Game notes: Alabama defeats Michigan State

ALABAMA FOOTBALL POST-GAME NOTES – 2011 CAPITAL ONE BOWL (courtesy of UA Media Relations)
ALABAMA 49, MICHIGAN STATE 7

ALABAMA’S CAPITAL ONE BOWL HISTORY: Saturday’s win over Michigan State marked Alabama’s second appearance in the Capital One Bowl, formerly known as the Florida Citrus Bowl (1983-2002). Alabama’s only previous appearance came following the 1994 season in the 1995 Florida Citrus Bowl where the Crimson Tide defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 24-17.

BEATING THE BEST: With the win over 7th-ranked (AP) Michigan State, Alabama is 14-5 against the Associated Press Top 25 over the past three seasons and 9-3 against AP top 10 teams. UA had reeled off nine straight wins against top 25 teams until a loss at South Carolina earlier this season. The Crimson Tide’s 31-6 win over No. 7 Florida on October 2 was the Tide’s second straight win over a top 10 team and third top 25 victory in a four-week span. Alabama went 5-3 against the AP Top 25 this season.

DEFENSE NOTES
DEFENSE DOMINANT: The Alabama defense produced a dominant performance in the 49-7 win over Michigan State. Alabama held Michigan State to 171 yards of total offense, including 219 yards passing and minus-48 yards rushing. State’s top rusher, Edwin Baker rushed for only 14 yards on 12 carries after averaging 98.9 yards per game entering the Capital One Bowl. Michigan State entered the game averaging 406.7 yards per game.

SECOND-FEWEST RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED SETS BOWL RECORD: Michigan State was held to minus-48 rushing yards by the Alabama defense. That total is the second-fewest rushing yards ever allowed by an Alabama defense. The record was a minus-49 yards allowed by Alabama against Houston in 1962. However, the total did set a new record for Alabama in a bowl game.

STIFLING THE PASSING ATTACK: Alabama caused problems for Michigan State in the passing game. Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins averaged 225.4 passing yards per game while completing 67.5 percent of his passes entering the game. Against Alabama, Cousins had only 120 passing yards while completing 55.5 percent (10 of 18) passes.

OFFENSE NOTES
SEASON TOTALS – OFFENSE: The Alabama offense concluded one of the finest offensive seasons in Crimson Tide history on Saturday in the win over Michigan State. With 546 total yards against Michigan State, Alabama ended the 2010 season with 5,773 yards of total offense to set a new single-season team record. The old record was 5,642 set in 2009 (14 games). Alabama scored 49 points against Michigan State to end 2010 with 464 total points scored. That total ranks second in Alabama history. The Alabama single-season record is 477 points scored in 1973 (12 games).

ALABAMA BOWL RECORD FOR RUSHING TDs: The six rushing touchdowns by Alabama against Michigan State in the 2011 Capital One Bowl set a new Alabama record for a bowl game. The previous mark was 4 rushing touchdowns accomplished vs. Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game and vs. Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

TOTAL OFFENSE IS 2ND BEST IN A BOWL GAME: Alabama amassed 546 total yards (275 rushing, 271 passing) against Michigan State, the second-best total offense by the Crimson Tide in a bowl game. That total is only eclipsed by a 586-yard output accomplished vs. Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

28 POINTS MATCHES HIGHEST SCORING ALABAMA FIRST HALF IN A BOWL: Alabama led Michigan State, 28-0, at halftime. That scoring total matched the Alabama bowl record for points scored in a first half, as well as matching the highest lead at halftime of a bowl game for the Crimson Tide. That outing matched Alabama’s first half output in a 28-7 win over SMU in the 1983 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. That day, Alabama raced to a 28-0 halftime lead over the Mustangs before coasting to the 28-7 victory.

AMONG LARGEST ALABAMA BOWL VICTORY MARGINS: The 49-7 victory over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl ranks as the second-largest margin of victory by Alabama in a bowl game, ranking behind only a 55-point victory over Syracuse in a 61-6 verdict in the 1953 Orange Bowl in Miami.

LARGEST ALABAMA VICTORY MARGINS IN A BOWL GAME
55 – 1953 Orange Bowl (Alabama 61 – Syracuse 6)
42 – 2011 Capital One Bowl (Alabama 49 – Michigan State 7)
30 – 1976 Liberty Bowl (Alabama 36 – UCLA 6)
29 – 1978 Sugar Bowl (Alabama 35 – Ohio State 6)
28 – 1981 Cotton Bowl (Alabama 30 – Baylor 2)
27 – 1967 Sugar Bowl (Alabama 34 – Nebraska 7)

PLAYER NOTES
UPSHAW EARNS MOST VALUABLE PLAYER HONORS: Junior linebacker Courtney Upshaw was named the Capital One Bowl Most Valuable Player by virtue of his performance in Alabama’s victory. Upshaw finished the game with 5 tackles (5 solos) including 2 sacks (17 yards) and 3 tackles for loss (29 yards) with a forced fumble. Upshaw had a big first half as he was a key factor in the Crimson Tide putting the Spartans well behind in the early stages, leading Alabama with 4 tackles including 2 quarterback sacks. It continued a trend for Upshaw, who now has 5 sacks in the last 2 games after racking up 3 sacks in the first half against Auburn in Alabama’s previous game.

INGRAM SETS CAREER RUSHING TD MARK: Junior running back Mark Ingram scored two rushing touchdowns against Michigan State to break the Alabama record for rushing touchdowns in a career. His 6-yard rush with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter gave Alabama a 21-0 lead. That was Ingram’s 42nd career rushing touchdown, moving Ingram past Shaun Alexander (41 from 1996-99) for the school record. Ingram has 46 total touchdowns during his Crimson Tide career to rank third in Alabama history in total touchdowns. Ingram opened the scoring vs. State with a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

ALABAMA CAREER RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS LEADERS
42 Mark Ingram (2008-present)
41 Shaun Alexander (1996-99)
34 Johnny Musso (1969-71)
33 Bobby Humphrey (1985-88)
29 Tony Nathan (1975-78)

ALABAMA CAREER TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS LEADERS
52 Harry Gilmer (2 PR, 1 KOR, 1 IR, 19 rush, 29 pass) 1944-47
50 Shaun Alexander (41 rush, 8 rec., 1 KOR) 1996-99
46 Mark Ingram (42 rush, 4 rec.) 2008-present
43 John Parker Wilson (37 pass, 6 rush) 2005-07
42 Walter Lewis (13 rush, 29 pass) 1980-83
41 Jeff Rutledge (11 rush, 30 pass) 1975-78

INGRAM 4TH ON CAREER RUSHING YARDS CHART: Mark Ingram rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries vs. Michigan State, giving him 3,261 rushing yards in his career to rank fourth in Crimson Tide history. Shaun Alexander (1996-99) is the Tide’s career rushing yards record holder with 3,565 yards.

ALABAMA’S CAREER RUSHING LEADERS
3,565 Shaun Alexander (727 att.) 1996-99
3,420 Bobby Humphrey (615 att.) 1985-88
3,324 Kenneth Darby (702 att.) 2003-06
3,261 Mark Ingram (572 att,) 2008-present
2,741 Johnny Musso (574 att.) 1969-71

McELROY SETS MARK FOR SINGLE-SEASON PASSING YARDS: With 147 yards passing in the first half today senior quarterback Greg McElroy broke the Alabama record for passing yards in a season, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,846 yards by John Parker Wilson in 2007. Through the first half today, McElroy has thrown for 2,914 yards this season. He entered the game needing 80 yards passing to move past Wilson’s standard. McElroy broke the record on a 28-yard pass to Julio Jones on the first play of the second quarter.

ALABAMA’S SINGLE-SEASON PASSING YARDS LEADERS
2,914 Greg McElroy (219 of 309)……………………………. 2010
2,846 John Parker Wilson (255 of 372)……………………….. 2007
2,707 John Parker Wilson (216 of 379)……………………….. 2006
2,507 Greg McElroy (198 of 325)………………………………… 2009
2,499 Brodie Croyle (202 of 339)………………………………… 2005

McELROY’S FINISHES 3RD IN CAREER TD PASSES: McElroy had one touchdown passes against Michigan State, the 39th of his Alabama career, which ranks third on the UA career touchdown passes list. He had 20 touchdown passes in the 2010 season, which is an Alabama single-season record.

TOUCHDOWN PASSES – CAREER
47 John Parker Wilson 2005-08
41 Brodie Croyle 2002-05
39 Greg McElroy 2007-10
35 Andrew Zow 1998-01
35 Mike Shula 1983-86

TOUCHDOWN PASSES – SEASON
20 Greg McElroy 2010
18 John Parker Wilson 2007
17 John Parker Wilson 2006
17 Greg McElroy 2009

JULIO JONES MOVES UP CAREER RECEPTIONS LIST: Junior wide receiver Julio Jones caught 3 passes for 49 yards today, giving Jones a school-record 78 receptions for a school-record 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. He is second on the Alabama career pass receptions list with 179 and ranks second on the Alabama career receiving yards list with 2,653 yards.

ALABAMA CAREER RECEPTIONS LEADERS
194 DJ Hall (2,923 yards) 2004-07
179 Julio Jones (2,653 yards) 2008-present
152 Freddie Milons (1,859 yards) 1998-01
132 David Bailey (1,857 yards) 1969-71
117 Keith Brown (1,863 yards) 2004-07

ALABAMA CAREER RECEIVING YARDS LEADERS
2,923 DJ Hall (194 catches) 2004-07
2,653 Julio Jones (179 catches) 2008-present
2,070 Ozzie Newsome (102 catches) 1974-77
1,859 Freddie Milons (152 catches) 1998-2001
1,857 David Bailey (132 catches) 1969-71

JONES ON SINGLE-SEASON LISTS: With 3 catches for 49 yards against Michigan State, Jones added to his Alabama single-season records with 78 catches for 1,133 yards this season. That surpasses DJ Hall’s marks of 67 receptions (2007) and 1,056 yards (2006).

RECEPTIONS – SEASON
78 Julio Jones (1,133 yards) 2010
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 (924 yards) 2008

RECEIVING YARDS – SEASON
1,133 Julio Jones (78 catches) 2010
1,056 DJ Hall (62 catches) 2006
1,005 DJ Hall (67 catches) 2007
1,000 David Palmer (61 catches) 1993
924 Julio Jones (58 catches) 2008
820 Dennis Homan (54 catches) 1967
804 Ozzie Newsome (36 catches) 1977

LESTER NABS 8TH INTERCEPTION OF SEASON: Sophomore free safety Robert Lester stopped Michigan State’s first offensive possession of the game with an interception at the Alabama 16-yard line and he returned the theft 22 yards to the Alabama 38 with 2:21 left in the first quarter. That interception was Lester’s 8th of the season, tying him for second on the Alabama single-season interceptions list with Harry Gilmer (8 in 1946). Lester is 2 interceptions shy of the school record of 10 set by Hootie Ingram in 1952. That total also ties Lester for the national lead with Virginia Tech’s Jayron Hosley and Hawaii’s Mana Silva.

ALABAMA LEADERS – INTERCEPTIONS IN A SEASON
10 Hootie Ingram (163 yards)……………………………………. 1952
8 Harry Gilmer (79 yards)………………………………………… 1946
8 Robert Lester (102 yards)………………………………… 2010
7 Steve Higginbotham (108 yards)…………………………… 1971
7 Jeremiah Castille (60 yards)………………………………….. 1982
7 Antonio Langham (67 yards)…………………………………. 1993
7 Kevin Jackson (44 yards)………………………………………. 1996
7 Mark Barron (125 yards)…………………………………. 2009

GAME CAPTAINS: Today’s Alabama game captains were linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Mark Barron and quarterback Greg McElroy … Michigan State won the opening coin toss and chose to defer its selection until the second half, so Alabama chose to receive the opening kickoff.

PERMANENT CAPTAINS SELECTED: Three Alabama players were selected the permanent team captains for the 2010 season: were linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Mark Barron and quarterback Greg McElroy. That trio was selected by a vote of the entire Crimson Tide team. They will be publicly recognized as the 2010 permanent team captains at A-Day ceremonies to be held in April in conjunction with the A-Day Spring Football Game tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 16, 2011.