ALABAMA at LSU
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tiger Stadium (92,619)
Baton Rouge, La.
SEC WESTERN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Alabamaâ€™s 27-21 victory over LSU clinched Alabamaâ€™s first SEC Western Division championship since 1999. The victory secures a berth in the 2008 Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Atlanta, scheduled for Saturday, December 6, with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. Central Time. CBS will televise the SEC Championship Game to a national audience. The Western Division Championship by Alabama is the Crimson Tideâ€™s sixth since expansion created the divisional format in 1992. Alabama also won division titles in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1999.
Alabama leads the all-time series with LSU 44-23-5, prior to this game the Tigers had taken five straight wins in the series, including a come-from-behind 41-34 win last season in Tuscaloosa. Before Saturday, the Crimson Tideâ€™s last win in the series was a 31-0 victory in Baton Rouge on Nov. 16, 2002. With the victory, the Crimson Tide owns a 25-8-2 edge in games played in Baton Rouge.
ALABAMA VS. LOUISIANA SCHOOLS
Alabama owns an 84-39-8 record against teams from the state of Louisiana. The Crimson Tide has played 113 of those 131 games against LSU (72) and Tulane (41).
SABAN NOW 1-2 ALL-TIME VS. LSU
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is now 1-2 in his career against LSU, with todayâ€™s win joining a 46-25 loss to the Tigers while at Michigan State in the 1995 Independence Bowl in Shreveport and a4 1-34 loss last year in Tuscaloosa. This game was Sabanâ€™s first game against his former team in Tiger Stadium since he left Baton Rouge for the Miami Dolphins after the 2004 season. This game was Sabanâ€™s third game in the state of Louisiana since his departure from LSU following the 2004 season. On Oct. 30, 2005, Saban led the Miami Dolphins to a 21-6 win over the New Orleans Saints in a game played at Tiger Stadium after Hurricane Katrina had damaged the Louisiana Superdome earlier that year and the Saints moved their home games to various sites, including Baton Rouge and San Antonio, Texas. Saban also led Alabama to 30-24 win over Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl in Shreveport.
TIDE WHEN RANKED NO. 1
Alabama entered the LSU game ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press football poll. The victory improved Alabama to 20-5 (.800) all-time record as the nationâ€™s top-ranked team.
SABAN REACHES 10-0 FOR FIRST TIME
Nick Saban moved to 10-0 for the first time in his head coaching career with the win over LSU. Prior to this season, Saban had fielded two teams that reached 6-0 and two teams that reached 5-0. His 1990 team at Toledo posted wins in the first six games before falling at Central Michigan 13-12 and then his 1999 team at Michigan State went 6-0 before a 19-17 loss at Northwestern. Sabanâ€™s 1997 Michigan State and 2003 LSU squads started the year at 5-0.
Year Start Team
2008 10-0 Alabama
1999 6-0 Michigan State
1990 6-0 Toledo
2003 5-0 LSU
1997 5-0 Michigan State
COFFEE ECLIPSES 1,000 RUSHING YARDS FOR THE SEASON
Junior running back Glen Coffee moved past the 1,000-yard total for rushing yards for the season against LSU with 126 yards rushing on 26 carries, giving him 1,010 yards on 162 carries. The performance marks only the 13th time in Alabama football history that a running back has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season, the first time since Kenneth Darby rushed for 1,242 yards in 2005. Coffee eclipsed the 100-yard barrier against the Tigers, marking the third time he has done so this season and the fourth such performance of his Alabama career.
ALABAMA IN OVERTIME
The LSU game marked the 11th game in Alabama football history to be decided in overtime. With the victory, Alabama has a record of 4-7 in overtime games, including a 1-1 mark vs. LSU and a 4-6 record against SEC opponents. Alabama is 1-1 in overtime under head coach Nick Saban, including a loss to Georgia in 2007 (23-26).
JOHNSON TIES ALABAMA SINGLE-GAME INTERCEPTIONS RECORD
Senior safety Rashad Johnson tied an Alabama single-game record for interceptions with three vs. LSU. That equaled the mark set by Bobby Wilson vs. Georgia in 1951, Dicky Thompson vs. Mississippi in 1966, Jeremiah Castille vs. Tennessee in 1982 and Kevin Jackson vs. Georgia in 1995.
JOHNSON RETURNS INTERCEPTION FOR TD â€“ TIES SINGLE-SEASON MARK
Senior safety Rashad Johnson returned a pass interception 54 yards for a touchdown with 4:33 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14. That marked the second consecutive game in which Johnson has scored on an interception return. He took a pickoff back 32 yards for a score last week against Arkansas State. That ties Johnson for the Alabama single-season record for interception returns for a score with four others â€“ Hootie Ingram (1952), Bobby Johns (1966), Antonio Langham (1992), and Cedric Samuel (1995). In his career, Johnson has intercepted 11 passes for 179 return yards, a total that ranks sixth in Alabama history.
JOHNSONâ€™S INTERCEPTIONS LEAD TO POINTS
Two interceptions by senior safety Rashad Johnson led to 14 Alabama points in the first half. Johnsonâ€™s interception of an LSU pass on the Tigersâ€™ first offensive possession in the first quarter led to a one-yard touchdown run by John Parker Wilson for a 7-0 Alabama lead. The play set up the Crimson Tide at the LSU 15-yard line. In the second quarter, Johnson took an interception 54 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14-14. With that interception, the Alabama defense has forced 18 turnovers this season and 13 of those turnovers have resulted in points for the Crimson Tide. The offense has scored eight times, including four touchdowns and four field goals. The defense has five touchdowns as well.
Alabama Points off Turnovers
Opponent Score Opp TOs UA Points off TOs
Clemson 34-10 2 6
Tulane 20-6 0 0
Western Kentucky 42-7 2 3
Arkansas 49-14 4 21
Georgia 41-30 2 7
Kentucky 17-14 2 7
Mississippi 24-20 3 10
Tennessee 29-9 0 0
Arkansas State 35-0 1 7
LSU 27-21 2 14
JOHNSONâ€™S TD WAS ALABAMAâ€™S 7TH NON-OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN OF 2008
Alabama entered the LSU game tied for the national lead in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the most non-offensive touchdowns in 2008. Rashad Johnsonâ€™s interception return for a score in the second quarter gave Alabama 7 non-offensive scores this season. The Crimson Tide has four interceptions returns for touchdowns – a 74-yarder by Justin Woodall, a 63-yarder by Javier Arenas, a 32-yarder by Rashad Johnson, and Johnsonâ€™s return against LSU – to go along with an 87-yard punt return from Arenas, a 17-yard return of a blocked punt by Chris Rogers and a four-yard fumble return by Rolando McClain.
JONES HAS ANOTHER BIG GAME
Freshman receiver Julio Jones had 128 yards on 7 catches today, his second 100-yard receiving outing of the season. He now has 40 catches for 634 yards receiving this season.
DEFENSE YIELDS SEASON-HIGH IN RUSHING YARDAGE
LSU rushed for 201 yards against the Crimson Tide, including 154 yards on 23 carries in the first half. The first half total gave LSU the second-highest rushing total by an Alabama opponent for an entire game this season. The highest single-game total allowed this season prior to the LSU game was 158 yards by Mississippi. Other than that game, Alabama had not allowed more than 92 rushing yards by an opponent this season.
ALABAMA TRAILED AFTER FIRST QUARTER FOR FIRST TIME IN â€˜08
LSU led Alabama, 14-7, after the first quarter, marking the first time this season that the Crimson Tide has trailed at that juncture of a game. Overall this season, the Crimson Tide has outscored its opposition by a combined 212-40 in the first half, including a 115-20 edge in the first quarter of its first 10 games. Through 10 games this season, Alabama has a 97-20 edge in second-quarter scoring this season.
Alabamaâ€™s First-Half Scoring Advantage
Game 1st Quarter Halftime
Clemson 13-0 23-3
Tulane 13-0 13-3
Western Kentucky 17-0 31-7
Arkansas 21-0 35-7
Georgia 10-0 31-0
Kentucky 14-0 14-0
Mississippi 7-3 24-3
Tennessee 6-3 13-3
Arkansas State 7-0 14-0
LSU 7-14 14-14
Totals 115-20 212-40
*Senior quarterback John Parker Wilsonâ€™s two touchdown runs gave him four rushing touchdowns of the season and 10 rushing touchdowns in his career.
*The 14 points allowed by Alabama in the first quarter at LSU is the most yielded by the Crimson Tide in the first quarter of any game since allowing 14 points to LSU in a 28-14 loss at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 11, 2006.
*LSUâ€™s 30-yard touchdown run by Charles Davis in the first quarter was only the second rushing touchdown allowed by Alabama this season.
*LSUâ€™s first touchdown of the game, a 30-yard pass from Jarrett Lee to Demetrius Byrd in the first quarter, was the first touchdown allowed this season by the Alabama defense in the first quarter of a game.
*The interception thrown by John Parker Wilson in the second quarter was his first in a road game this season. Prior to that, Wilson had gone 94 pass attempts in road games this season before that miscue that ended an Alabama drive at the LSU on the first play of the second period. Entering Saturday, Wilson had completed 58 of 84 for 647 yards and 4 touchdowns without an interception in road games this season.
*LSU won the opening coin toss and deferred its choice to the second half, Alabama chose to kickoff from the north end zone.
*Alabamaâ€™s game captains were senior defensive end Bobby Greenwood, senior center/guard Antoine Caldwell and senior safety Rashad Johnson.
FIRST WIN FOR TIDE UNDER SABAN WHEN NOT LEADING AT THE HALF
With its win over LSU, Alabama won for the first time in the Nick Saban era when it did not hold a halftime lead. The Crimson Tide and Tigers were tied 14-14 at halftime in todayâ€™s game and the Tide is now 1-5 under Saban when it did not hold the lead at halftime. The Crimson Tide is 1-2 when tied at the half and 0-3 when trailing at halftime. The Crimson Tide is 15-1 under Saban when leading at the half, including its first nine games this season.
TIDE IMPROVES TO 18-1-1 VS. LSU WHEN UNDEFEATED
The 2008 LSU game marked the 20th time an undefeated Alabama football team played against LSU. Following the 00-00 win at Tiger Stadium, Alabama improved to 18-1-1 against the Tigers when undefeated. Alabama is 12-0 as an undefeated team at Tiger Stadium.