The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated FIU 40-14 tonight. See story, game notes and photographs below.
ALABAMA vs. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL (notes via UA Media Relations)
Saturday, September 12, 2009
BRYANT-DENNY STADIUM â€“ Tuscaloosa, Ala.
McELROY SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR CONSECUTIVE COMPLETIONS
Junior quarterback Greg McElroy set a new Alabama school record for consecutive completions against FIU by completing 14 straight passes. That hot streak beat the old mark of 12 held by John Parker Wilson, who completed 12 consecutive passes over a two-game span in 2008 (at Tennessee and vs. Arkansas State), and Andrew Zow, who completed 12 straight vs. Mississippi on Oct. 14, 2000.
McELROY ALMOST FLAWLESS IN HOME DEBUT
In his first home game as the starting quarterback, Alabama junior quarterback Greg McElroy produced an extremely accurate single-game passing performances against FIU, completing 16 of his first 18 attempts (including 11 of 12 to start the game). He ended the game with an impressive 18-for-24 (75 percent) passing performance for 241 yards and 1 touchdown.
LEIGH TIFFIN TIES HIS FATHER ON ALABAMAâ€™S CAREER FIELD GOALS LIST
Senior placekicker Leigh Tiffin converted two field goal attempts against FIU, making good on attempts from 23 and 29 yards. The two field goals gives Tiffin 59 in his Alabama career, ranking him tied for third place in Crimson Tide history behind Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90), Michael Proctor (65 from 1992-95). He is now tied with his father, Van Tiffin (59 from 1983-86) on the Alabama career field goals list.
TRENT RICHARDSON HAS IMPRESSIVE HOME DEBUT
True freshman running back Trent Richardson enjoyed an impressive debut in his first action with the Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium, rushing for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries against FIU. Richardson scored on runs of 9 and 35 yards in the second half to extend the Alabama lead from a 20-14 edge 33-14 early in the fourth quarter.
McCOY HAS CAREER NIGHT DUE TO BIG FIRST HALF
Senior wide receiver Mike McCoy produced a huge game against FIU with 5 catches for 100 yards and 1 touchdown â€“ all in the first half. McCoyâ€™s yardage eclipsed his previous career high of 47 yards vs. Georgia in 2007. His career-high for catches in a game is 6 vs. Georgia in 2007.
DEFENSE STRONG AGAINST THE RUN
The Alabama defense was strong against the run against FIU, holding the Golden Panthers to -1 yards rushing on 26 attempts. FIU finished the night with 214 total yards of offense to Alabamaâ€™s 516 yards.
TIDE SCORES ON OPENING DRIVE
Alabama took the opening kickoff and marched to a field goal for a 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin with 9:02 left in the first quarter. Alabama has now scored a field goal on its opening possession in both games of the 2009 season, having marched to a Tiffin field goal to start the scoring last week in a 34-24 win over Virginia Tech. In the Nick Saban Era, Alabama has scored on its opening possession in 17 of 29 games. Over those 29 games, the Crimson Tide has started games by scoring nine touchdowns and has kicked eight field goals. Alabama scored on its first possession in nine of its 13 games in 2007 and six of its 14 games last season.
Alabama has scored on six of its seven first quarter possessions this season, resulting in five field goals and one touchdown. The Crimson Tide has run 49 first quarter plays this season and totaled 271 yards against Virginia Tech and Florida International. Alabama scored on three of four possessions against Virginia Tech in the season opener and scored on all three first quarter drives against FIU. Greg McElroy completed 10 of 11 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown in the first period against FIU. Wide Receiver Mike McCoy caught four passes for 65 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter against FIU; including a 24-yard touchdown reception that gave the Tide a 10-0 lead.
Senior running back Roy Upchurch played in the 30th game of his Alabama career, but made the first start for the Crimson Tide against FIU. Sophomore H-Back Preston Dial made his first start for Alabama against FIU. On defense, sophomore free safety Robby Green made his first career start as the Tide employed five defensive backs on the first play of scrimmage against FIU.
ALABAMA 19-1 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
Alabama led FIU at halftime, 20-14. With the victory over FIU, Alabama improved to 19-1 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban, including a 13-game winning streak. The only loss came against LSU during the 2007 season when UA held a 20-17 halftime lead before losing, 41-34, on Nov. 3, 2007, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is 1-5 under Saban when trailing at halftime and 1-2 when tied at halftime. The lone win when trailing at the half came in the 34-24 win over No. 7 Virginia Tech last week in Atlanta. Alabamaâ€™s lone win when tied at halftime came last year at LSU.
Alabama’s game captains against Florida International were sophomore linebacker Dont’a Hightower, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, and offensive lineman Mike Johnson. Alabama won the coin toss and elected to receive. FIU chose to defend the north end zone.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL NOTES
91 – Armond Willis, 32 – Carlos Munera, 27 – John Ellis, 44- Scott Bryant
T.Y. Hiltonâ€™s first quarter kickoff return for touchdown (96 yards) was his first touch of the game. For the second consecutive year Hilton scored on his first touch of the year. Last season he scored on a 74-yard punt return in the season opener at Kansas (8/30/08).
Hiltonâ€™s 96 yard return is the longest of his career, and the third-longest in FIU history (99 yards by Greg Moss in 2003 & 98 yards by Lionell Singleton in 2006).
With a reception in the second quarter, T.Y. Hilton has now caught a pass in 12 consecutive games after not having a reception in his collegiate debut.
Hilton now has 961 kickoff return yards in his career, good for second on FIU’s all-time list (Lionell Singleton – 1,613). He passed Greg Moss, who had 878.
FIU has now returned one kickoff for touchdown in five consecutive seasons. The last time FIU returned a kickoff for a TD was against Louisiana-Lafayette on November 1, 2008
Jonathan Cyprienâ€™s tackle on the opening kickoff was the first of his career.
Winston Fraserâ€™s first quarter tackle of Roy Upchurch was the first of his career.
Darrian Mallaryâ€™s second quarter carry was the first of his career.