roster for the Music City Bowl.
*The Dec. 18 list of graduates includes Alex Fox (Criminal Justice), Bo Freelend (Human Environmental Sciences), Matt Grice (Health Care Management), Charlie Peprah (Marketing), Matt Ragland (Finance) and Josh Smith (Mechanical Engineering).
*In addition, two of Alabama's graduate assistant coaches -- Paul Hogan and Danny Kimball -- earned their master's degrees in December.
SENIOR CLASS BIDS FAREWELL
*The 2004 Music City Bowl will mark the final game for 18 senior football players.
*The Crimson Tide senior class has been the glue that has held this program together through the many trying times it has faced over the previous five years.
*Many of these 18 players were recruited and signed by former coach Mike DuBose, who was fired after the 2000 season with a 24-23 (.511) career record.
*The 2001 season was the only year this class participated in the post-season play, posting a 14-13 come-from-behind win over Iowa State in the Mainstay Independence Bowl in Shreveport under first-year head coach Dennis Franchione.
*After the season, the Crimson Tide was hit with major NCAA sanctions, including a significant loss of scholarships (21 total) and a two-year (2002-03) bowl ban.
*The class stuck together and led the Crimson Tide to a 10-3 season in 2002, the school's NCAA-leading 27th 10-win season.
*After the win over Hawai'i, Coach Fran bolted for Texas A&M leaving many of the Tide players confused and hurt.
*Alabama's coaching search landed Mike Price, who had a number of successful seasons at Washington State.
*Price, however, never coached a game, as he was terminated by UA President Dr. Robert E. Witt for off-the-field conduct following spring practice.
*With just a few months prior to the start of the season, Alabama hired former Crimson Tide quarterback Mike Shula to become the school's 26th head coach.
*Shula took the job just 115 days before the start of the 2003 season and due to a series of injuries and misfortune, the Crimson Tide struggled to a 4-9 record against the nation's most difficult schedule.
*Alabama lost to both BCS Championship teams (Oklahoma and LSU) and played the No. 1 team in the nation (Oklahoma) in Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time in school history.
*The nine losses were the second-most by an Alabama team in school history. Only the 1956 team (0-10) lost more football games at UA.
*The 2004 season began with great promise as the Crimson Tide won its first three games and was on the brink of its first national ranking in more than a year.
*But a sudden run of bad luck has the Crimson Tide at 6-5 heading into the season finale with Minnesota.
*The 2004 team has lost four starters, including a pair of seniors, to season-ending injuries.
*The Crimson Tide has had to replace its entire starting backfield this season as junior QB Brodie Croyle, senior TB Ray Hudson and sophomore FB Tim Castille all suffered season-ending knee injuries.
*An already depleted roster due to NCAA sanctions, lost another player for the remainder of the season when senior TE David Cavan suffered a cracked vertebrae in his back in the win over Miss. State.
*Despite all that has happened to this dedicated group of men in the past five years, the 2004 senior class has provided enough leadership to land the Crimson Tide the following accomplishments.
2004 SENIOR CLASS ACCOMPLISHMENTS
* Posted a 27-22 (.551) overall record.
* Three winning seasons despite five-year NCAA probation and loss of 21 scholarships.
* 2001 Independence Bowl Champions
* Posted its NCAA-leading 27th, 10-win season in 2002
* Posted road wins at Tennessee, LSU and Auburn during the last four years
2004 ALABAMA FOOTBALL SENIOR CLASS
Player, Pos. Hometown
Carlos Andrews, S Tallahassee, Fla.
Todd Bates, DE Heflin
Brian Bostick, PK Cullman
Wesley Britt, LT Cullman
Anthony Bryant, DT Newbern
Antonio Carter, WR Tallahassee, Fla.
David Cavan, TE Northport
Alex Fox, Holder Pensacola, Fla.
Bo Freelend, P Eutaw
Ray Hudson, TB Bonifay, Fla.
Matt Grice, SS Tuscaloosa
Chris James, S Albany, Ga.
*Anthony Madison, CB Thomasville
Danny Martz, RG Gaithersburg, Md.
Evan Mathis, LG Homewood
Matt Ragland, WR Huntsville
Josh Smith, FB Mountain Brook
Cornelius Wortham, LB Calhoun City, Miss.
* -- Eligible for fifth year upon graduation.
SECOND YEAR SUCCESS
*Despite a rash of injuries, which includes the entire starting backfield, and recent scholarship limitations, Alabama head coach Mike Shula has seen his team make significant progress this season.
*In fact, Alabama has two more wins after 11 games (6-5) this season than they recorded in 13 games (4-9) last season.
*Shula's two-game improvement ties him with Paul Bryant, Bill Curry and Xen Scott for sixth-place on the school's all-time list for most improvement from the first to the second year.
*The two-game improvement continues a long-standing tradition at Alabama, where the head coach shows improvement from year one to year two.
*Of the 17 head coaches who have worked at Alabama for more than one season, 11 have shown improvement from the first to the second year.
*Three other coaches had the same number of wins in year one and year two on the UA sidelines.
*Gene Stallings (1990-96) and W.B. Blount (1903-04) hold the Alabama record for most improvement between their first and second seasons.
*Both coaches won four more games in their second year than they did in their first season.
*Stallings led Alabama to a 7-5 record in his first season in 1990 and followed that up with an 11-1 record in 1991, an improvement of four games.
*Blount posted a 3-4 record in 1903 and followed that up with 7-3 mark in his final season as head coach in 1904.
*Here is a look at the UA head coaches and their records in their first two seasons as head coach.
*The 2004 season marks just the fourth time in school history that Alabama has entered its bowl game with six wins.
*Alabama also entered post-season play with six wins in 1969, 1970 and 2001.
*The Crimson Tide finished the 1969 regular season with a 6-4 record before losing to Colorado 47-33 in the Liberty Bowl to finish with a 6-5 record.
*In 1970, Alabama went 6-5 in its first 11-game regular season under coach Bryant and then tied Oklahoma in the Astro Bluebonnet Bowl to finish with a 6-5-1 record.
*Three years ago, Alabama won its final three regular-season games to become bowl eligible with a 6-5 regular season mark under first-year head coach Dennis Franchione. After a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the Independence Bowl, Alabama concluded the 2001 campaign with a 7-5 slate.
BAMA HAS WINNING SEASON
*The 30-14 win over Miss. State on Nov. 6 not only made the Crimson Tide bowl eligible, but is now one win away from clinching another winning season in the long and storied tradition of Alabama football.
*After losses to LSU (26-10) and Auburn (21-13) to close out the regular season, Alabama is still looking for that elusive seventh win.
*A win over Minnesota in the 2004 Music City Bowl would give the Tide seven wins and would clinch the school's 93rd winning season in school history.
*This is Alabama's 110th year of football and one more win would mean the Tide has posted a winning record in 84.5 percent of its football playing seasons.
*Since 1997, Alabama has had only four winning seasons, with its last coming in 2003 (10-3) under former coach Dennis Franchione.
*Alabama posted 26 consecutive winning seasons from 1958-83, including all 25 years under head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.
*From 1958-1996, Alabama had 39 winning seasons in 40 years of football competition.
NON-LOSING SEASON STREAK
*With a 6-5 record entering the 2004 Music City Bowl, Alabama needs a win over Minnesota on New Year's Eve to avoid back-to-back non-winning seasons in the last 48 years.
*The last time Alabama had back-to-back non winning seasons was 1954-57, when UA posted four consecutive losing seasons under coaches Red Drew (1954) and J.B. Whitworth (1955-57).
*A loss to Minnesota in the 2004 Music City Bowl would give Alabama a 6-6 overall record and its first .500 season in 94 years.
*Alabama has not finished the season with a .500 record since coach Guy Lowman guided the Crimson Tide to a 4-4 record in 1910.
*Overall, Alabama has finished the season with a .500 winning percentage three times since its initial break-even record in 1892.
BAMA'S ALL-TIME .500 SEASONS
Year Record Coach
1892 2-2 EB Beaumont
1902 4-4 Eli Abbott
1910 4-4 Guy Lowman
BAMA BOWLING AGAIN
*Alabama has college football's most storied bowl history.
*Alabama has posted a 29-19-3 (.598) all-time record in its previous 51 bowl appearances.
*Alabama owns the NCAA record for most bowl games (52) and most victories (29).
*Alabama is bowling for the first time since a 14-13 come-from-behind win over Iowa State in the Dec. 28, 2001 Mainstay Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
*Andrew Zow's 27-yard TD pass to Terry Jones, Jr. with less than three minutes to play gave the Tide a one-point win.
*Iowa State's Tony Yelk missed a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game to preserve the Bama win.
*Alabama's bowl history dates back to the Jan. 1, 1926 Rose Bowl where coach Wallace Wade's team upset the Washington Huskies 20-19 to finish with the school's first perfect 10-0 season.
*The landmark win over the Huskies also secured the Crimson Tide the 1925 national championship, the first of 12 titles won by the school.
*Alabama overcame a 12-0 halftime deficit with 20 third-quarter points en route to the 20-19 win. Pooley Hubert's one-yard run marked the first post-season touchdown in school history.
*Alabama has played in 16 different bowl games in its storied history and is making its second appearance in the Music City Bowl.
*The Crimson Tide has played in more Sugar Bowls (12) than any other bowl. The Orange Bowl (8), Cotton Bowl (6) and Rose Bowl (6) rank second and third respectively.
*Alabama has played bowl games in 10 different states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Hawai'i, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
*In addition, The Coliseum in Nashville will be the 19th different bowl stadium for the Crimson Tide.
*Alabama players have garnered 39 "Most Valuable Player" awards in its 51 previous bowl games.
*Another 19 players and coaches have been selected to various all-time bowl teams.
MUSIC CITY BOWL
*Alabama is making its second appearance in the Music City Bowl, having played in the inaugural Music City Bowl in 1998.
*In its first trip to Nashville, Alabama dropped a 38-7 decision to Virginia Tech on Dec. 29, 1998 in the only Music City Bowl game to be played at Vanderbilt Stadium.
*The Crimson Tide is the only team to play in both Vanderbilt Stadium and The Coliseum as a Music City Bowl participant.
*The 2004 season marks the seventh straight year that an SEC team has played in the Music City Bowl.
*The SEC has compiled a 1-5 (.167) record in its previous six trips to the Music City Bowl.
*Auburn's 28-14 win over Wisconsin in last year's game marked the only win in the Music City Bowl by an SEC team.
*The SEC was matched up with the Big East Conference in the first four years of the Music City Bowl's existence. Big East teams won all four meetings by an average of 13.25 points per game.
*In 2002, the Big Ten reached an agreement with the Music City Bowl to send a team to Nashville to face a team from the SEC.
*Minnesota beat Arkansas in the first SEC-Big 10 matchup in 2002, while Auburn snapped a five-game losing streak by the SEC in last year's game in Nashville.
MUSIC CITY BOWL RESULTS
Year Result of Game
1998 Virginia Tech 38, Alabama 7
1999 Syracuse 20, Kentucky 13
2000 West Virginia 49, Ole Miss 38
2001 Boston College 20, Georgia 16
2002 Minnesota 29, Arkansas 14
2003 Auburn 28, Wisconsin 14
SAME BOWL, DIFFERENT STADIUM
*The Music City Bowl is one of five bowls in which the Crimson Tide has played using more than one stadium.
*Alabama has played in the Orange Bowl eight times, including its first appearance in 1943. The Orange Bowl games have taken place at The Orange Bowl Stadium and Pro Player Stadium.
*The Crimson Tide played in the post-season game at The Orange Bowl stadium in 1943, 1953, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972 and 1975.
*Bama's 2000 Orange Bowl appearance against Michigan was played at Pro Player Stadium.
*Alabama has played in the Sugar Bowl 12 times at two different sites, including Tulane Stadium and The Louisiana Superdome.
*The Crimson Tide played Sugar Bowl games at Tulane Stadium in 1945, 1948, 1962, 1964, 1967 and 1973.
*UA's Sugar Bowl appearances in the Superdome took place in 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1990 and 1993.
*Alabama has also made four Liberty Bowl appearances at two different sites. In fact, the Crimson Tide has played in the Liberty Bowl in two different states.
*In 1959, Penn State beat Alabama 7-0 at the Liberty Bowl at Philadelphia Stadium in Philadelphia, Penn.
*Bama has played three at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., losing to Colorado (47-33) in 1969 and beating UCLA (36-6) in 1976 and Illinois (21-15) in 1982.
*The Crimson Tide's two Bluebonnet Bowl games came in two different stadiums as well.
*Alabama and Texas played to a 3-3 tie in the 1960 Bluebonnet Bowl at Rice Stadium in Houston.
*The second game came 10 years later, as Alabama and Oklahoma played to a 17-17 tie at the Astrodome in 1970.
*In another twist, Alabama has played two different bowls in the same stadium on two different occasions.
*The Crimson Tide played the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl (lost to Michigan 28-24) and the 1997 Outback Bowl (beat Michigan 17-14) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
*Bama also played the 1990 Blockbuster Bowl (beat Colorado 30-25) and the 2000 Orange Bowl (lost to Michigan 35-34, ot) at Pro Player Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale.
SAME BOWL, DIFFERENT STADIUM
Astro Bluebonnet Bowl
Rice Stadium (1960)
The Astrodome (1970)
Philadelphia Stadium (1959)
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (1969, 1976, 1982)
Music City Bowl
Vanderbilt Stadium (1998)
The Coliseum (2004)
The Orange Bowl Stadium (7 times)
Pro Player Stadium (2000)
Tulane Stadium (6 times)
Louisiana Superdome (6 times)
SAME STADIUM, DIFFERENT BOWL
1988 Hall of Fame Bowl
1997 Outback Bowl
Pro Player Stadium
1990 Blockbuster Bowl
2000 Orange Bowl
*Alabama has played in 16 different bowl games since its first bowl game in 1935.
*Overall, Alabama has made 32 of its 52 bowl appearances in either the Cotton, Orange, Rose or Sugar Bowl.
*Here is the record breakdown at each game in which the Crimson Tide has played.
BAMA'S BOWL BREAKDOWN
Bowl (Apps) UA Record
Sugar Bowl (12) 8-4 (.667)
Orange Bowl (8) 4-4 (.500)
Rose Bowl (6) 4-1-1 (.750)
Cotton Bowl (6) 2-4 (.333)
Liberty Bowl (4) 2-2 (.500)
Sun Bowl (3) 3-0 (1.000)
Gator Bowl (2) 1-1 (.500)
Bluebonnet Bowl (2) 0-0-2 (.000)
Blockbuster Bowl (1) 1-0 (1.000)
Aloha Bowl (1) 1-0 (1.000)
Citrus Bowl (1) 1-0 (.1000)
Hall of Fame Bowl (1) 1-0 (1.000)
Outback Bowl (1) 1-0 (1.000)
Independence Bowl (1) 1-0 (1.000)
Fiesta Bowl (1) 0-1 (.000)
Music City Bowl (1) 0-1 (.000)
*The Minnesota Golden Gophers will mark the Crimson Tide's 32nd different bowl opponent.
*Alabama has faced a first-time bowl opponent in three of its last four bowl games. The list includes Virginia Tech (1998 Music City), Iowa State (2001 Independence) and Minnesota (2004 Music City Bowl).
*Alabama's most common bowl opponent is Texas, as the Crimson Tide and Longhorns have met five times in bowl games. UA is 0-4-1 in those games.
ALL-TIME BOWL OPPONENTS
Opponent Bowl Record
Boston College 1-0
Iowa State 1-0
Miami (Fla) 1-1
North Carolina 1-0
Notre Dame 0-2
Ohio State 2-0
Ole Miss 1-0
Penn State 2-1
Southern California 2-0
Texas A&M 1-1
Washington State 1-0
Virginia Tech 0-1
CONFERENCE BOWL BREAKDOWN
*By the time the bowl game is played, Alabama will have faced teams from eight different conferences and six independents in its bowl history.
*Taking into consideration all of the expansion and conference realignment, the Crimson Tide has played more bowl games against the current members of the Big 12 Conference than any other league.
*When you take into account games against the Southwest Conference (SWC), the Big 8 and the Big 12, Alabama has played 19 bowl games against those teams.
*Overall, Alabama is 9-9-1 (.500) all-time against the teams that currently make up the Big 12 field.
*The Crimson Tide's most success has come against the Pac 10 Conference, where Alabama has compiled a 7-1-1 (.833) all-time bowl record.
*Alabama is 4-2 (.667) in bowl games against the Big 10 Conference, with both losses coming to Michigan.
UA BOWL RECORD VS. CONFERENCES
Conference UA Record
ACC 1-1 (.500)
Big East 1-2 (.333)
Big Ten 4-2 (.667)
Big 12 9-9-1 (.500)**
Pac 10 7-1-1 (.833)
SEC 1-0 (1.000)
Independents 5-4 (.556)
**Includes a 4-5-1 record vs. Southwest Conference and 4-4 mark against the Big Eight.
TENNESSEE BOWL GAMES
*The 2004 Music City Bowl will mark the fifth bowl game in Alabama history to be played in the state of Tennessee.
*The Tide's first post-season appearance in the state of Tennessee came in the 1969 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, a 47-33 loss to Colorado.
*Alabama also played in the Liberty Bowl in 1976 and 1982.
*The 1982 Liberty Bowl was the final game in the career of Alabama coaching legend Paul "Bear" Bryant.
TENNESSEE BOWL GAMES
Year Result of Game
1969 Colorado 47, Alabama 33 (Liberty Bowl)
1976 Alabama 36, UCLA 6 (Liberty Bowl)
1982 Alabama 21, Illinois 15 (Liberty Bowl)
1998 Virginia Tech 38, Alabama 7 (Music City Bowl)
2004 Alabama vs. Minnesota (Music City Bowl)
*Alabama has compiled a 54-34-4 (.609) all-time record in the state of Tennessee.
*The 2004 Music City Bowl against Minnesota will be the school's 93rd all-time game in the state of Tennessee.
*The Music City Bowl will also mark the Crimson Tide's second game in the state of Tennessee this season. Alabama played against the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville on Oct. 23, 2004 and dropped a hard-fought 17-13 decision.
*The 2004 season marks the 16th time in school history that Alabama has played more than one game in the state of Tennessee in the same season.
*Alabama played at Vanderbilt and Tennessee in the same season in 1929, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941 and 2002.
*The Crimson Tide played at Vandy in 1969 and also played in the 1969 Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
*Alabama played at Knoxville three times (1976, 1982 and 1998) and then closed out the year with a bowl game in the state of Tennessee. Bama played in the 1976 (UCLA) and 1982 (Illinois) Liberty Bowl and the 1998 Music City Bowl (Virginia Tech).
*Alabama also played at Vanderbilt and Memphis State in 1985, 1987 and 1991.
*Alabama played three games in the state of Tennessee in 1931, Vandy and Chattanooga and losing to Tennessee.
ALL-TIME RECORD IN NASHVILLE
*Alabama has compiled a 28-13-2 (.674) all-time record in the city of Nashville.
*Of course, 42 of the 43 meetings have come against the Vanderbilt Commodores.
*The only meeting in Nashville against a team other than Vandy was a 38-7 loss to Virginia Tech in the 1998 Music City Bowl.
*From 1903-59, Alabama was 7-11-2 (.400) in the Music City.
*In fact, Alabama lost its first three games in Nashville by a combined 142-0 against Vandy in 1903, 1905 and 1906.
*The Crimson Tide also suffered its worst loss in school history in Nashville with a 78-0 loss to the Commodores on Oct. 20, 1906.
*Since 1961, Alabama is 21-2 (.913) here in Nashville and has a three-game winning streak since losing in the 1998 Music City Bowl loss to Virginia Tech.
*The 1998 Music City Bowl loss snapped Alabama's 14-game winning streak here in Nashville. Prior to the Music City Bowl loss, the Crimson Tide had not tasted defeat in Nashville since a 14-10 setback to the Commodores on Oct. 11, 1969.
*Since 1971, Alabama has won 21 straight games in Nashville against Vanderbilt.
SHULA MAKES BOWL COACHING DEBUT
*Second-year Alabama head coach Mike Shula will make his bowl head coaching debut in the 2004 Music City Bowl.
*The former Alabama quarterback was a member of three bowl teams in his UA career and was the starting quarterback in the 1985 Aloha Bowl and 1986 Sun Bowl.
*He led the Crimson Tide to a 24-3 win over Southern Cal in the 1985 Aloha Bowl in Honolulu. Shula completed eight of 15 passes for 112 yards and one TD in the win.
*Shula, who out dueled USC quarterback Rodney Peete, threw a 24-yard TD pass to Clay Whitehurst with 13:25 left in the game to give the Crimson Tide a 17-3 lead.
*In the final game of his career at the 1986 Sun Bowl, Shula completed 15 of 26 passes for 176 yards and one TD in his 27th consecutive start for the Tide.
*Shula's 32-yard TD pass to Greg Richardson with 6:24 left in the third quarter broke open a close game and propelled the Tide to a three touchdown win.
*Alabama also posted a 28-7 win over SMU in the 1983 Sun Bowl, but Shula did not play in that game as a true freshman.
BAMA COACHES IN BOWL DEBUTS
*Alabama football coaches are 4-5 (.444) in their bowl debuts with the Crimson Tide, dating back to coach Wallace Wade's first bowl game in the 1926 Rose Bowl.
*Ray Perkins and Dennis Franchione are the only two Alabama coaches to win their bowl debut in the post World War II era.
*Perkins led Alabama to a 28-7 win over SMU in the 1983 Sun Bowl, while Franchione led the Tide to a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the 2001 Independence Bowl.
UA COACHES BOWL DEBUTS
Year Result (Coach)
1926 Alabama 20, Washington 19 (Wallace Wade)
1935 Alabama 29, Stanford 13 (Frank Thomas)
1948 Texas 27, Alabama 7 (Red Drew)
1959 Penn State 7, Alabama 0 (Paul Bryant)
1983 Alabama 28, SMU 7 (Ray Perkins)
1987 Michigan 28, Alabama 24 (Bill Curry)
1991 Louisville 34, Alabama 7 (Gene Stallings)
1998 Virginia Tech 38, Alabama 7 (Mike DuBose)
2001 Alabama 14, Iowa State 13 (D. Franchione)
THE BAMA LEGACY
*Coach Shula becomes the fourth Alabama alum to play for and coach the Crimson Tide in a post-season bowl game.
*Shula joins Paul "Bear" Bryant, Ray Perkins and Mike DuBose as former UA players who have played and coached in a bowl game while at the Capstone.
*As a coach, Bryant set the standard for post-season success at Alabama. He took the Crimson Tide to a school record 24 consecutive bowl games from 1959-82.
*During his tenure at Alabama, Bryant compiled a 12-10-2 (.542) bowl record and guided the Crimson Tide to 17 New Year's Day (Cotton, Rose, Sugar or Orange) bowl games.
*As a player, Bryant played in the Jan. 1, 1935 Rose Bowl, where the Crimson Tide beat Stanford 29-13 to secure the school's fourth national championship, and the first under coach Frank Thomas.
*Perkins played and coached in six bowl games at Alabama during his career.
*As a player, Perkins played in three straight New Year's Day bowl games in 1965, 1966 and 1967.
*Perkins caught at least one TD pass in all three bowl games and finished his career with four TD receptions and one two-point conversion in his bowl career at Alabama.
*He hauled in a 20-yard TD pass from Joe Namath in the Crimson Tide's 21-17 loss to Texas in the Jan. 1, 1965 Orange Bowl.
*In the Jan. 1, 1966 Sugar Bowl win over Nebraska, Perkins caught two TD passes from Steve Sloan in the Tide's 39-28 blowout win.
*Perkins caught a 21-yard TD pass from Sloan to put the Tide up 7-0. Later in the half, he caught an 11-yard TD pass from Sloan as UA built a 24-7 halftime lead.
*As a senior, Perkins caught a 45-yard TD pass from Kenny Stabler in the Crimson Tide's 34-7 win over Nebraska in the Jan. 2, 1967 Sugar Bowl.
*As a coach, Perkins was 3-0 in bowl games, winning two Sun Bowls (1983 and 1986) and the Aloha Bowl (1985).
*Mike DuBose was a part of five bowl games as a player and coach and was winless in all five attempts.
*As a player, he played in three straight New Year's Day bowls, losing to Texas (`73 Cotton) and Notre Dame (Dec. 31, 1973 Sugar Bowl and Jan. 1, 1975 Orange).
*As a coach, he lost the 1998 Music City Bowl to Virginia Tech and the 2000 Orange Bowl to Michigan.
*Bryant and DuBose are the only two former UA players to play and coach in a New Year's Day bowl game at Alabama.
*DuBose is the only former Tide player to play and coach in the same bowl. He played in the 1975 Orange Bowl and coached the 2000 Orange Bowl while at UA.
UA COACHES BOWL RECORDS
Coach Bowl Record
Wallace Wade 2-0-1
Frank Thomas 4-2
Red Drew 1-2
Paul Bryant 12-10-2
Ray Perkins 3-0
Bill Curry 1-2
Gene Stallings 5-1
Mike DuBose 0-2
Dennis Franchione 1-0
Mike Shula 0-0
THE FEW, THE PROUD
*Alabama's 2004 Music City Bowl roster contains only 30 players with previous bowl experience.
*Of the 30 players who are on both the Independence Bowl and Music City Bowl rosters, only seven actually played in the 2001 Independence Bowl.
*Those who played in the Independence Bowl game include Todd Bates, Wesley Britt, Anthony Bryant, Ray Hudson, Chris James, Evan Mathis and Cornelius Wortham.
*Mathis and Wortham are the only two members of the 2004 Alabama team that have ever started a bowl game.
*Mathis started the 2001 Independence Bowl at strong tackle and played all 58 snaps for the Crimson Tide as a redshirt freshman.
*Wortham was the starting "sam" linebacker as a sophomore.
*There are no players on the Alabama offense with prior career bowl statistics.
*Thus, no current UA player has ever scored a point in a post-season game.
*Alabama has just three defensive players with career bowl statistics.
*That list includes Wortham (4 Tackles, 1 TFL), Bates (3 Tackles) and James (2 Tackles).
*Below is a listing of the players that were on both the 2001 Independence Bowl and the 2004 Music City Bowl rosters.
UA PLAYERS ON LAST 2 BOWL ROSTERS
Name, Pos. 2001 I-Bowl Status
Mark Anderson, DE Redshirted
Carlos Andrews, CB Injured
Todd Bates, DE Played
Brian Bostick, PK Redshirted
Wesley Britt, QT Played
Brandon Brooks, WR Redshirted
Anthony Bryant, DT Played
Antonio Carter, WR Injured
David Cavan, TE Injured
JB Closner, C Redshirted
Brodie Croyle, QB Redshirted
Von Ewing, QT Redshirted
Alex Fox, H Redshirted
Bo Freelend, P Redshirted
Matt Grice, SS Redshirted
Roman Harper, FS Redshirted
Ray Hudson, RB Played
Chris James, SS Played
Clint Johnston, TE Redshirted
Juke King, LB Redshirted
Danny Martz, SG Redshirted
Evan Mathis Started
Mike McLaughlin, PK Redshirted
Matt Miller, WR Redshirted
Spencer Pennington, QB Redshirted
Charlie Peprah, SS Redshirted
Freddie Roach, LB Redshirted
Mark Sanders, SG Redshirted
Josh Smith, FB DNP
Cornelius Wortham, LB Started
*The 2004 Music City Bowl will be the first meeting between Alabama and Minnesota in football.
BAMA AND THE BIG TEN
*Alabama has compiled a 13-8 (.619) record against the current members of the Big Ten Conference.
*Alabama has played only five Big Ten schools and has a winning record against three of the five teams.
*The Crimson Tide has faced Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.
*Alabama has never faced Big Ten foes Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern or Purdue in football.
BAMA VS. BIG TEN
Team Series Record
Illinois Alabama leads, 1-0
Michigan Michigan leads, 2-1
Ohio State Alabama leads, 3-0
Penn State Alabama leads, 8-5
Wisconsin Wisconsin leads, 1-0
*Alabama has also compiled a 4-2 (.667) record against the current Big Ten field in post-season bowl games.
BAMA VS. BIG TEN (BOWL GAMES)