Size doesn’t matter, execution does

Alabama’s vaunted offensive line became a patchwork this week, and it couldn’t stop the pressure on John Parker Wilson—and mistakes followed. Turnovers. False Start penalties. Unnecessary roughness penalties. No cog of the Tide’s offense escaped the mistake bug.

The good things that happened were few and far between as Utah outplayed Alabama to power the Utes to a 31-17 victory. In the good column Javier Arenas returned a punt for a touchdown and that was about it. You could add Alabama showed some fight when it battled back from a 21-0 deficit to close within 21-17; however, Utah was able to counter punch.

Alabama’s defense looked clueless much of the night as it surrendered 336 yards passing and three touchdowns. On offense Alabama failed passing and running as Utah’s defense allowed Alabama only 208 yards of total offense.

Here are the game notes from UA:
ARENAS GOES THE DISTANCE
Javier Arenas returned a Utah punt 73 yards for a touchdown with 5:28 left in the second quarter to narrow the Utah lead over Alabama to 21-10. That return is Arenas’ sixth punt return for a touchdown in his Alabama career, extending his own school record. The junior also owns four of the 11 longest punt returns in Alabama history. It also is the fourth-longest by an Alabama player in a bowl game.

Arenas’ Career Punt Return Touchdowns
65 Florida International (Oct. 28, 2006)
86 Oklahoma State (Independence Bowl) (Dec. 28, 2006)
61 LSU (Nov. 3, 2007)
87 Tulane (Sept. 6, 2008)
80 Mississippi State (Nov. 15, 2008)
73 Utah (Sugar Bowl) (Jan. 2, 2009)


JONES ECLIPSES 900 YARDS IN RECEIVING YARDAGE

Freshman receiver Julio Jones, who entered the Sugar Bowl game ranked 4th in Alabama history for receiving yards in a season with 847, caught 7 passes for 77 yards to finish the 2008 season with 58 receptions for 924 yards. Those totals shattered the previous Alabama freshman records, and placed fourth in receiving yards and fifth in receptions for a season.

RECEIVING YARDS – SEASON
Yards Player (catches) Year

1,056 DJ Hall (62 catches) 2006
1,005 DJ Hall (67 catches) 2007
1,000 David Palmer (61 catches) 1993
924 Julio Jones (55 catches) 2008
820 Dennis Homan (54 catches) 1967
804 Ozzie Newsome (36 catches) 1977
790 David Bailey (55 catches) 1970
781 David Bailey (56 catches) 1969
756 Al Lary (35 catches) 1950
733 Freddie Milons (65 catches) 1999

RECEPTIONS – SEASON
Rec. Player (Yards) Year
67 DJ Hall (1,005 yards) 2007
65 Freddie Milons (733 yards) 1999
62 DJ Hall (1,056 yards) 2006
61 David Palmer (1,000 yards) 1993
58 Julio Jones (905 yards) 2008
56 David Bailey (781 yards) 1969
55 David Bailey (790 yards) 1970
54 Dennis Homan (820 yards) 1967
51 Lamonde Russell (622 yards) 1989
48 Kevin Turner (465 yards) 1989
48 Quincy Jackson (621 yards) 1998
48 DJ Hall (676 yards) 2005

TIFFIN MAKES 53rd FIELD GOAL OF CAREER; 20th of SEASON
With a 52-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, placekicker Leigh Tiffin made 20 field goals this season (in 29 attempts) and has made 53 field goals in his Alabama career. His 20 field goals this season moves him into fourth on the Alabama single-season field goals made list. He holds the single-season record with 25 set in 2007. Tiffin’s 53 career field goals ranks him fourth in Alabama history behind Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90), Michael Proctor (65 from 1992-95), and Van Tiffin (59 from 1983-86). With a make and two misses against Utah, Tiffin was 7-9 on field goals in domes this season, including 2-3 from beyond 50 yards. (54 vs. Clemson, 52 vs. Utah).

FIELD GOALS MADE – SEASON
FGM Player (Attempts) Year

25 Leigh Tiffin (34 att.) 2007
24 Philip Doyle (29 att.) 1990
22 Philip Doyle (25 att.) 1989
22 Michael Proctor (29 att.) 1993
20 Leigh Tiffin (29 att.) 2008
19 Philip Doyle (31 att.) 1988
19 Michael Proctor (27 att.) 1992
17 Van Tiffin (26 att.) 1985

McCALL & WALKER PLAY 52nd CAREER GAME
A pair of Alabama seniors played their 52nd career game when the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl clash with Utah, moving into a tie for the most games played in school history. Tight ends Travis McCall and Nick Walker played in their 52nd game for Alabama against Utah, tying former fullback Tarrant Lynch (1990-94) for the most games played in a Crimson Tide uniform. Defensive end Bobby Greenwood played in his 51st game for the Crimson Tide on Friday night. Former offensive lineman Matt Hammond (1990-93) and linebacker Lemanski Hall (1990-93) are tied with Greenwood on the list with 51 games played. Safety Rashad Johnson played in his 50th career game against Utah, as well.

ALL-TIME GAMES PLAYED
Rank Player (Years) Games

1. Tarrant Lynch (1990-94) 52
Travis McCall (2005-08) 52
Nick Walker (2005-08) 52

4. Matt Hammond (1990-93) 51
Lemanski Hall (1990-93) 51
Bobby Greenwood (2005-08) 51

7. Anthony Bryant (2001-04) 50
Evan Mathis (2001-04) 50
Mark Anderson (2002-05) 50
Anthony Madison (2002-05) 50
Freddie Roach (2002-05) 50
DeMeco Ryans (2002-05) 50
Ramzee Robinson (2003-06) 50
Matt Caddell (2004-07) 50
Wallace Gilberry (2004-07) 50
Rashad Johnson (2005-08) 50

COFFEE MOVES UP SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING CHART
With 39 yards rushing against Utah, Glen Coffee moved into second place on the Alabama single-season rushing list with 1,386 yards. Coffee entered the Sugar Bowl with 1,347 yards rushing this season, and was in fourth place on the Alabama single-season rushing yardage list.

RUSHING YARDS – SEASON
Yards Player Year
1,471 Bobby Humphrey 1986
1,386 Glen Coffee 2008
1,383 Shaun Alexander 1999
1,367 Shaud Williams 2003
1,341 Sherman Williams 1994
1,255 Bobby Humphrey 1987
1,242 Kenneth Darby 2005

ALABAMA’S BOWL RECORD
With the loss to Utah, Alabama has posted a 31-22-3 (.580) all-time record in 56 bowl appearances. Alabama owns the NCAA record for most bowl games (56) and most victories (31). Alabama has played in 16 different bowl games in its storied history and was making its 13th appearance at the Sugar Bowl on Friday night, more than any other bowl in school history. Alabama has played bowl games in eight different states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Hawai’i, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Alabama has played bowl games in 19 different stadiums.

NCAA ALL-TIME BOWL APPEARANCES
Rank Team Appearances
1. ALABAMA 56
2. Tennessee 47
Texas 48
4. Southern California 47
5. Georgia 45
Nebraska 45

NCAA ALL-TIME BOWL VICTORIES
Rank Team Wins
1. ALABAMA 31
2. Southern California 29
3. Penn State 26
4. Tennessee 25
5. Georgia 24
Oklahoma 24
Texas 24

ALABAMA IN DOMED STADIUMS
Alabama is 9-5-1 (.600) all-time in domed stadiums. Alabama played three games of the 2008 season in a domed stadium after opening the year with Clemson in the Georgia Dome at the 2008 Chick-Fil-A College Kickoff and then returning to the Georgia Dome for the SEC Championship Game. At the Louisiana Superdome, Alabama is 6-2 (.750), including a 5-2 (.714) mark in Sugar Bowl games. Alabama beat Penn State, 13-6, in the first Sugar Bowl game played in the Superdome on Dec. 31, 1975. The Tide also beat Tulane, 37-0, in the Superdome during the 1992 regular season. The Crimson Tide is 1-3 in SEC Championship Games played in the Georgia Dome and 2-3 at the Georgia Dome overall.

Alabama In Domed Stadiums
Date Result Stadium
Oct. 24, 1970 Alabama 30, Houston 21 Astrodome
Dec. 31, 1970 Alabama 24, Oklahoma 24 Astrodome (Bluebonnet Bowl)
Dec. 31, 1975 Alabama 13, Penn State 6 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Jan, 2, 1978 Alabama 35, Ohio State 6 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Jan, 1, 1979 Alabama 14, Penn State 7 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Jan. 1, 1980 Alabama 24, Arkansas 9 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Jan. 1, 1990 Miami 33, Alabama 25 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Oct. 10, 1992 Alabama 37, Tulane 0 Superdome
Jan. 2, 1993 Alabama 34, Miami 14 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)
Dec. 3, 1994 Florida 24, Alabama 23 Georgia Dome (SEC Championship)
Dec. 7, 1996 Florida 45, Alabama 30 Georgia Dome (SEC Championship)
Dec. 5, 1999 Alabama 34, Florida 7 Georgia Dome (SEC Championship)
Aug. 30, 2008 Alabama 34, Clemson 10 Georgia Dome
Dec. 6, 2008 Florida 31, Alabama 20 Georgia Dome
Jan. 2, 2009 Utah 31, Alabama 17 Superdome (Sugar Bowl)