Preview notes: Alabama vs. Florida

GAME 5: Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC) vs. Florida (4-0, 2-0 SEC)
Saturday, October 2, 2010 • 7 p.m. • CBS
Bryant-Denny Stadium (101,821) • Tuscaloosa, Ala. (courtesy of UA Media Relations)
THE GAME: Top-ranked Alabama returns home to open the home portion of its Southeastern Conference schedule with a visit from the No. 7/7 Florida Gators at 7 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday, October 2, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It will be the 36th meeting between the two schools and 12th trip to Tuscaloosa for the Gators and the first since 2005. UF is 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in the SEC after a 48-14 win over Kentucky last Saturday. The game will be televised on CBS with Verne Lundquist calling the action, Gary Danielson as the color analyst and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sideline. Eli Gold and Phil Savage will handle the radio call on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Barry Krauss on the sidelines.

HEAD COACH NICK SABAN: Alabama head coach Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973) is in his fourth season with the Crimson Tide. He was named the school’s 27th head coach on Jan. 3, 2007. Saban has compiled a 32-8 record (37-8 before five vacated wins in 2007) at Alabama while leading the Tide to two SEC Western Division championships, one conference title and one national championship. Saban holds a career record of 123-50-1 (128-50-1) as a collegiate head coach, while also serving at Toledo, Michigan State and LSU. Saban won his first national championship as head coach of the LSU Tigers in 2003, guiding the Tigers to a 13-1 record that season. Overall, Saban has coached four conference championship teams (1990 Mid-American, 2001 SEC, 2003 SEC and 2009 SEC) and 10 of his 13 teams have played in postseason bowl games with the Tide appearing in a bowl game each year under Saban’s direction. Saban is also one of two coaches (Urban Meyer, Florida) to win two BCS National Championships and the first to accomplish the feat at two different schools.

RANKINGS: Alabama opened the 2010 season ranked first in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ preseason polls and have maintained that ranking through the first three polls of the season. The preseason No. 1 ranking was just the third such honor in school history (1966, 1978 & 2010). Florida enters this Saturday’s contest ranked seventh in the Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches rankings.

FLORIDA SERIES: Alabama and Florida will be meeting for the 36th time this Saturday with the Crimson Tide holding a 20-14 [21-14 without NCAA vacation in 2005] edge in the series. Alabama and Florida are meeting in the regular season for the first time since 2006 and for the first time in Tuscaloosa since 2005. However, the Crimson Tide and Gators have squared off in the past two SEC Championships Games with UF winning in 2008 en route to a national championship and Alabama returning the favor with a 32-13 victory last season in Atlanta before polishing off Texas in the BCS National Championship Game.

NEXT GAME: Alabama plays its third road game in four weeks with a visit to the No. 19/22 South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, October 9. It will be the Crimson Tide’s first visit to Williams-Brice Stadium since a 34-14 victory on September 17, 2005, a game the Tide was later forced to vacate by the NCAA. Alabama boasts an 11-2 record (without the 2005 game) against South Carolina, including an actual record of 3-1 in Columbia. UA’s only loss in Columbia was a 37-36 setback in 2001. Alabama defeated then-No. 22 USC 20-6 at Bryant-Denny Stadium last season behind a career-best 246 yards from 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

BEATING THE BEST: Alabama is 11-2 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the past three seasons and 6-2 against AP top 5 teams. UA has now reeled off eight straight wins against top-25 teams. The Crimson Tide’s 24-20 win at No. 10 Arkansas was the Tide’s seventh win over a top-10 team dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Alabama is 2-0 against the AP Top 25 this season.

Alabama vs. AP Top 25 Opponents (since the start of the 2008 season)
Date Team Rank Result
Aug. 30, 2008 vs. Clemson (at Atlanta, Ga.) 9 W, 34-10
Sept. 27, 2008 at Georgia 3 W, 41-30
Nov. 8, 2008 at LSU 15 W, 27-21 (OT)
Dec. 6, 2008 vs. Florida (at Atlanta, Ga.) 2 L, 31-20
Jan. 2, 2009 vs. Utah (at New Orleans, La.) 7 L, 31-17
Sept. 5, 2009 vs. Virginia Tech (at Atlanta, Ga.) 7 W, 34-24
Oct. 10, 2009 at Mississippi 20 W, 22-3
Oct. 17, 2009 South Carolina 22 W, 20-6
Nov. 6, 2009 LSU 9 W, 24-15
Dec. 5, 2009 vs. Florida (at Atlanta, Ga.) 1 W, 32-13
Jan. 7, 2010 vs. Texas (at Pasadena, Calif.) 2 W, 37-21
Sept. 11, 2010 Penn State 18 W, 24-3
Sept. 25, 2010 at Arkansas 10 W, 24-20

STREAKING AT BRYANT-DENNY: Alabama has won 16 consecutive games at Bryant-Denny Stadium dating back to the home opener against Tulane in 2008. It is tied for the fourth-longest streak in school history at Bryant-Denny Stadium and is just two shy of the third-place streak. The longest winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium is 57 games from Oct. 26, 1963, to Nov. 13, 1982. During the current streak, the Crimson Tide is 8-0 against SEC competition and 3-0 against top 25 teams.

Longest Winning Streaks at BDS
57 Oct. 26, 1963 – Nov. 13, 1982
20 Nov. 1, 1941 – Nov. 11, 1950
18 Sept. 28, 1929 – Sept. 28, 1935
16 Nov. 23, 1957 – Oct. 12, 1963
16 Nov. 9, 1935 – Oct. 12, 1940
16 Sept. 6, 2008 – Present

28 STRAIGHT REGULAR-SEASON WINS FOR TIDE: With the win over Arkansas, Alabama has reeled off 28 consecutive regular-season victories. The win streak dates back to the 2008 season opener against Clemson. UA’s last regular-season loss came at Auburn on Nov. 24, 2007. During that stretch, the Crimson Tide boasts a 30-2 overall record with its only losses coming to Florida in the 2008 SEC Championship Game and Utah in the 2009 Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Tide is also a perfect 17-0 in SEC play over the last two-plus years, becoming just the second team (Florida – 1995 & 1996) in conference history to post back-to-back undefeated 8-0 records since the league split into a divisional format in 1992.

NO. 1 ROLLS ON: With the Crimson Tide’s 24-3 win over then-No. 18/14 Penn State, in the last 15 years the Associated Press’s No. 1-ranked team is 27-0 on its home field against a ranked opponent. That streak dates back to a 36-33 Auburn win at No. 1 Florida in 1994.

TOUGH SLATE: Alabama once again has one of the most difficult schedules in the nation with five games against teams ranked in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll Preseason Top 25. The Tide beat then-No. 18/14 Penn State on Sept. 11 and then-No. 10/11 Arkansas on Sept. 25. Alabama welcomes No. 7/7 Florida to Tuscaloosa this Saturday and then travels to No. 19/22 South Carolina on Oct. 9.

START FAST — FINISH STRONG: One of Alabama’s focuses each week is to get off to a fast start and then win the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide’s “Start Fast — Finish Strong” motto has been evident in 2010 with a 56-16 edge in the first quarter and a 31-3 advantage in the fourth quarter. UA has also had a distinct edge in the second half, outscoring opponents by a margin of 58-6 in four games. A season ago, Alabama outscored its opponents 121-32 in the fourth quarter, a margin of 89 points. That number grew to 201-77 in the third and fourth quarters for a margin of 124 points.

Start Fast — Finish Strong
Quarter UA Points Opp. Points Difference
1st Quarter 56 16 +40
4th Quarter 31 3 +29
Second Half 58 6 +52

ALABAMA TIED FOR MOST WINS SINCE 2008: Alabama has won 30 games dating back to the start of the 2008 season, which is tied for the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Crimson Tide won 12 games in 2008, followed that with a perfect 14-0 record in 2009 and is off to a 4-0 start in 2010 after a win at Arkansas. Alabama is joined by Florida with 30 wins over the past two-plus years with Boise State one game back with 29 wins.

TOTAL WINS (2008-present)
Team Total wins 2008/2009/2010
Alabama 30 12/14/4
Florida 30 13/13/4
Boise State 29 12/14/3
Texas 28 12/13/3
TCU 27 11/12/4
Utah 26 12/10/4
Penn State 25 11/11/3

DOUBLE-DIGIT DEFICIT: Alabama’s 13-point deficit in the third quarter at Arkansas on Sept. 25 was the second-largest deficit overcome by Alabama under head coach Nick Saban. When Arkansas led 17-7, at halftime, it marked the first time Alabama has trailed by at least 10 points at intermission since Utah led the Crimson Tide by 11 points, 21-10, at halftime of the 2009 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on January 2, 2009, in an eventual 31-17 loss by the Tide to the Utes. The Tide trailed Arkansas by 13 points (7-20) in the third quarter before going on a 17-0 run to end the game. Below is a summary of the largest deficits faced by Alabama since head coach Nick Saban took over the program in 2007.

21 vs. Utah (0-21 in 1st Quarter) Jan. 2, 2009 (L, 17-31)
14 at Auburn (0-14 in 1st Quarter) Nov. 27, 2009 (W, 26-21)
14 vs. LSU (3-17 in 2nd Quarter) Nov. 3, 2007 (L, 34-41 in OT)
14 vs. FSU (7-21 in 4th Quarter) Sept. 29, 2007 (L, 14-21)
13 at Arkansas (7-20 in 3rd Quarter) Sept. 25, 2010 (W, 24-20)

SABAN AMONG THE BEST: Head coach Nick Saban’s arrival in Tuscaloosa led to the Crimson Tide’s rapid rise up the national rankings. That success in such a short period of time has impacted the Tide’s record book. Saban produced the largest win increase from year one to year two in school history as Alabama went from seven wins in 2007 to 12 wins in 2008. He now has won 17 straight games with the Tide. Saban is one of two coaches (Bob Stoops, Oklahoma) in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to have coached 10 years and never suffered through a losing season. Saban achieved more firsts in 2009 with back-to-back 10-win seasons and his first undefeated campaign. He ranks fourth in winning percentage (70.8 percent) among active coaches who have coached at least 10 years of FBS football. Saban is also one of two coaches (Urban Meyer, Florida) to win two BCS National Championships and the first to accomplish the feat at two different schools.

2010 OFFENSE PUTTING UP NUMBERS: Alabama returned eight starters from the 2009 offense that put together one of best seasons in school history. The Crimson Tide set a school-record with 5,642 yards of total offense, including 3,011 rushing yards (11th in school history) and 2,631 passing yards (5th in school history). The Tide also scored the second-most points in the 115-year history of the program with 448 (32.1 points per game).

However, the 2010 Crimson Tide offense is off to an even better start. Alabama is averaging 511.75 yards of total offense per game to rank sixth nationally and first in the SEC. The rushing offense is ranked 13th at 244.75 yards per game (2nd in the SEC) while the passing offense is 28th at 267.00 yards per game (also 2nd in the SEC). The Crimson Tide is scoring 39.5 points per game to lead the conference and rank 15th nationally.

INGRAM OFF TO A HOT START: Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, became the first Bowl Championship Subdivision player to rush for 150 yards on less than 10 carries in the last five years. Ingram, in his first action of the 2010 season, ran for 151 yards on just nine carries and scored two touchdowns. The 16.8 yards per carry was a career high and among the top-10 performances in school history. Ingram actually cracked the 100-yard barrier in the first quarter, on just his third carry after runs of 48, 3 and 50 yards. He went into halftime with 148 yards on seven carries for an average of 21.1 yards per carry.

HEISMAN WINNER VS. THE TOP 25: Mark Ingram has been known to step up his play against top-25 competition during his career at the Capstone. The junior from Flint, Mich., averaged 188.8 rushing and receiving yards vs. the top 25 last season, including 156.8 rushing yards in those games and nine touchdowns. He also had 31 runs of 10 yards or more against ranked foes in 2009. In 2010, Ingram ripped off 157 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in a 24-20 come-from-behind victory at No. 10 Arkansas on Sept. 25. Ingram’s 54-yard first-quarter touchdown burst was one of the best runs you see using his vision, speed, cut-back ability, a couple of vicious stiff-arms and uncanny balanced as he tight-roped the sideline the final 7-8 yards with his momentum carrying him out of bounds.

INGRAM 5TH ON CAREER RUSHING YARDS CHART: Junior running back Mark Ingram rushed for 157 yards on 24 carries against Arkansas, moving him up the Alabama career rushing yards chart into fifth place with 2,694 yards in his career. Shaun Alexander (1996-99) is the Tide’s career rushing yards record holder with 3,565 yards. Ingram’s two rushing touchdowns at Arkansas gives him 33 rushing touchdowns in his career at UA, which is tied for third in school history.

3,565 Shaun Alexander (727 att.) 1996-99
3,420 Bobby Humphrey (615 att.) 1985-88
3,324 Kenneth Darby (702 att.) 2003-06
2,741 Johnny Musso (574 att.) 1969-71
2,694 Mark Ingram (443 att.) 2008-present

41 Shaun Alexander 1996-99
34 Johnny Musso 1969-71
33 Bobby Humphrey 1985-88
33 Mark Ingram 2008-present
29 Tony Nathan 1975-78

INGRAM OVER 100: Mark Ingram’s 157 rushing yards against Arkansas gives him 12 100-yard rushing performances in his Alabama career, ranking him tied for third in Alabama history. Shaun Alexander (15 from 1996-99) and Bobby Humphrey (15 from 1985-88) hold the record.

15 Shaun Alexander 1996-99
15 Bobby Humphrey 1985-88
12 Mark Ingram 2008-present
12 Kenneth Darby 2003-06
12 Sherman Williams 1991-94

INGRAM EXPLOSIVE: Junior running back Mark Ingram erased an early Arkansas lead with a 54-yard run for a touchdown with 6:21 left in the first quarter. That big play continued a trend of explosive runs in early action for Ingram in 2010 as it marked the Heisman winner’s fifth rush of more than 20 yards in only his first dozen carries of the season. Last week at Duke, Ingram has carries of 50, 48 and 20 yards while gaining 151 yards on only 9 attempts.

70 at Mississippi State (2009)
54 at Arkansas (2010)
40 vs. Chattanooga (2009)
36 at Mississippi (2009)
32 at Kentucky (2009)

JULIO JONES MOVES UP CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Junior wide receiver Julio Jones caught five passes for 55 yards against Arkansas, moving him up to fourth on the Alabama career pass receptions list with 121 for 1,823 yards. Jones has caught 20 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns in four games in 2010, averaging 15.1 yards per catch to give the Tide a lethal threat on the outside. His 5.0 receptions per game rank third in the SEC (50th nationally) while his 75.8 yards per game are fourth in the conference and 48th nationally.

194 DJ Hall (2,923 yards) 2004-07
152 Freddie Milons (1,859 yards) 1998-01
132 David Bailey (1,857 yards) 1969-71
121 Julio Jones (1,823 yards) 2008-present
117 Keith Brown (1,863 yards) 2004-07

McELROY EXTENDS STREAK: Greg McElroy has yet to lose a game as a starting quarterback at the University of Alabama. With the win over Arkansas, the Southlake, Texas, native has a perfect 18-0 mark over the last two seasons as a starter. In fact, dating back to his senior year at Southlake Carroll High School, McElroy has started 34 consecutive games and walked off the field as a winner each time. McElroy’s last loss as a starting quarterback was in the eighth grade. McElroy’s 18-0 start to his career is the second best in school history and he is currently the only Alabama quarterback to have never lost during his career as a starter (minimum 10 starts). It also ranks as the second-longest streak of consecutive wins by a starting quarterback in school history. Jay Barker owns both records, winning the first 22 games of his career from 1991-93.

Quarterback Win Streak to Start a Career
22 Jay Barker 1991-93
18 Greg McElroy 2009-present
11 Terry Davis 1971
8 Joe Namath 1962

McELROY’S SENIOR SEASON STARTING RIGHT: Senior quarterback Greg McElroy has gotten off to a great start in 2010, showing a commanding presence as both a leader and playmaker for the Crimson Tide. The Southlake, Texas, native has completed 70.9 percent of his passes for 899 yards and seven touchdowns and three interceptions while ranking seventh nationally in passing efficiency at 178.62.

INGRAM SHOWS HIS TOUGHNESS: Mark Ingram became well known for his bruising-running style and tackle-breaking second efforts last season. Ingram accounted for 1,075 rushing and receiving yards after contact en route to the Heisman Trophy. Through two games of the 2010 season, Ingram has accounted for 308 yards rushing and 27 yards receiving on two catches. Of his 335 total yards, 144 (43 percent) of those yards have come after contact. That style seems to have also become a trademark of Crimson Tide running backs with sophomore Trent Richardson and redshirt freshman Eddie Lacy showing the same skill set early this season. Richardson has accounted for 174 yards after contact of his 482 rushing and receiving yards in 2010 while Lacy has 82 yards after contact this year.

BALL SECURITY: Mark Ingram has developed an impressive reputation during his 30-game Alabama career as an expert at holding onto the football. The junior has only lost one fumble in 447 career rushing attempts, 41 career receptions and one kickoff return for a total of 489 career touches. He has only put the ball on the ground twice, the first of which at LSU in 2008 was recovered by the Tide and the second was a lost fumble vs. Tennessee in 2009. Ingram went 332 carries into his career before losing his first fumble. His backfield mate Trent Richardson has 227 career touches and has lost just one fumble as well (Mississippi, 2009). Combined the two Alabama running backs have touched the ball 716 during their careers and lost just two fumbles, an average of just one lost fumble every 358 touches.

A BALANCED ATTACK: Alabama returned to the nation’s elite in 2008 with a punishing ground attack that wore down defenses and took shots down the field. In 2009, the Tide brought more balance to the table on offense. UA still had an outstanding ground game and an aerial attack to match with quarterback Greg McElroy. The Tide showed good balance in their offensive numbers, averaging 215.07 rushing yards and 187.93 yards passing per game.

In 2010 Alabama might just possess the best combination of explosiveness and balance in the country. The Crimson Tide has accounted for 2,047 yards of total offense (6th nationally at 511.75 ypg), including 1,068 yards in the air and 979 on the ground. The Tide has thrown 106 total passes (41.4 percent) — completing 73 (68.9 percent) — while running the ball 150 times (58.6 percent).

QUICK-STRIKE OFFENSE: Alabama has developed a quick-strike capability in 2010 with 14 scoring drives of less than three minutes and eight of less than 90 seconds. The Crimson Tide have also put together 11 scoring drives of five plays or less, including six drives of three plays or less.

EXPLOSIVE PLAYS: In first three games of the 2010 season, the Alabama offense has accounted for 46 plays of 15 yards or more, scoring 11 touchdowns within those 46 explosive plays. The Crimson Tide have made 31 passing plays of 15 yards or more with Julio Jones leading the way with nine 15-plus yard pass receptions. Trent Richardson also has nine explosive plays with five rushes of 15-plus yards and four receptions. Marquis Maze has five explosive receptions while Mark Ingram had six runs and one pass reception of 15 yards or more in two games, including runs of 54, 50, 48, 20, 19 and 17 yards and a 20-yard reception.

MILESTONES – POINTS, VICTORY MARGIN & TOTAL YARDS: Alabama’s 62 points scored vs. Duke is the most in a game since a 62-0 win over Tulane on Oct. 12, 1991, and the most in a road game since a 62-27 win over Mississippi on Oct. 7, 1989. The 49-point margin of victory is the largest for Alabama since a 52-0 win over Western Carolina on Sept. 18, 2004. Alabama amassed 626 yards of total offense (315 rushing, 311 passing) against Duke, the most since gaining 644 against LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 11, 1989 (257 rushing, 387 passing). The 45 points scored in the first half by Alabama was the most scored by the Crimson Tide in any half since Sept. 15, 1973, when Alabama scored 45 points in the second half of a 66-0 victory over California at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

SCORING DEFENSE: The Alabama defense replaced nine starters from its 2009 national championship-winning defense that finished second nationally in all major defensive categories. The process, although still far from complete, has been a success to this point. The Crimson Tide leads the nation in scoring defense, surrendering just 9.75 points per game or 39 total points in four games. The secondary, which was forced to replace 3 of 4 starters and six of its top seven players, has also fared well in the national rankings with the No. 5 pass efficiency defense (92.35) even after Arkansas’ Rayn Mallett threw for 357 yards. The rush defense has not put up the numbers of the past two seasons, but still is just allowing 106.5 yards per game to rank tied for 27th nationally. The Tide’s total defense is 24th nationally at 295.25 yards per game, which ranks second in the SEC.

GROUND DEFENSE: The Crimson Tide has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in an astonishing 38 games, dating back to Oct. 13, 2007, when Mississippi’s BenJarvus Green-Ellis went for 131 yards. That is the longest streak in the nation, 11 games more than second-place Ohio State (27 games). Alabama was one of three teams not to allow a 100-yard rusher in 2009 and is the only team not to surrender a 100-yard rusher in 2008, 2009 or 2010. Over the last three seasons, the Crimson Tide held 26 opponents to under 100-yards rushing.

Team Consecutive Games Last Time It Happened (Opponent)
Alabama 38 Oct. 13, 2007 (Mississippi)
Ohio State 26 Sept. 13, 2008 (Southern California)

FORCING TURNOVERS: Alabama’s ability to produce turnovers in recent years has fueled the Crimson Tide’s success. The Crimson Tide is off to a decent start in 2010 with nine turnovers and six giveaways in the first four games. UA has intercepted eight passes and recovered on fumble for a +0.75 turnover margin that ranks tied for 26th nationally. Alabama has forced 89 turnovers in 45 games under head coach Nick Saban (an average of 1.98 per game) while forcing 40 turnovers over the last 18 games (2.22 per game). The Tide finished the 2009 season ranked fourth nationally in turnover margin at plus-19 (1.36 per game). The UA offense only turned the ball over 12 times (5 interceptions, 7 fumbles) in 2009. Alabama forced 24 turnovers in 2007 for a plus-4 turnover ratio and then recorded 25 turnovers and ended the season with a plus-6 turnover margin in 2008. Alabama has recorded at least one turnover in 40 of 45 games under Saban. UA is 34-6 under Saban when gaining at least one turnover. Alabama is 3-2 in games without a turnover over the last three seasons.

DEFENSE TOUGH ON THIRD DOWN: Third down defense has been crucial for Alabama over the past three seasons. The Crimson Tide is strong once again in 2010, allowing just 15 third down conversions in 56 attempts (26.79 percent) to rank 15th nationally. UA allowed just two third-down conversions in 10 attempts at Arkansas. The Crimson Tide defense was strong on third down in 2009, ranking sixth nationally and allowing a 29.90 conversion rate (58 for 194). The Crimson Tide finished third nationally in third down conversion defense in 2008, holding opponents to a 28.14 percent (56 of 199) conversion rate.

LESTER LEADS SEC IN INTERCEPTIONS: Sophomore safety Robert Lester made two huge interceptions against Arkansas that helped the Crimson Tide complete the come-back win in Fayetteville and preserve their undefeated season. The native of Foley, Ala., now has four interceptions this season to lead the SEC and rank tied for second nationally at 1.00 per game. As a team, Alabama is second in the SEC with eight interceptions while this week’s opponent, the Florida Gators, are first with 12 picks in 2010.

POINTS HARD TO COME BY AGAINST TIDE: Alabama has surrendered only three touchdowns in 2010 and a total of 39 points in 16 quarters this season (four games). The Tide allowed a field goal to both San Jose State in the opener and to Penn State on Sept. 11 before giving up 13 points (all in the second quarter) at Duke and surrendering 20 points at Arkansas (The Razorbacks were averaging over 35 points per game enter the contest). The Crimson Tide leads the nation in scoring defense at 9.75 points per game in 2010 after finishing second in scoring defense last season at 11.7 points per game. Over the last 32 games (start of the 2008 season), UA has allowed just 403 points or 12.59 points per game.

ALABAMA-FLORIDA SERIES: Alabama holds a 20-14 [21-14 without NCAA rulings]series lead over Florida in a series that dates back in the Alabama record books to the 1916 season. The Crimson Tide and Gators will be meeting for the 36th time in the 2009 SEC Championship Game. Alabama and Florida are meeting in the regular season for the first time since 2006 and for the first time in Tuscaloosa since 2005. However, the Crimson Tide and Gators have squared off in the past two SEC Championships Games with UF winning in 2008 en route to a national championship and Alabama returning the favor with a 32-13 victory last season in Atlanta before polishing off Texas in the BCS National Championship Game. Alabama has earned SEC Championships with wins over Florida in 1992, 1999 and 2009. Florida beat Alabama in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2008 for the SEC Championship. The last regular-season meeting between the Tide and Gators was in the 2006 season when Florida posted a 28-13 win at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.

FLORIDA (UA leads 20-14) [21-14 without NCAA vacations]
Date Result Site Score Total
Oct. 21, 1916 W A* 16-0 45-0
Nov. 11, 1921 L H 2-9 47-9
Nov. 29, 1923 L H** 6-16 53-25
Nov. 14, 1925 W H*** 34-0 87-25
Nov. 13, 1926 W H*** 49-0 136-25
Nov. 12, 1927 L H*** 6-13 142-38
Nov. 8, 1930 W A 20-0 162-38
Nov. 7, 1931 W H** 41-0 203-38
Nov. 27, 1948 W H 34-28 237-66
Nov. 26, 1949 W A 35-13 272-79
Nov. 25, 1950 W A* 41-13 313-92
Nov. 24, 1951 L H 21-30 334-122
Oct. 12, 1963 L H 6-10 340-132
Oct. 24, 1964 W H 17-14 357-146
Sept. 26, 1970 W H 46-15 403-161
Sept. 25, 1971 W A 38-0 441-161
Oct. 14, 1972 W H 24-7 465-168
Oct. 13, 1973 W A 35-14 500-182
Oct. 14, 1978 W A 23-12 523-195
Oct. 13, 1979 W A 40-0 563-195
Sept. 20, 1986 W A 21-7 584-202
Sept. 19, 1987 L H** 14-23 598-225
Sept. 15, 1990 L H 13-17 611-242
Sept. 14, 1991 L A 0-35 611-277
Dec. 5, 1992 W N# 28-21 639-298
Dec. 4, 1993 L N# 13-28 652-326
Dec. 3, 1994 L N$ 23-24 675-350
Dec. 7, 1996 L N$ 30-45 705-395
Oct. 3, 1998 L H 10-16 715-411
Oct. 2, 1999 W/OT A 40-39 755-450
Dec. 4, 1999 W N$ 34-7 789-457
Oct. 1, 2005 W% H 31-3 820-460
Sept. 30, 2006 L A 13-28 833-488
Dec. 6, 2008 L N$ 20-31 853-519
Dec. 5, 2009 W N$ 32-13 885-532

*—Jacksonville, Fla.
#—SEC Championship Game (Birmingham)
$—SEC Championship Game (Atlanta)

%Vacated by NCAA ruling

SERIES RECORDS BY SITES: Alabama and Florida have met at six different sites since the first meeting in 1916. The Crimson Tide owns a 10-2 lead in games played in the state of Florida, including an 8-2 mark in Gainesville. Florida’s only wins against Alabama in Gainesville came in 1991 (35-0) and 2006 (28-13). Alabama and Florida have played 18 times in the state of Alabama, with the series tied at 9-9 lead. The series is also knotted at 5-5 in Tuscaloosa. UF won three of the five meetings played at Legion Field in Birmingham. Alabama won two of the three games contested in Montgomery. Florida has won three of the five SEC Championship games played in Atlanta.

UA PLAYERS FROM SUNSHINE STATE: The 2010 Alabama roster contains four players from the state of Florida. The list includes Trent Richardson (Pensacola), Petey Smith (Tampa), Ed Stinson (Homestead), and Nick Williams (Fort Lauderdale).

SABAN VERSUS FLORIDA: Alabama head coach Nick Saban has a 3-4 record in his career against Florida, with five of the seven meetings coming while he was the head coach at LSU. Saban is 1-1 vs. Florida during his stint in Tuscaloosa. He compiled a 2-1 record against the Gators in Gainesville and a 0-2 record in Baton Rouge.

Saban vs. Florida
Oct. 7, 2000 Florida 41, LSU 9 L
Oct. 6, 2001 Florida 44, LSU 15 L
Oct. 12, 2002 LSU 36, Florida 7 W
Oct. 11, 2003 Florida 19, LSU 7 L
Oct. 9, 2004 LSU 24, Florida 21 W
Dec. 6, 2008 Florida 31, Alabama 20 L
Dec. 5, 2009 Alabama 32, Florida 13 W

COACHING STAFF PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: The Alabama coaching staff recognized eight players of the week following a 24-20 win at Arkansas. Right guard Barrett Jones, running back Mark Ingram and tight end Preston Dial were selected on offense while Robert Lester and Mark Barron garnered defensive accolades. Trent Richardson, Jeremy Shelley and Julio Jones were the special teams player of the week.

Jones led a devastating effort by the Crimson Tide offensive line that cleared the way for 421 total yards, including 227 yards on the ground. Ingram led the ground attack with 157-tough yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. Dial not only did an outstanding job blocking in the Tide running game, but he caught two passes for 18 yards.

The defensive secondary picked of Heisman candidate Ryan Mallett three times with Lester picking off two passes. He intercepted Mallett in the end zone in the first half and then picked him off at midfield late in the fourth quarter to setup the go-ahead score. Barron was second on the team in tackles with eight while recording his first sack of the season and breaking up a pass.

On special teams, Richardson returned four kickoffs for 117 yards with a long of 39. Shelley hit his only field goal try of the game from 36 yards and was 3 for 3 on extra points. Jones returned one punt and was excellent as the gunner in punt coverage.

Trent Richardson and Julio Jones lead the way through four games with four player of the week awards.

UA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (recognized by coaches)
San Jose State
Offense: Julio Jones, Trent Richardson
Defense: Mark Barron
Special Teams: Chris Jordan, Cade Foster

Penn State
Offense: Trent Richardson, D.J. Fluker
Defense: Mark Barron, Robert Lester
Special Teams: Julio Jones

Offense: Mark Ingram, Darius Hanks, Julio Jones, Chance Warmack
Defense: Dont’a Hightower, Nico Johnson
Special Teams: Trent Richardson, Wesley Neighbors

Offense: Mark Ingram, Barrett Jones, Preston Dial
Defense: Robert Lester, Mark Barron
Special Teams: Trent Richardson, Jermey Shelley, Julio Jones

SEC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Trent Richardson’s 144-yard effort in Alabama’s 24-3 win over No. 18/14 Penn State earned him SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors in week two. Robert Lester was then selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Week at No. 10/11 Arkansas when he made seven tackles and intercepted Hogs quarterback Ryan Mallett twice.

24 NATIONAL TV GAMES IN LAST 32 GAMES: The Florida game will be broadcast on CBS and will be the Crimson Tide’s 24rd nationally televised game since the start of the 2008 season. In 2010, Alabama has had one game CBS, one game on ESPN and one on ABC. In 2009, UA played two games on ABC, including the BCS National Championship Game, and six games on CBS while ESPN broadcast two more Crimson Tide games. In 2008, Alabama had 10 of its 14 games broadcast nationally, including five games on CBS, three games on ESPN, one on ABC and one on FOX.

ALABAMA 32-1 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: With the win over Duke, the Crimson Tide is 32-1 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban, including a 25-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 2-2 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 two wins when tied at halftime came at LSU (Nov. 8, 2008) with a 27-21 victory and at Auburn with a 26-21 win on Nov. 27, 2009.

ALABAMA’S TV RECORD: Alabama has compiled a 174-122-4 (.587) all-time record in 300 televised games. This does not include pay-per-view, tape-delayed or closed circuit telecasts.

OVERTIME RECORD: Alabama is 4-7 (.364) all-time in overtime games. In its last overtime game, the Crimson Tide defeated LSU 27-21 at Tiger Stadium on Nov. 8, 2008. Alabama has lost six of its last nine overtime games. The Crimson Tide is 4-6 (.400) in overtime games against SEC teams. Alabama is 2-4 (.333) in overtime home games. The Crimson Tide is 3-4 (.429) in single-overtime games.

NEW HIRES: The Alabama football staff features a new face in 2010 with the promotion of Jeremy Pruitt to assistant coach of the secondary. Pruitt joined the Alabama staff as Director of Player Development in 2007 after a successful stint as an assistant coach at Alabama high school powerhouse, Hoover. At Hoover, he served for three seasons as defensive backs coach with the final two as the defensive coordinator. He tutored a defense that helped the Bucs reach the Class 6A State Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning titles in 2004 and 2005. Pruitt served as an assistant coach under his father, Dale Pruitt, at Fort Payne High School from 2001-03.

TOP AIDES: Alabama’s coaching staff has a wealth of knowledge across all levels of football. The nine-man Crimson Tide staff features a former head coaches at the Bowl Subdivision level in Bobby Williams (Michigan State). The staff also has six coaches that have spent time as assistant coaches in the NFL in Bo Davis (Dolphins), Jim McElwain (Raiders), Joe Pendry (19 years with multiple teams), Kirby Smart (Dolphins), Sal Sunseri (Panthers) and Bobby Williams (Lions and Dolphins). Alabama’s coaching staff boasts 40-plus years of combined NFL coaching experience.

NICK’S KIDS: At Michigan State, head coach Nick Saban and his wife Terry started the “Nick’s Kids” Foundation, which the Sabans have continued in Tuscaloosa. Since their arrival at the University of Alabama, the Sabans have helped raise over $1.5 million – including over $450,000 this year – for “Nick’s Kids” and made a total of more than 140 donations to children’s charities throughout the state of Alabama.

NFL DRAFT: The Crimson Tide saw seven players selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, including first-round picks Rolando McClain (eighth overall to the Oakland Raiders) and Kareem Jackson (20th overall to the Houston Texans). Alabama also had two more second-round picks in cornerback Javier Arenas (Kansas City Chiefs) and nose guard Terrence Cody (Baltimore Ravens). Offensive guard Mike Johnson went in the third round to the Atlanta Falcons while cornerback Marquis Johnson (St. Louis Rams) and Brandon Deaderick (New England Patriots) were taken in the seventh round. The Tide had eight more players sign free agent contracts, including Colin Peek (Atlanta), Eryk Anders (Cleveland), Lorenzo Washington (Dallas), Justin Woodall (Chicago), Cory Reamer (New York Jets), Leigh Tiffin (Cleveland) and P.J. Fitzgerald (New Orleans).

CRIMSON TIDE PLAYERS ON NFL ROSTERS: The Alabama football program was well represented in the NFL during the 2010 season with former players and coaches dotting league rosters. The Tide has 39 former players and coaches working in the NFL this season. Roman Harper is the only Alabama player on the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. The Crimson Tide has 28 current NFL players. There are 13 former UA players and/or coaches serving as assistant coaches in the NFL this season, including Sylvester Croom (St. Louis), Freddie Kitchens (Arizona) and Richard Williamson (Carolina).

2010 NFL Rosters
Player Pos. Team
Mark Anderson DE Chicago Bears
Javier Arenas DB Kansas City Cheifs
Anthony Bryant DB Washington Redskins
Antoine Caldwell C Houston Texans
Tim Castille RB Kansas City Cheifs
Terrence Cody DT Baltimore Ravens
Brodie Croyle QB Kansas City Chiefs
Kenneth Darby RB St. Louis Rams
Brandon Deaderick DE New England Patriots
Wallace Gilberry DL Kansas City Chiefs
Roman Harper DB New Orleans Saints
Kareem Jackson DB Houston Texans
Jarret Johnson LB Baltimore Ravens
Mike Johnson OL Atlanta Falcons
Rashad Johnson DB Arizona Cardinals
Anthony Madison DB Pittsburgh Steelers
Evan Mathis OL Cincinnati Bengals
LeRon McClain FB Baltimore Ravens
Rolando McClain LB Oakland Raiders
Antwan Odom DL Cincinnati Bengals
Charlie Peprah DB Green Bay Packers
DeMeco Ryans LB Houston Texans
Justin Smiley OL Jacksonville Jaguars
Andre Smith OL Cincinnati Bengals
Deshea Townsend DB Indianapolis Colts
John Parker Wilson QB Atlanta Falcons
Bobby Greenwood DL Kansas City Chiefs (Practice Squad)

NFL Coaches:
Coach Team
Bruce Arians Pittsburgh Steelers
Sylvester Croom St. Louis Rams
Jeff Fitzgerald Cincinnati Bengals
Amos Jones Pittsburgh Steelers
Larry Kirksey Houston Texans
Freddie Kitchens Arizona Cardinals
John Mitchell Pittsburgh Steelers
Rip Scherer Carolina Panthers
Rory Segrest Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Shula Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike Solari Seattle Seahawks
Ricky Thomas Indianapolis Colts
Richard Williamson Carolina Panthers


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