Alabama Crimson Tide-Chattanooga Postgame Notebook
Postgame Notebook from No. 1 Alabama’s 31-3 victory over FCS opponent Chattanooga at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama owns the longest winning streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, having won 23 consecutive games dating back to last season (a loss on Sept. 19, 2015, vs. Ole Miss). The 23-game streak is the third-longest in school history (28 games twice: 1991-93 & 1978-80) and is the longest under the direction of head coach Nick Saban (previous long: 19 games in 2009-10). During this stretch, the Crimson Tide have won 11 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, eight straight road matchups and four consecutive neutral-site contests while going 15-0 against teams from the Southeastern Conference. Alabama has outscored its opponents by 550 points (860-282; 37.4-12.3), an average of 25.1 points per game, during the streak.
The University of Alabama has played 70 games as the nation’s top-ranked team since the inception of the Associated Press poll in 1936. In those games the Crimson Tide boasts a 60-10 (.857) record. Those numbers get even more impressive when you look at the 10 seasons under the direction of head coach Nick Saban (2007-present). Since the ninth game of the 2008 season (112 games), Alabama has played 46 games while being ranked No. 1, posting a 41-5 (.891) record during that span.
Saban tied with Woody Hayes for career No. 1 games
Saturday night’s game against Chattanooga was Nick Saban’s 46th career game coaching Alabama as the Associated Press No. 1 team. That ties him with Woody Hayes (Ohio State) for the most at one school. Saban is 41-5 (.891), with one more victory than Hayes and Bobby Bowden (Florida State), the most by any head coach of top-ranked teams. Bowden was 40-5 at Florida State as No. 1 and Hayes went 40-6 with Ohio State. The difference is Saban is in his 10th season at Alabama and Bowden spent 34 seasons at FSU and Hayes was at OSU for 28. The Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 in 34 percent of its 133 games coached by Saban. By comparison, Florida State was No. 1 in 10.8 percent of the 417 games Bowden coached and Ohio State was No. 1 in 16.7 percent of the 276 games coached by Hayes.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 121-19 (.864) in home games during his college head coaching career. He owns the advantage at every stop he has made during his collegiate coaching career, including a 62-7 (.899) mark while at Alabama. Saban has won 33 of his last 35 contests at Bryant-Denny Stadium and has lost back-to-back matchups only once, with consecutive losses coming at the end of the 2007 season (LSU and ULM).
With the win over Chattanooga tonight, Alabama has defeated 65 consecutive unranked teams under head coach Nick Saban. The last loss to an unranked team came against Auburn to close out the 2007 season. The current streak began with a win over Colorado on Dec. 30, 2007, in the Independence Bowl. Under Saban, Alabama holds a 69-3 (65-3 after vacated wins) mark against unranked opponents, including a perfect mark in matchups with unranked teams since 2008.
Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 103-6 (.945) when leading at the half. Alabama led Chattanooga, 14-3, at the half tonight and has held the lead in 20 of its last 25 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season, including nine of 11 games this season.
After the win over Chattanooga, the Alabama defense has not surrendered a touchdown in the last 207 minutes and 54 seconds of game action, dating back to the third quarter of the Texas A&M game (October 22) when the Aggies’ Christian Kirk caught a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Crimson Tide blanked the Aggies over the final 27:54 of that game and then shut out No. 15 LSU, 10-0, in Baton Rouge the following week. The Tide then limited Mississippi State to a field goal on Nov. 12 in a 51-3 victory and defeated Chattanooga 31-3 this evening. Alabama ranked No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, surrendering 12.2 points per game, entering tonight’s game.
Alabama’s 31-3 win over Chattanooga marked the 65th time the Crimson Tide has held an opponent to 10 points or fewer under head coach Nick Saban since the start of the 2007 season and the eighth time in 2016.
Alabama limited Chattanooga to 70 yards on the ground tonight, and has surrendered 758 yards rushing through 11 games this season. Alabama led the nation in rushing defense coming into tonight’s contest.
Since the start of the 2009 season, no defense has allowed fewer touchdowns than the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s defense has surrendered only 154 touchdowns over the last 105 games.
Chattanooga’s 184 yards in total offense this evening marks the 42nd time during head coach Nick Saban’s last 121 games at the Capstone (since the start of the 2008 season), the Crimson Tide defense has held the opposing offense to fewer than 200 yards of total offense. Prior to tonight’s game the Tide had also held five opponents under the 200-yard mark –USC (194), Kent State (166), Kentucky (161), Tennessee (163) and LSU (125) below the 200-yard mark this season. Alabama’s best defensive performance came in 2009 when the Tide held Chattanooga to 84 yards of total offense.
Offense on target
Alabama’s school record consecutive games scoring streak was extended to 209 games tonight with Jalen Hurts’ 47-yard first quarter touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley. Alabama was last held off the scoreboard in a 9-0 loss to Auburn on Nov. 18, 2000.
With 196 yards rushing tonight, Alabama is now 88-4 (.957) since the start of the 2008 season when rushing for at least 140 yards. The only losses were at Auburn in 2013, at Ole Miss and vs. Ohio State in 2014, and against Ole Miss in 2015. The Crimson Tide rushed for 140 yards or more 10 times in 2015 and has done so 10 times this season.
Jalen Hurts’ 68 yards rushing tonight gives him 803 yards on the season, breaking the Alabama single-season quarterback rushing record of 791 set by Steadman Shealy in 1979.
With his three touchdown passes tonight, Jalen Hurts moved into third place on the Alabama single-season touchdown responsibility list with 30. Hurts has thrown 19 touchdown passes and rushed for 11 scores so far this season. AJ McCarron (2012: 30 passing, 1 rushing) is second. Blake Sims holds the single-season record with 35 touchdowns (28 passing, 7 rushing) in 2014.
Jalen Hurts’ 204 yards in total offense tonight (136 passing/68 rushing) gives him 2,971 total yards this season, the sixth-highest mark in school history. Greg McElroy is fifth at 2,975 yards (2,987 passing/-12 rushing) in 2010. Blake Sims is the single-season leader at 3,837 yards (3,487 passing/350 rushing) in 2014.
Special teams and such
With two extra points in the first half tonight, senior placekicker Adam Griffith has 93 points in 2016 (14 field goals and 51 PATs) to give him 321 career points (49 FGs, 171 PATs) good for fourth place on the Tide’s career scoring list, five points shy of third place Michael Proctor who had 326 points (65 field goals, 131 PATs) from 1992-95. Griffith also ranks fourth on Alabama’s all-time kick-scoring list just behind Proctor.
With two extra points in the first half tonight, senior placekicker Adam Griffith has 51 this season to give him 171 for his career, the second-most in school history. Jeremy Shelley (2009-12) is the career leader with 172.
Alabama’s captains for Saturday’s game vs. Chattanooga are SAM linebacker Ryan Anderson, offensive right tackle Korren Kirven and tight end O.J. Howard.
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