ALABAMA FOOTBALL POST-GAME NOTES – ALABAMA at AUBURN SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2011 • JORDAN-HARE STADIUM • AUBURN, ALA. courtesy of UA Media Relations
AN 11-WIN SEASON: The win over Auburn marked the 11th on the season for Auburn. It is the 15th 11-win season in Crimson Tide history. The 15 11-win seasons ties Penn State for the second most 11-win seasons in college football history. UA has won 11 or more games three times under head coach Nick Saban.
CAREER NIGHT FOR RICHARDSON: The 203 rushing yards by Trent Richardson was the 11th time an Alabama back has surpassed the 200-yard rushing mark. The 200-yard rushing performance is the first for a Tide back since Mark Ingram rushed for 246 against South Carolina on October 17, 2009.
RICHARDSON HAMMERS HIS WAY PAST 100: With the 203 yards by junior running back Trent Richardson, it marked his ninth 100-yard game on the season and third in a row. The nine 100-yard games ties Mark Ingram (2009) for the most in school history.
RICHARDSON ON SINGLE-SEASON & CAREER LISTS: Trent Richardson’s big rushing day moved him up both the single-season and career rushing lists at Alabama. In 2011, Richardson has rushed for 1,583 yards, a total that ranks second on the Alabama single-season rushing yards list behind Mark Ingram’s 1,658 yards in 2009. Richardson became the fifth back in Alabama history to surpass 3,000 rushing yards today, a total that also ranks him fifth on the career rushing yards list with 3,034 yards.
McCARRON SHINES IN FIRST IRON BOWL: Alabama sophomore quarterback AJ McCarron put together a solid performance in his first Iron Bowl. Auburn. McCarron was 18-for-23 with 184 yards and three touchdowns. Over the last two games, McCarron is 32-for-42 with 374 yards and has tossed six touchdowns without an interception. Two of his three touchdowns in today’s game were over 20 yards, making eight of his 16 on the season from over that distance.
SMELLEY FINISHING STRONG: Alabama senior tight end Brad Smelley has been finishing his Crimson Tide career on a strong note. Earning the start for the second consecutive game, Smelley caught a career-high six passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Over the last two games, the senior has caught 10 passes for 144 yards and hauled in three touchdowns.
McCARRON TIES IRON BOWL MARK: With 3 touchdown passes against Auburn, AJ McCarron tied the Alabama record for touchdown passes thrown against Auburn. It is the fourth time an Alabama quarterback has thrown 3 touchdowns in an Iron Bowl game. Steve Sloan also had 3 touchdown passes in a 21-14 Alabama victory over the Tigers on November 26, 1964. Jeff Rutledge had 3 scoring passes in a 34-16 win over Auburn on December 2, 1978, and Freddie Kitchens passed for 3 touchdowns in a 24-23 win over the Tigers on November 23, 1996.
NOWHERE TO RUN: Alabama held Auburn to 78 rushing yards on 35 carries (2.2-yard average). In head coach Nick Saban’s 66-game tenure at Alabama, the Crimson Tide has limited the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards 41 times, or 62.1 percent of the time.
UPSHAW SACKS: Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw moved his season total to 8.5 sacks as he tallied two sacks in the win against Auburn. The 8.5 sacks are the most by a Crimson Tide player since Wallace Gilberry recorded 10 in 2007. Upshaw has now tallied 15.5 sacks over the last two seasons. Upshaw finished the game with 5 tackles, including 2 for losses of 13 yards.
GAMES WITH AN INTERCEPTION: With the Dee Milliner interception that went for a touchdown against Auburn on November 26, Alabama has recorded at least one interception in nine of its 12 games this season. The Tide recorded an interception in 11 of the 13 games in 2010, putting together a run of 20 games with a pick in its last 25 outings. Eight different Tide players have tallied an interception in 2011, with Milliner leading the way with three.
NON-OFFENSIVE TDs IN THE SABAN ERA: Dee Milliner’s 35-yard interception return for a touchdown was the fifth non-offensive score on the season and third interception return for a touchdown on the year. It was the 25th overall since the Nick Saban era began in 2007. Dre Kirkpatrick’s 55-yard blocked field goal return against Georgia Southern last weekend marked the fourth non-offensive touchdown of the 2011 season. Courtney Upshaw’s 45-yard interception return at Florida on October 1, was Alabama’s second interception return of the 2011 season, and the second in two weeks along with DeQuan Menzie’s 25-yard interception return for a score against Arkansas. Since Saban took over as Alabama’s head coach, the Crimson Tide has garnered 25 non-offensive touchdowns including 11 interception returns, 7 punt returns, 3 kickoff returns, 2 fumble returns and two blocked punt returns for a touchdown.
ALABAMA-AUBURN SERIES: With the win Alabama holds a 41-34-1 lead in a series that dates back to the 1893 season. The Crimson Tide now stands 4-7-0 in games played at Auburn.
SABAN VERSUS AUBURN: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is now 5-5 in his career against the Auburn Tigers. Saban made his Alabama debut in the Nov. 24, 2007, Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Saban was 2-3 against the Tigers while the head coach at LSU from 2000-04 and is now 3-2 while at the helm of the Crimson Tide.
GAME CAPTAINS: Today’s Alabama game captains were linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Mark Barron center William Vlachos and defensive tackle Josh Chapman. Auburn won the toss and elected to defer the opening kickoff.
TIDE 48-3 UNDER SABAN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF: With the win over Auburn, the Crimson Tide is 48-3 when leading at halftime under head coach Nick Saban.