Game notes: Saban leads Alabama to another 10-win season

ALABAMA 31, MISSISSIPPI STATE 3 (notes courtesy of UA)

The win over Mississippi State improves Alabama’s 2009 season record to 10-0 and achieves the Crimson Tide’s 30th 10-win season in 115 seasons of football. Alabama’s 30 10-win seasons ranks second in college football behind Oklahoma, which has reached the 10-win plateau 31 times. It is the fourth time this decade in which Alabama has had 10 wins in a season (2002, 2005, 2008, 2009).

The victory over Mississippi State moves Alabama to 10-0 for the season. Along with a 12-0 start in 2008, this marks the first time since the 1973 and 1974 seasons that Alabama has constructed 10-0 starts in consecutive seasons. Alabama, which finished 12-2 in 2008, finished 11-1 in both 1973 and 1974 as the Crimson Tide won 11 straight games prior to losing bowl games in those seasons – the Sugar Bowl vs. Notre Dame (24-23 in 1973) and the Orange Bowl vs. Notre Dame (13-11 in 1974).

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has forged one of the most successful head coaching resumes in the nation in 14 years as a collegiate head coach, but tonight’s win over Mississippi State achieved a first for his career as Alabama has posted 10-win seasons in two straight years. That marks the first time in Saban’s career that he has guided a team to at least 10 wins in two consecutive seasons. Overall, Saban has now produced four 10-win seasons and seven 9-win seasons during his coaching career on the collegiate level.

With the victory, Alabama holds a 73-18-3 lead over Mississippi State in a series that dates back to the 1896 season. The series is tied for the second-longest running series in the Alabama record book with the 2009 season marking the 62nd consecutive year the two teams will play, having met each year since 1948. Alabama has played more games (94) and has more wins (73) against Mississippi State than any other opponent.

Alabama led Mississippi State, 14-0, at halftime on the way to the victory. The Crimson Tide improved to 26-1 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban, including a 20-game winning streak. The only loss came against LSU in 2007 when UA held a 20-17 halftime lead before losing, 41-34, on Nov. 3, 2007, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Crimson Tide is 2-5 under Saban when trailing at halftime and 1-2 when tied at halftime. The two wins when trailing at the half came in a 34-24 win over No. 7 Virginia Tech on Sept. 5 in Atlanta and a 24-15 victory over No. 9 LSU on Nov. 7. Alabama’s lone win when tied at halftime came last year at LSU, a 27-21 victory over Nov. 8, 2008.

Alabama’s game captains tonight are junior linebacker Rolando McClain, senior offensive tackle Mike Johnson, senior linebacker Cory Reamer, and sophomore receiver Julio Jones. Alabama won the opening coin toss and deferred its choice to the second half. Mississippi State chose to receive while Alabama chose to kick from the north end zone.

Sophomore running back Mark Ingram’s 70-yard touchdown run with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter sealed Alabama’s win over Mississippi State. It also stands as the longest run of Ingram’s Alabama career (previous long: 54 yards versus South Carolina on October 17, 2009.

Ingram rushed for 149 yards against Mississippi State, giving him 1,297 rushing yards this season. With his totals, Ingram has moved into sixth place on the Alabama single-season rushing list (see below).
Alabama’s 1,000-Yard Rushing Seasons

Yards Player (Attempts) Year
1,471 Bobby Humphrey (236 att.) 1986
1,383 Shaun Alexander (302 att.) 1999
1,383 Glen Coffee (233 att.) 2008
1,367 Shaud Williams (280 att.) 2003
1,341 Sherman Williams (291 att.) 1994
1,297 Mark Ingram (194 att.) 2009
1,255 Bobby Humphrey (238 att.) 1987
1,242 Kenneth Darby (239 att.) 2005
1,178 Shaun Alexander (258 att.) 1998
1,137 Johnny Musso (226 att.) 1970

Mark Ingram 2009 Game-By-Game
Game Att. Yards TD Rec. Yards TD All-Purpose
vs. Virginia Tech 26 150 1 3 35 1 185
Florida Int’l 10 56 1 4 47 0 103
North Texas 8 91 1 3 38 1 129
Arkansas 17 50 1 3 21 1 71
at Kentucky 22 140 2 1 6 0 146
at Mississippi 28 172 1 3 16 0 188
South Carolina 24 246 1 2 23 0 269
Tennessee 18 99 0 0 0 0 99
LSU 22 144 0 5 30 0 174
at Mississippi St. 19 149 2 1 9 0 158
Totals 194 1297 10 25 225 3 1522

Junior receiver Darius Hanks opened the scoring against Mississippi State by taking a Greg McElroy pass to the end zone for a 45-yard scoring play with 12:48 left in the second quarter, marking the second consecutive game in which Hanks has notched a scoring catch. It is the longest touchdown reception of Hanks’ Alabama career. His previous longest TD catch was a 35-yarder in a 34-24 victory over Virginia Tech on September 5, 2009.

Alabama notched two sacks against Mississippi State, Alabama’s 27th and 28th sacks of an opposing quarterback in 2009, eclipsing its total of 26 for the entire 2008 season. Alabama leads the SEC in quarterback sacks.

Alabama has tallied an interception in seven straight games and now has at least one interception in eight of the 10 contests in 2009. Alabama had an interception in eight games in 2008 and has now strung together 17 straight wins in a game in which the Crimson Tide tallies at least one pick dating back to a win over Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl.

The Alabama defense did not allow a first down in the final 23:30 of the first half after allowing Mississippi State to gain four first downs (two via penalty) in the first 6:30 of tonight’s game. Alabama allowed Mississippi State only 83 total yards (40 rushing, 43 passing) in the first half.

Alabama and Mississippi State were scoreless in the first quarter Saturday. The Alabama defense has not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter in the last seven games dating back to the FIU game (when Alabama allowed 7 points in the first quarter and 14 points in the first half). Alabama has not allowed a point in opening quarter of its last five games.

With three forced turnovers against Mississippi State, Alabama has produced 16 turnovers in the last six games, forcing five turnovers at Mississippi, four at Kentucky, three at Mississippi State, two against South Carolina and one vs. Tennessee and LSU. The Tide has picked off 10 passes in those five games and recovered three fumbles.

The Crimson Tide has forced 69 turnovers in 37 games under head coach Nick Saban, an average of 1.9 per game. The Crimson Tide has forced 20 turnovers in 10 games this season, while the UA offense has only turned the ball over 10 times (4 interception, 6 fumbles).

Alabama has recorded at least one turnover in 32 of 37 games under Saban. UA is 26-6 under Saban when they have at least one turnover. Alabama is 3-2 in games without a turnover over the last three seasons.

Sophomore strong safety Mark Barron intercepted two Mississippi State passes – one in the first quarter and one in the fourth period – moving him into the SEC lead for interceptions.

Senior placekicker Leigh Tiffin made one field goal and four extra points to give him 354 career points to extend his career scoring record at Alabama.

Tiffin’s field goal in the third quarter gives him 77 career field goals, second all-time at Alabama, just one shy of the school record held by Philip Doyle (78 from 1987-90).

Tiffin has made 24-of-27 field goal attempts this season, moving him into second on the Alabama single-season field goals list, tied with Philip Doyle who made 24 (on 29 attempts) in 1990. Tiffin is closing in on his own record of 25 field goals made, a record he set in 2008 when he made 25 of 34 attempts.

With seven kicking points against Mississippi State, Tiffin has scored 101 points this season via field goals or extra-point conversions. That ranks third on the Alabama single-season list for kicking points.

Kicking Points in a Season
Points Player (FGs, PATs) Year
111 Leigh Tiffin (25 FGs, 36 PATs) 2007
106 Leigh Tiffin (20 FGs, 46 PATs) 2008
101 Leigh Tiffin (24 FGs, 29 PATs) 2009
100 Philip Doyle (22 FGs, 34 PATs) 1989
97 Philip Doyle (24 FGs, 25 PATs) 1990
97 Michael Proctor (22 FGs, 31 PATs) 1993
94 Michael Proctor (19FGs, 37 PATs) 1992

The Crimson Tide returns home to face Tennessee-Chattanooga in Alabama’s final non-conference game of the 2009 season on Saturday, Nov. 21. Alabama has won all 10 games in the series against the Mocs, including a 7-0 record in Tuscaloosa and a 3-0 mark in Birmingham. The last meeting between the two schools was a 42-13 Crimson Tide win in 1994 at Legion Field in Birmingham. It is the first time in 50 years that Chattanooga will travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium, after falling to the Tide 13-0 in 1959.


Add Yours
  1. 2

    Another one bites the dust! I give mad props to Saban for keeping our team focused and our players for rising up after a BRUTAL LSWho game. It’s good to be a Crimson Tide fan. 🙂 I hope next game we can rest some of our starters and give more reps to Star Jackson & Co. like we did at the end of the 4th against Miss. St. — RTR!!!!!!

  2. 3
    Alex Hamilton

    I agree blood. I’d like to see Star play and keep the shirt on McCarron.

    I’d like this game to be over in the first half and let the guys get off their feet and go to work on beating API.

    As for Miss State, I just despise those jokers. Just as redneck as API, but not nearly as annoying. Eventually, the human brain tunes out cowbells. It’s not a big deal unless you sit next to one of those tools.

    RTR. We have the most complete, and physically dominating team in college football. And, for Julia and Plays With His Balls, I don’t see any dominant linemen amongst those ballyhooed recruits. What good is skill if you can’t block and tackle?

    Or is it your goal to be paper champions like the 2008 UGA Bulldogs?

    You do know that we signed the best Corner in the South in 2008 and have commitments this year from two more 5 star DB’s / athletes. You can’t score if you don’t block or get open. Looks like we will curb stomp your asses for years.

    Auburn = Oklahoma State (without Boone Pickens money)

    RTR. The greatest tradition in college football gets better each week!

    Woe Eagul!!!!

  3. 4

    Alex — LMFAO!!!! Very true about the cowbells. We are DEFINETLY the BEST TEAM IN THE NATION. HANDS DOWN. THERE I HAVE SAID IT!!! As I posted in another thread — after seeing Florida play South Carolina — I like our chances 10 times more now in Atlanta.

    For the Chattanooga game — I definetly want our backups in — our starters need as much rest as possible — MOST definetly keep the shirt on AJ McCarron — absolutely no reason to burn that this late in the season — hell — I even want Darrah to get reps next Saturday.

  4. 5

    Alex — also the T. Boone Pickens reference is dead on with Aubawrn. Lowder is going down with the feds — just a matter of time — I wonder how Pat Dye’s stock in the bank is doing? I guess Jimmy Raines will be the money machine now with his YellaWouldNotGetAChamionship. Let them battle for 3rd / 4th place in the WEST with the Mississippi’s as far as I’m concerned year after year. LMAO RTR!!!!

  5. 7

    It was very satisfying. All week I have listened to this smack talk coming out of Starkville that we were going to be in a big physical contest. They were correct. They got a good physical ass whipping.
    I like that Black that they wore to their own f*cking Funeral.

  6. 8

    It is not often to see such a dominating performance against any SEC team. It appears we are getting better each week. We look like a professional team peaking at the right time. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying we have looked poorly. I am just stating the obvious about our offense. It is coming around for another thrashing of historical significance down on the plains, and of course, the showdown in Atlanta.

    It still sux to be an aubarn tiger. As it always has, and always will.

    I have been thinking how it came to be why we despise the aubarn tigers. I was raised by a father who always wanted aubarn to win except on Iron Bowl Saturday. When I was young, I held this same belief. As aubarn made some noise in the late 80’s, the never been there mouths started to open. It was short lived after 92 and the arrival of Terry Bowden, but the mouths started running again with their run early in this decade. They were not helped by a classless coach holding up his fingers 6 years in a row. I believe they thought the Tide had turned, and would never rise again.

    The aubarn nation has the same mentality as any redneck with a small amount of fame. They quickly forget where they came from. Their roots are scarred from their underdog foundation.

    I have wished for years they would lose ever game they played, the program would become a complete shamble, and the university would drop football. All of this to longer listen to unreasonable rhetoric and look at those stupid orange and blue colors. Or see any stupid bumper stickers that said honk if you sacked Brodie. How about those pins, punt BAMA punt.

    BUT – I have realized watching them think they will return to something they have never been is much more satisfying. It also allows a quick read of a persons reasonable thinking ability. If you are from ALABAMA and you wear the orange and blue, you are an idiot that can not be reasoned with at any level, and I don’t just mean Saturday.

    I could never know how bad it must feel to be an aubarn fan, but I relish in the thought of how bad it must feel to watch the TIDE rise to the level we are at now. And then realize we are just getting started on this run.

    You play for pride. We play for championships.

    Get off of this site and roll around in your stupidity or your lack or reasonable thinking.

    You will remain a miserable person if this offends you.

  7. 10

    Thank you CrimsonBlood81.

    Just a few passing thoughts after Saturday, and reading some of the ignorance posted by the outsiders.

    Of course, I do like the smack. However, it is a waste of time on two counts: “You can’t help stupid”, and we are always and have always been right.

    It is a fun way to waste time.

    Just think, those idiots are thinking of what if right now. The what if will happen again, but that is at minimum 4 years post Saban.

  8. 11

    CB81, did you really just reference the late great AID’s stricken Freddie Mercury and then disgrace his queerness with a hip hop reference? RTR!!!


    Please guys give the terms Ucheat and LSwho a rest. Those two are about as played as Freddie’s ass.

  9. 12

    You got that right — would of — could of — should of — I hear the opposition already screaming maximum levels of stupidity! I’m just waiting to hear more of it on Monday on the radio.

  10. 14
    Indiana Vol

    Satan and the Crimson TURD have another 10-win season; BIG F DEAL!

    Same result as last year, The Cheaters will get mauled by Florida in the SECCG and then lose a bowl game!

    Enjoy the wins, Bammer idiots, that’s all you will get again this year. Remember, 10-0 or 12-0 means nothing unless you have some hardware o show for it!!


  11. 15
    Alex Hamilton

    Hey Indiana Vol,

    NuKeese was finally kicked off the team. Now you only have a convicted rapist and an accessory to armed robbery on your team. What a classy organization. Then again, you’re the only organization that would ever take on Al Davis’ sloppy seconds. What a joke.

    I’m sure NuKeese will apply for and be granted youthful offender. He might serve some time, but not long and he will be out to play for Terry Bowden. However, I hope that if NuKeese tries to rob Indiana Vol he is holding a real glock.

    That’s UT baby!

  12. 17
    E.G. White

    F O? Is that Female Ovulation? Or Flightless Osterich? Or Feminine Orgasm? Or in your case Fuckedup Orangangatang? We’ve murdered the Blackout, the Smurfout, Tennessee wanting to make BDS an Orange Crush, and Black Jerseys with Cowbells. God knows what the Barn might come up with. Maybe the Brownout? That’s where they go to the pasture and roll in cow manure and then they have to pipe sunshine into JHS! RTR!

Comments are closed.