ALABAMA FOOTBALL: Crimson Tide Offensive Notebook Here are some notes on the Crimson Tide offense heading into the PetroSun Independence Bowl.
The Crimson Tide offense has set a number of school records this season and is on the verge of several others heading into the PetroSun Independence Bowl.
The Tide offense has set records this season for first downs in a game, most first downs by penalty in a game, most first downs in a season and most first downs by penalty.
In 12 games, Alabama has recorded a school-record 274 first downs, breaking the old record of 263 first downs set by the 1979 national championship team in 11 games.
The Crimson Tide has also recorded a school-record 33 first downs by penalty to shatter the previous record of 22 set in 2006.
Alabama recorded 35 first downs in the season opener against Western Carolina (Sept. 1) to break the single-game record for first downs. The old mark was 34 against Penn State on Oct. 8, 1983.
The Tide also set the single-game record for most first downs by penalty with six against Tennessee (Oct. 20) and LSU (Nov. 3). The previous record was four set on numerous occasions.
Alabama enters the Independence Bowl with 131 first downs by pass this season, the second-highest total in school history. The record for passing first downs is 134 set in 1989.
In addition to the first down superlatives, Alabama has also set school records this season for most pass attempts and most completions.
UA quarterbacks have thrown a school record 410 passes this season, eclipsing the previous record of 393 attempts set last year.
Alabama has also completed a school record 244 passes this season to break the previous record of 230 completion set in 2006.
The Tide is on the verge of school records for passing yards (2,663) and TD passes (16) this season. The single-season record for passing yards is 2,767 set in 2006, while the record for TD passes is 18 also set last year.
The Crimson Tide offense has run 893 plays this season, the third-highest total in school history. Only the 2002 (929 plays) and 2003 (902 plays) have run more plays from scrimmage.
Alabama has generated 4,094 yards of total offense this season, the second-highest total in school history. The 2003 team holds the record with 4,683 yards.
In terms of turnovers, Alabama’s 18 fumbles (t7th) and eight fumbles lost (t4th) rank among the Top 10 fewest turnovers in school history.
Alabama has used 20 different starters on offense this season.
Only four offensive players -- Mike Johnson, Andre Smith, Nick Walker and John Parker Wilson -- have started all 12 games.
The Crimson Tide ran 80 offensive snaps against Florida State (Sept. 29) and Ole Miss (Oct. 14).
Against Florida State, the Tide threw the ball 53 times and ran only 27 rushing plays in the 21-14 loss.
Alabama ran 40 rushing plays and 40 passing plays in its 27-24 win at Ole Miss.
Alabama ran a season-low 66 snaps in the loss to UL Monroe on Nov. 17.
The Tide had a season-high 313 rushing yards (44 rushes) in its season opening win over Western Carolina on Sept. 1.
The 313 rushing yards were the most by an Alabama team since the Tide rushed for 338 in a win at South Carolina on September 17, 2005.
The Crimson Tide had a season-high 48 rushing attempts (221 yards) in the 24-10 win at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
UA’s lowest rushing total of the season came in the loss to LSU on Nov. 3. The Tide ran 33 times for 20 yards against the Tigers.
Alabama had a season-high six rushing touchdowns in the win over Western Carolina.
Alabama threw for a season-high 363 yards (32-of- 46, 3 TDs) in the win over Tennessee on Oct. 20.
The Tide threw for a season-low 113 yards (12-for-26) in its loss to Auburn on Nov. 24. The Tide also had a season-low 12 completions against the Tigers.
Alabama played two turnover-free games this season against Western Carolina and Tennessee.
The Crimson Tide had a season-high four turnovers in its loss to UL Monroe. The Tide has eight turnovers in its last three games, resulting in 35 points.
The 52 points scored in the season opener were the most points by Alabama on opening day since a 66-0 win over Cal at Legion Field to open the 1973 season.
The 46-point margin of victory over Western Carolina was the largest by an Alabama team in a season opener since a 66-0 victory over California to start the 1973 season.
Alabama accumulated 575 yards (313 rushing, 262 passing) of total offense against Western Carolina, the most by a Tide offense since gaining 588 yards in a 56-3 win over UTEP on October 6, 2001.
Alabama scored the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds remaining for the 41-38 victory over Arkansas on Sept. 15. The win was Alabama’s first by scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown since a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the 2001 Independence Bowl (an Andrew Zow to Terry Jones TD pass). That game also marked the last time prior to the Arkansas game that the Crimson Tide had overcome a fourth-quarter deficit to win a game. Alabama trailed that I-Bowl contest, 13-7, before winning in the final stanza.
Before the last-minute comeback, the Crimson Tide lost a 21-point lead against the Razorbacks, the largest lead lost since Alabama lost a 21-point lead against Arkansas on September 27, 2003, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama led 21-0 with 1:27 left in the first quarter on Sept. 15, 2007, and regained that edge at 31-10 with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
The Razorbacks scored three touchdowns in the span of six minutes to tie the game with 12:05 left in the fourth quarter, and took the lead at 38-31 with 8:08 left in the fourth quarter.
In the 2003 game, Alabama held a 31-10 lead with 7:52 left in the third quarter, but watched Arkansas score the game's final 24 points to pull out the three-point win. The Razorbacks outscored Alabama 14-0 in the fourth quarter and put the game-winning points on the board at the end of the second overtime for the win.
The Crimson Tide scored 23 first-quarter points in its 30-24 win over Houston on Oct. 6. The 23 points were the most scored by Alabama in a quarter since the Tide scored 31 points in the first quarter against Vanderbilt in 1990.
Despite playing the game without the services of two starting offensive linemen, the Alabama offense gained 510 total yards today and did not allow a quarterback sack in the win over Tennessee, the second-most this season, including a season-high 363 yards passing.
Along the way, Alabama set new season highs in passing completions (32); offensive plays (84) and tied a season high for points (41).
*The 510 yards of total offense by Alabama against Tennessee is the most by the Tide against an SEC opponent since Alabama gained 552 against Arkansas on September 20, 2002, in Fayetteville, Ark., a 30-12 victory for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama averaged 7.9 yards on first down against Tennessee. The Tide ran 36 plays for 286 yards on first down in the win against Tennessee.
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson (Hoover) directs the Tide offense for the second straight year. He is 12-13 (.480) as the starting quarterback.
In 30 career games, Wilson has completed 459 of 820 (.560) passes for 5,395 yards, with 34 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
He is the fifth quarterback in school history to pass for more than 5,000 yards.
He is among the all-time leaders in completions (2nd), pass attempts (3rd), passing yards (4th) and touchdowns (4th).
Wilson is also third all-time in total offensive plays (982) and fourth in total offense (5,552 yards).
In 12 games this season, Wilson has completed 236 of 430 passes (.549) for 2,590 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
At one point in the season, he threw 132 passes without an interception, the longest of his career and fourth-longest in UA annals.
The 430 pass attempts and 230 completions are both single-season records, surpassing his own marks set last year as a sophomore.
He is also chasing his own school records for passing yards and touchdown passes heading into the Independence Bowl.
Wilson has thrown for 2,590 yards this season and is 118 yards shy of his own school record (2,707 yards) set last year.
He has also added 15 touchdown passes and needs two more to tie his school record of 17 TD passes set in 2006.
In terms of total offense, Wilson has set the single-season record with 507 plays in 2007, breaking his old record of 461 plays last season.
He enters the I-Bowl needing 201 yards of total offense (rushing and passing yards) to break his school record of 2,790 yards of total offense set in 2006. Wilson has 2,590 yards of total offense this season.
Wilson averages 222.5 total offense per game, which is the single-season record. The previous record was 215.7 yards by Scott Hunter (2,157 yards in 10 games) during the 1969 season.
Overall, Wilson has accounted for 20 touchdowns this season (15 passing, 5 rushing), which is the third-most in a season in school history,
Shaun Alexander holds the UA record with 24 touchdowns (19 rushing, 4 receiving and 1 KO return) in 1999. Harry Gilmer is second with 22 touchdowns (13 passing, 9 rushing) in 1945.
Wilson also has accounted for 40 career TDs to rank 5th on the all-time list at Alabama. Joe Namath, Johnnny Musso and Bobby Humphrey are also 5th with 40 career TDs.
Jeff Rutledge (41 TDs) ranks fourth and Walter Lewis (42 TDs) ranks third on the school’s all-time TD list.
Wilson also holds the school record with 15 career 200-yard passing games.
During the 2007 season, he directed the Tide to a pair of late-scoring drives in back-to-back games against No. 16 Arkansas and forced overtime with No. 22 Georgia.
Against the Razorbacks, Wilson led the Tide to a 9-play, 73-yard drive in the final two minutes which resulted in a 4-yard pass to Matt Caddell with eight seconds left in the game as UA won 41-38.
Wilson completed 7-of-9 passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in the game-winning drive against Arkansas.
Against Georgia, Wilson led the Tide to a 10-play, 88-yard drive which resulted in his 6-yard run to tie the game at 20-20 and force overtime.
He completed 2-of-3 passes for 51 yards and accounted for 57 yards of total offense on the drive.
In the win over Arkansas, Wilson completed 24 of 45 passes for 327 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.
The 327 passing yards against the Razorbacks was the 10th best single-game effort in school history.
Wilson set the UA single-game record with 63 plays against Florida State on Sept. 29 in Jacksonville. The previous record was 59 plays by Scott Hunter vs. Auburn in 1969.
Wilson’s 53 pass attempts against Florida State are the second-most by an Alabama quarterback. Hunter had 55 attempts against Auburn in 1969.
His best game of the season came in the Tide’s 41-17 win over Tennessee on Oct. 20.
Wilson completed 32 of 46 passes for 363 yards and three TDs in the Tide’s win.
His 69.9 completion percentage tied the UA record single-game record for a minimum of 30 completions. Gary Hollingsworth (32-46, 69.6) also set the completion percentage record against Tennessee in 1989 with identical passing numbers.
Wilson also tied the UA single-game record with 32 completions in the win over Tennessee.
The 361 passing yards ranked 5th on the UA single-season charts, while the three TDs passes tied for fourth place.
Wilson threw three more TD passes against LSU on Nov. 3. Redshirt freshman Greg McElory (Southlake, Texas) has played in two games (Western Carolina and Tennessee) this season.
McElroy completed 8-of-9 passes for 73 yards and one touchdown against the Catamounts.
True freshman Nick Fanuzzi (San Antonio, Texas) saw limited action under center in the season opener against Western Carolina.
Fanuzzi does not have a pass attempt, but did lead the Tide to scoring drive on his lone series against the Catamounts.
Alabama senior wide receiver DJ Hall (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) is the school’s all-time leader in both career receptions (190) and receiving yards (2,865) heading into the Independence Bowl.
In 12 games this season, Hall leads the team with 63 catches for 947 yards and six touchdowns.
He is the only UA receiver to have at least one catch in all 12 games this season.
Hall needs two catches to tie Freddie Milons (1999) single-season record with 65 receptions.
Hall is also 109 yards shy of his own school record for receiving yards in a season. Hall had 1,056 yards last year as a junior.
He also needs 53 yards to become the only player in school history with two 1,000-yard seasons.
Hall had six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Arkansas (Sept. 15).
Hall averaged 28.7 yards per catch in the win over the Razorbacks, the fifth highest single-game average in school history.
He had 11 catches (140 yards) in the win over Ole Miss on Oct. 13.
Hall set the UA single-game record with 13 catches for 185 yards in the win over Tennessee on Oct. 20.
In terms of all-purpose yards, Hall is currently 10th on the school’s all-time list with 3,010 yards.
He needs 127 yards to surpass Johnny Musso’s (1969-71) ninth-place total of 3,236 all-purpose yards.
He needs 201 yards to surpass Shaud Williams (2002-03) eighth-place total of 3,310 all-purpose yards.
The Tide has had 17 different players catch at least one pass this season.
Alabama has had seven different receivers catch a touchdown pass this season.
Alabama’s wide receivers have caught 162 passes for 2,020 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The Tide’s wide receivers caught 15 passes for 189 yards and one TD in the loss to ULM on Nov. 17.
Senior Matt Caddell (McCalla) is the second-leading receiver with 36 catches for 399 yards and one touchdown this season.
In 49 career games, he has 82 receptions for 1,059 yards and four TDs.
Caddell has caught at least one pass in each of his last 10 games.
His best game of the season came against Arkansas on Sept. 22, when he caught a career-high nine passes for 91 yards, including the game-winning touchdown.
He had four catches for 41 yards on UA’s game-winning drive, including a 4-yard TD catch with eight seconds left in the game.
Caddell had seven catches for 49 yards, all in the first half, at Ole Miss on Oct. 14.
Caddell and Hall (11-140) combined for 18 catches and 189 yards against the Rebels.
Sophomore Mike McCoy (Rankin, Miss.) is the Tide’s third-leading receiver with 28 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown.
His best game of the season came against Georgia (Sept. 22), where he caught six passes for 47 yards.
McCoy logged his first career touchdown reception (23 yards) on the final play of the first quarter against Houston on Oct. 6 to give the Tide a 23-0 lead.
Senior wide receiver Keith Brown (Pensacola, Fla.) has caught 21 passes for 321 yards and four touchdowns in 11 games.
In 43 career games, Brown has 116 receptions for 1,848 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Hall (2,865), Brown (1,848) and Caddell (1,059) all have 1,000 career receiving yadrs at Alabama.
The trio has combined for 388 catches, 5,778 yards and 33 TDs.
He had his best game of the season against ULM (Nov. 17) when he caught six passes for 97 yards and one TD.
Brown had two catches for 43 yards and two TDs in the loss to LSU on Nov. 3. He had a 29-yard TD catch that gave UA a 20-17 halftime lead. His 14-yard TD grab extended the Tide’s lead to 27-17 in the third quarter.
He had three catches for 73 yards (24.3 average) in the loss to Georgia and three catches for 34 yards (11.3 average) and one TD against Florida State.
He hauled in his 100th career reception against Georgia on Sept. 22.
Junior Nikita Stover (Hartselle, Ala.) has eight catches for 96 yards and one touchdown.
He had a 23-yard touchdown reception against Houston on Oct. 6.
Stover had a season-high two catches for 24 yards in the win over Tennessee on Oct. 20.
The tight ends have 26 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior Nick Walker (Brundidge, Ala.) is sixth on the team with 19 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns. He also has a two-point conversion.
In his three-year career, Walker has 31 catches for 325 yards and three TDs in 37 games.
Walker’s best game of the season came in the season opener against Western Carolina (Sept. 1), where he had five catches for 40 yards and one TD.
Junior Travis McCall (Prattville) has six catches for 45 yards this season.
He has 17 catches for 172 yards and one TD in 37 career games for the Tide.
His best game of the season came against Tennessee on Oct. 20, where he had three catches for 21 yards.
Redshirt freshman Preston Dial (Mobile, Ala.) has played in 10 games this season and earned his first career start at Vanderbilt (Sept. 8) when UA opened in a three tight-end set.
He recorded his first career reception (21 yards) in the loss to UL Monroe on Nov. 17.
Alabama has used five running backs this season and started three different running backs in the first 12 games.
The Tide’s running backs have 369 rushing attempts for 1,735 yards and 14 TDs.
The UA backfield entered the 2007 season with only 733 combined rushing yards and three touchdowns in 43 career games.
No UA running back had started a game prior to the 2007 season.
The Tide’s four running backs accounted for 296 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the win over Western Carolina.
The six rushing TDs were the most by Alabama since scoring six rushing touchdowns in a 56-3 win over UTEP on Oct. 6, 2004.
Redshirt freshmen running back Terry Grant (Lumberton, Miss.) has set UA single-season freshman records for rushing attempts, rushing yards and tuchdowns this season.
In 11 games, Grant has 180 rushing attempts for 891 yards and eight touchdowns. He also averages 4.9 yards per carry.
With his 891 rushing yards, Grant will become the first freshman to lead the Tide in rushing since Chris Anderson ran for a team-high 492 yards (106 attempts) in 1985.
Grant is also seeking to become the sixth freshman in school history to lead the Crimson Tide in rushing. The others are Harry Gilmer (405 yds, 1944), Lowell Tew (715 yds, 1945), Ricky Moore (347 yds, 1981), Gene Jelks (588 yds, 1985) and Chris Anderson (492 yds, 1990).
He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week following wins over Western Carolina, Vanderbilt and Arkansas.
Grant rushed for 134 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in the season opener against Western Carolina. He scored on the Tide’s first play from scrimmage and had 68 yards rushing on eight carries (8.5-yard average) through the first period of action.
He scored on the first play from scrimmage with a 1-yard TD run at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8. He finished the game with 24 carries for 173 yards and two TDs.
He added his third 100-yard game of the season against Tennessee (26-104-1), where he set UA single-season freshman records for rushing attempts, rushing yards and touchdowns.
Sophomore Glen Coffee (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.) is the second-leading rusher with 110 carries for 473 yards and four touchdowns.
He made his first career start against Houston on Oct. 6 and had 30 rushing attempts for 121 yards and one touchdown. It was the first 100-yard game of his career for the Tide.
The 30 rushing attempts were the most by an Alabama back since Kenneth Darby had 35 rushing attempts against LSU in 2004.
Coffee had nine carries for a season-high 76 yards and one TD in the season opener against Western Carolina.
Sophomore Roy Upchurch (Tallahassee, Fla.) is third on the team with 38 carries for 203 yards and one touchdown.
He had a season-high six carries in wins over Western Carolina (Sept. 1) and Houston (Oct. 6).
Upchurch had a season-best 55 yards and one TD in the season opener with Western Carolina.
Junior Jonathan Lowe (Phenix City, Ala.) saw late-season duty at running back and finished the season with 24 carries for 99 yards.
He made his running back debut against LSU on Nov. 3. He finished as the Tide’s leading rusher with 10 carries for 31 yards.
Lowe added seven carries for 40 yards in the loss to Mississippi State.
The Crimson Tide’s running backs have caught 55 passes for 404 yards and one touchdown this season.
Grant has the most catches among the Tide running backs and fourth-most on the team. In 11 games, he has 26 receptions for 176 yards and one TD.
He had a career-high six catches for 31 yards, including his first career receiving TD against Tennessee on Oct. 20.
Coffee has 16 catches for 131 yards.
The offensive line, which has battled injuries and suspensions during the 2007 season, has used eight different starters and six different starting combinations this season.
Sophomores Andre Smith (Birmingham) and Mike Johnson (Pensacola, Fla.) are the only two offensive linemen to start all 12 games this season.
Smith has started all 12 games at left tackle and is the only offensive lineman to start the same position in each game.
He has also started all 25 games in his UA career and had one rushing touchdown (2-yard lateral) against Oklahoma State in the 2006 PetroSun Independence Bowl.
Smith is the 2007 winner of the SEC Jacobs Trophy (most outstanding blocker) and was on the Outland Trophy Watch List.
Johnson has started all 12 games at two different positions. He started the first nine games at right tackle before moving to right guard against Mississippi State, UL Monroe and Auburn.
Juniors Antoine Caldwell (Montgomery, Ala.) and Marlon Davis (Columbus, Ga.) were suspended on Oct. 19 for impermissible receipt of textbooks. The NCAA reinstated the duo along with three other Tide players on Nov. 18.
Caldwell has played in eight games this season and started at four different positions. He started the first five games at center, before switching to left guard against Houston (Oct. 6) and right guard at Ole Miss (Oct. 13). He returned to the UA lineup in the regular-season finale against Auburn (Nov. 24) and made his first start at right tackle.
He began his career as a guard but was moved to center for the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl due to a sudden rash of injuries on the offensive line two years ago.
He started 19 straight games at center before moving back to guard for the Houston game on Oct. 6, his first start at guard since the final regular season game at Auburn in 2005. He made his first career start at right guard at Ole Miss on Oct. 13.
He saw his streak of 32 consecutive starts come to an end against Tennessee.
Davis has made seven starts on the offensive line at two different positions. He started six of the first seven games at right guard. He returned to the UA lineup in the regular-season finale at Auburn (Nov. 24) and made his first start at left guard.
Overall, Davis has appeared in 25 career games, with 12 starts.
Sophomore Evan Cardwell (Killen, Ala.) has started the last seven games at center for the Tide. The Houston game (Oct. 6) was his first collegiate start.
Senior Justin Britt (Cullman, Ala.) is another veteran lineman for the Tide. Britt has started 10 games this season and 27 in his UA career.
Senior B.J. Stabler (Grove Hill) started the Tennessee and LSU games at right guard. Overall, Stabler has 22 career starts for the Tide.
Senior Chris Capps (Jonesboro, Ga.) became the eighth different offensive lineman to start for the Tide with his first start of the season at Mississippi State on Nov. 10. He also started at right tackle against ULM.
Capps entered the season with 32 consecutive games and 25 consecutive starts, but both ended the first two weeks of the season.
His streak of 25 consecutive starts came to an end in the 2007 season opener against Western Carolina.
He saw his 32-game playing streak come to an end when he did not see action at Vanderbilt on Sept. 8.
Freshmen William Vlachos (Mountain Brook), Taylor Pharr (Irondale) and David Ross (Homewood, Ala.), have also played this season.