Independence Bowl: Alabama Post Game Notes

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ALABAMA FOOTBALL GAME NOTES
2007 PETROSUN INDEPENDENCE BOWL
ALABAMA vs. COLORADO
DECEMBER 30, 2007 – INDEPENDENCE STADIUM – SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

GENERAL NOTES
Tonight’s Alabama captains were the Crimson Tide’s permanent captains, as voted by the players at the end of the regular season: senior linebacker Darren Mustin, junior free safety Rashad Johnson and junior offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell ... Alabama’s 20 points in the first quarter tonight was the most points by the Tide in a single quarter in a bowl game since the Tide scored 20 points in both the third and fourth quarters of a 61-6 victory over Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl on January 1, 1953.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

GILBERRY IS DEFENSIVE MVP – TIES SINGLE-GAME RECORD FOR TACKLES FOR LOSS
Senior defensive end Wallace Gilberry was voted the PetroSun Independence Bowl Defensive Most Valuable Player tonight.  Gilberry finished the game with eight tackles, including five for losses and one quarterback sack.  Gilberry tied the Alabama single-game record with five tackles for loss tonight. Jarret Johnson also had 5 TFLs against Southern Mississippi in 2000.  Gilberry also owns career record with 35 career TFLs.  He surpassed Kindal Moorehead (1998-2002) who had 34 in his career.

CADDELL HAS ACTIVE NIGHT
Senior receiver Matt Caddell made two big plays early in tonight’s game, catching a 34-yard pass for a touchdown to give Alabama a 20-0 lead late in the first quarter and deflecting a Colorado punt at the end of the Buffaloes’ ensuing possession to set up the Tide with good field position for a drive that led to a touchdown.  In the first half, Caddell had two catches for 52 yards and a touchdown, deflected a punt and rushed once for 12 yards.  Caddell finished the night with four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, running his career bowl game receiving totals to 13 catches for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WILSON IS OFFENSIVE MVP – SETS SEVERAL SEASON RECORDS
Junior quarterback John Parker Wilson was named the PetroSun Independence Bowl’s Offensive Most Valuable Player tonight, completing 19 of 32 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.  Wilson’s 3 touchdown passes set an Independence Bowl record, a total matched tonight by CU’s Cody Hawkins.  That total also tied the UA bowl mark for TD passes.  Wilson surpassed several Alabama individual season records tonight, including the single-season passing yards mark by finishing the game with 256 to run his 2007 total to 2,846 yards.  The old mark was set by Wilson in 2006 when he passed for 2,707 yards.  Wilson set an Alabama mark for touchdown passes in a season, moving his total to 18 and erasing his previous record of 17 set in 2006.  Wilson’s 280 yards of total offense gave him a total of 2,870 to set a new UA single-season record.  Wilson set the previous mark of 2,790 yards in 2006.  Wilson’s 19 completions gave him 234 for the season, second in UA history and just two shy of the record of 236 set last year.

DJ HALL SETS SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS IN CAREER FINALE
With 3 catches tonight, senior receiver DJ Hall finished the 2007 season with 66 receptions for 997 yards and 6 touchdowns.   Those totals give Hall the Alabama single-season record for catches with 66 to surpass Freddie Milons’ single-season record for catches of 65 set in 1999.  Hall’s 997 receiving yards this season ranks third on the Crimson Tide single-season list behind Hall’s 1,056 yards set in 2006 and David Palmer’s 1,000 yards in 1993. For his career, Hall finished with Alabama career marks for receptions (193), receiving yards (2,915) and receiving touchdowns (17).  In Southeastern Conference history, Hall finishes his Alabama career ranked fourth in career receiving yards with 2,915 and eighth in career receptions with 193.  Hall also extended his school-record streak of games played with at least one catch to 31 games dating back to the Mississippi game on October 15, 2005.

TIFFIN SETS FIELD GOALS MARKS
Sophomore placekicker Leigh Tiffin’s 26-yard field goal with 4:36 left in the fourth quarter gave Tiffin the Alabama single-season record for field goals made with 25, bettering the old record of 24 set by Phillip Doyle in 1990.  Tiffin’s 41-yard field goal at 11:30 of the first quarter gave Alabama a 3-0 lead and set a new single-season Alabama record for kicking points scored, moving Tiffin’s 2007 total to 102 points and breaking the previous UA single-season mark of 100 set by Phillip Doyle in 1989.  Tiffin finished the night with a season total of 111 kicking points scored.

ARENAS SETS SEASON MARKS FOR KICKOFF RETURNS AND YARDAGE
Sophomore returns specialist Javier Arenas returned the opening kickoff 22 yards to set an Alabama single-season record for kickoff return yards.  For the game, Arenas totaled 76 yards on 3 kickoff returns to end the season with 657 yards, eclipsing the previous UA record of 595 kickoff return yards set by Arvin Richard in 1998.  Arenas returned 3 kickoffs tonight, running his season total to 27 and bettering the single-season record of 25 set by Arvin Richard in 1998.

BROWN TIES FOR 6TH ON TIDE CAREER TD CATCHES LIST
Senior wide receiver Keith Brown’s 15-yard touchdown catch with 5:09 left in the first period gave Alabama a 13-0 lead and moved Brown into a tie for sixth in Alabama history for career touchdown receptions with 13, tying David Bailey (1969-71) on the UA list.  The catch was Brown’s lone reception of the game and enabled Brown to conclude his Alabama career with some impressive numbers in bowl action with a total of 10 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns in four career bowl games.

ALABAMA IN BOWL GAMES
The University of Alabama football team made its NCAA-leading 55th bowl appearance against Colorado.  Alabama has played in more bowl games (55) and earned more bowl wins (31) than any team in college football history. Alabama is bowling for the fourth consecutive season, something that has not happened since the Crimson Tide played in 10 straight bowl games from 1985-94.  Alabama also made its third appearance in the PetroSun Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide defeated Iowa State, 14-13, in the 2001 I-Bowl and lost to Oklahoma State, 34-31, last year.  Prior to tonight, Alabama had not played in the same bowl game in consecutive years since making back-to-back Cotton Bowl appearances in 1981 and 1982.  Tonight’s game marked the Tide’s third straight bowl appearance against a Big 12 opponent.  The Crimson Tide played Texas Tech in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and faced Oklahoma State in the 2006 Petro Sun Independence Bowl.

SABAN WINS BOWL DEBUT WITH TIDE
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has taken three different teams to post-season bowl games, including Michigan State, LSU and Alabama.
With tonight’s victory, he has compiled a 4-5 record in bowl games.  Saban is the 12th different Alabama coach to participate in a post-season bowl game, but joins Ray Perkins and Dennis Franchione as the only three Alabama coaches to win their bowl debuts 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       Results (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) 
2004        Minnesota 20, Alabama 16 (Mike Shula) 
2006        Oklahoma State 34, Alabama 31 (Joe Kines) 
2007        Alabama 30, Colorado 24 (Nick Saban)

ALABAMA-COLORADO SERIES
Alabama moves ahead in the series with Colorado with a record of 2-1-0, with all three games taking place in bowl games.  Colorado beat Alabama, 47-33, on Dec. 13, 1969 at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.  Alabama evened the series with a 30-25 win at the Blockbuster Bowl at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami on Dec. 28, 1991.

ALABAMA VS. BIG 12 SCHOOLS
Alabama improves to 14-16-2 all-time record against teams from the Big 12 Conference.  The 2007 Independence Bowl marked the third straight year the Crimson Tide has faced a Big 12 team in a bowl game.  Alabama beat Texas Tech, 13-10, in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas.  The Tide lost to Oklahoma State, 34-31, in the 2006 PetroSun Independence Bowl last year in Shreveport.  Alabama has compiled a 9-6-2 all-time bowl record against the current members of the Big 12 Conference.