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Alabama Football Begins Gameplanning for Top-25 Matchup with Mississippi State

The two teams will face off this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team continued practice on Tuesday afternoon, putting in two hours of work in full pads on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.

Alabama began gameplanning for a Mississippi State team that continues to improve each week. The Bulldogs are currently riding a four game winning streak and own a 7-2 overall record that includes a 3-2 mark in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide holds the all-time advantage, 77-18-3, and has won the last seven matchups between the two SEC West foes. Most recently, Alabama came away with a victory over No. 1 Mississippi State, 25-20, inside Bryant-Denny Stadium a season ago. The win was UA’s seventh victory over the nation’s No. 1 team in program history, and the fourth win over the top team in college football under head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama Football Travels to Starkville for SEC Road Matchup with Mississippi State

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs will face off at Davis Wade Stadium at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team returned to full practice for an hour and 30 minutes of work in shells on Monday afternoon outdoors on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.

Alabama returned to practice following Saturday’s 30-16 win over then-No. 4 LSU. Next on the schedule for the Crimson Tide is a matchup in Starkville with No. 20 Mississippi State. The 2:30 kickoff will air live on CBS with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce calling their fourth Alabama game in as many weeks and fifth overall.

The Bulldogs are a team that has won four straight and own a 7-2 overall record, including a 3-2 mark in conference play. Most recently, MSU earned a dominant 31-13 win on Thursday night at Missouri in a steady rain. State is led by seventh year head coach Dan Mullen, who owns a 53-33 record during his time in Starkville.

Series history favors the Crimson Tide, 77-18-3, and has won the last seven matchups between the two squads. Most recently, Alabama took down top-ranked Mississippi State, 25-20, inside Bryant-Denny Stadium a season ago. The win was UA’s seventh victory over the nation’s No. 1 team in program history, and the fourth win over the top team in college football under head coach Nick Saban.

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

 

2015 Preseason Coach28Head Coach Nick Saban
Opening Statement:
“Not much to comment on that I didn’t already say after the LSU game. It was a good effort by our team, and it was a great team win. I think in every aspect of the game we did a lot of good things – whether it was the offense, defense, or special teams. But as always, we look and evaluate those things and are focused on correcting the things that we could do better so we can continue to improve as a team.

 

“It’s good to see that Ryan Kelly and Adam Griffith got Players of the Week in the SEC. The players of the week for us: Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, Ryan Kelly and Cam Robinson on offense; Reggie Ragland, Dillon Lee, and A’Shawn Robinson on defense; and Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Adam Griffith on special teams.

“Any time you have an emotional win you have to get your team ready to respond the right way and make sure they’re focused on what they need to do just as well the next week – or better –  against a very good Mississippi State team that’s ranked and is a very, very good team. (Head coach) Dan Mullen has done a really good job there – they’re a very physical team, they’re well-coached, they play well in every aspect of the game. They’re very good on special teams; the scoring defense is ranked in the top of the conference giving up only 17 points per game. They’re very physical on defense – do a lot of things, create a lot of problems. Offensively, Dak Prescott has been playing there for a long time and has a lot of experience – he does a really good job of executing their offense. Certainly his pass efficiency and the ability to pass the ball effectively, to go with their running game, has been something that’s going to be a big challenge for us. He can run the ball and is one of the leading rushers on their team, and they also have several really good receivers. This is an outstanding team all the way around, and this is not the time for anyone to think that just because we had what some would call a “big win” that there is any reason to think that the next game is not the most important game that we need to play. Everybody has to focus and get prepared to do their job and play even better in this game.”

Alabama Football Coaching Staff Recognizes Ten as Players of the Week

The Crimson Tide had four players on offense, and three each on defense and special teams

2015 Preseason Player23 (1)TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Ten Alabama players were recognized by the Crimson Tide coaching staff following Saturday’s 30-16 victory over No. 2 LSU. Kenyan Drake, Derrick Henry, Ryan Kelly and Cam Robinson were the honorees on offense, while Dillon Lee, Reggie Ragland and A’Shawn Robinson represented the defense.  Tony Brown, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Adam Griffith made the special teams list.

Henry had his second 200-plus yard game this season, finishing with 210 yards on a career-high 38 rushing attempts for an average of 5.5 yards per carry. He found the end zone three times to boost his season total to 17, a number that leads the SEC and is tied for first nationally. His 17 scores also ranks for the third-most in a single season in Alabama history. Drake had arguably his best game of the season, accounting for 163 all-purpose yards, including 68 yards rushing, 55 yards on kickoff returns and 40 through the air. Kelly graded out at a team and season-high 92 percent and recorded two knockdown blocks. Robinson and Kelly led an Alabama offensive line that provided time for 434 yards of total offense, as Jake Coker completed 18 of his 24 passes on the night.

Ragland, who has been honored for the past six weeks, totaled three tackles, with one pass breakup and a sack. The senior also helped limit the nation’s leading rusher, Leonard Fournette, to just 31 yards on 19 carries for an average of 1.6 yards. Lee recorded a career game for the Crimson Tide, notching his first interception of the season and totaling three tackles while helping limit the Tiger rushing attack to only 54 yards. Robinson recorded three tackles, with two for loss (-3 yards) and one pass breakup. The junior also blocked an LSU point-after-touchdown attempt, leaping over the LSU line to bat down the kick and keep the Tigers off the board.

Brown helped limit the Tigers to just 2.5 yards on punt returns, and recorded a monstrous hit on kickoff when he came down untouched for the tackle on the LSU returner just before halftime. Griffith had one of his best games of his career connecting on all six of his kicks, including a career-long 55-yard field goal that tied for the second-longest field goal in school history. He added two more field goals and was perfect on all three extra point attempts. Griffith also averaged 64.0 yards on seven kickoffs with three touchbacks. Fitzpatrick collected two tackles on special teams and helped limit LSU to a lowly 10.8 yards per return on kickoff coverage.

 

SEC Network to Broadcast Charleston Southern/Alabama at 3 p.m.

Crimson Tide making third appearance on the SEC Network this season

 TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference announced Monday that Alabama’s final home game of the season against Charleston Southern on Saturday, November 21, will be broadcast on the SEC Network with kick off set for 3 p.m. (CT).

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.

SEC Television Schedule for Saturday, November 21, 2015

Florida Atlantic at Florida, 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network

Citadel at South Carolina, 11 a.m. CT on SEC Network ALT

LSU at Ole Miss, 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS

Charleston Southern at Alabama, 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network

Idaho at Auburn, 3 p.m. CT on SEC Network ALT

Mississippi State at Arkansas, 6 p.m. on ESPN

Georgia Southern at Georgia, 6 p.m. on ESPNU

Tennessee at Missouri, 6:15 p.m. on ESPN2

Texas A&M at Vanderbilt, 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network

UNC Charlotte at Kentucky, 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network ALT

 

Crimson Tide Defense and Henry’s 210 Rushing Yards Lead Alabama over LSU, 30-16

11-07 LSU at Alabama10TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama defense limited Louisiana State University running back Leonard Fournette to 31 rushing yards while the Crimson Tide offense rode a 210-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance by running back Derrick Henry to a 30-16 victory before a capacity crowd of 101,821 on Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The victory moved No. 4 Alabama (9-1 overall; 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference) into a tie with No. 2 LSU (7-2 overall; 4-1 in the SEC) for the lead in the SEC’s West Division.

Fournette, who entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher averaging 193.1 yards rushing per game, could not get going against the Crimson Tide defense. But Henry rushed for touchdowns of two yards, one yard and seven yards while carrying the ball 38 times, the third-most carries by one player in a single game in Alabama football history. Fournette had an 18-yard run at the 11:00 mark of the fourth quarter after a Henry fumble set up the Tigers at the Tide 22. But by that time, the Tide had built a 30-10 lead and the outcome was decided.

Alabama was dominant early, breaking out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter on a 22-yard Adam Griffith field goal and Henry’s two-yard scoring rush that came after a 40-yard run in which he fended off three would-be tacklers while rumbling deep into LSU territory. But the Tigers struck back to tie it at 10-10 with an explosive passing game. Quarterback Brandon Harris hit wide receiver Travin Dural for a 40-yard touchdown pass and Trent Domingue followed with a 39-yard field goal to tie it. But Alabama took a 13-10 lead at halftime on a career-long 55-yard field goal by Griffith with 14 seconds left in the half.

After Tide linebacker Dillon Lee intercepted a Harris pass on the first play of the third quarter to set Alabama up at the LSU 28, Henry capped a touchdown drive with a 1-yard run to stake the Tide to a 20-10 lead with 13:00 left in the period. Henry extended the lead with a seven-yard scoring run with 2:47 left in the third quarter and Griffith added a 29-yard field goal with 12:45 left in the fourth period for a 30-10 Alabama lead.

LSU showed life late after Henry lost a fumble at the Tide 22. The Tigers marched 22 yards in four plays with Fournette scoring on a one-yard run with 9:18 on the clock. The extra-point was blocked by the Tide’s A’Shawn Robinson as the Tide held a 30-16 lead.

The Alabama defense created seven plays of negative yardage by the LSU offense in the game, including seven tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. LSU was limited to 182 total yards in the game (54 rushing, 128 passing). The Alabama offense gained 434 total yards, including 250 rushing, and had the ball for 39:27 of game time. Tide safety Geno Matias-Smith led the Tide defense with six tackles. Alabama punter JK Scott averaged 45.0 yards on three punts with a long of 50 yards, including one punt downed inside the LSU 20. Griffith made all three field goal attempts, running his streak of successful attempts to seven straight.

Alabama continues its season next Saturday at Mississippi State (7-2 overall; 3-2 in the SEC). Kickoff time for that game has been set for 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by CBS.

 

FIRST QUARTER

11-07 LSU at Alabama19LSU won the toss and deferred its option to the second half. Alabama received the opening kickoff.

Tide quarterback Jake Coker and running back Derrick Henry had the offense moving quickly down the field. Coker hit wide receiver Richard Mullaney for completions of 11 and 10 yards while Henry picked up an additional first down on the ground, but the drive stalled when Coker was taken down at the line of scrimmage on fourth-and-1 from the LSU 31.

The Crimson Tide defense responded with a three-and-out, capped off by a sack of LSU quarterback Brandon Harris by linebackers Reggie Ragland and Tim Williams. Alabama was able to convert on third-and-5 on the ensuing offensive series, but was forced to punt the ball away when Coker’s pass deep down the sideline to wide receiver Calvin Ridley fell incomplete. A 50-yard punt by JK Scott pinned the Tigers back at their own 10.

LSU running back Leonard Fournette was dropped for a loss on second down, which was followed by two delay of game penalties. Facing third-and-18 from the 2, Harris dropped back and launched a pass that was caught by Travin Dural between two Alabama defenders for a 37-yard gain to the LSU 39. The Tigers successfully flipped the field with that play, but could not move the ball any farther.

Starting at the Tide 9, Henry carried the ball up the middle for a gain of 11 on the drive’s opening play, and then Coker hit Ridley on a screen pass that the rookie took up field for 14 yards. On the next play, running back Kenyan Drake broke a couple of tackles on a gain of 18, and a personal foul face mask penalty on the Tigers added 15 yards to the play. When the quarter ended, the Tide had the ball at the LSU 29.

Score: Alabama 0, LSU 0.

SECOND QUARTER

Henry carried the ball on three consecutive plays to begin the quarter, including converting on fourth down with a three-yard rush. Alabama had the ball first-and-goal from the 10 following a pass interference call on the defense, but had to settle for a field goal after Coker could not connect with Ridley on third down. Junior kicker Adam Griffith knocked a 22-yard field goal through the uprights to give the Tide a 3-0 lead at the 11:08 mark of the first half. The scoring drive lasted 15 plays and covered 87 yards in 5:19.

Alabama was able to produce another three-and-out on defense and regained possession at its 43 following the punt. Coker rolled out and completed a 15-yard pass to tight end O.J. Howard on the first play, and Henry followed that up with a 40-yard burst down to the LSU 2. Henry powered his way into the end zone on the next play for the touchdown, his 14th consecutive game with at least one rushing score. Griffith added the extra point and the Tide was ahead, 10-0, with 8:51 to play in the half.

The LSU offense put together a drive in response, aided by a personal foul face mask penalty called against defensive lineman Darren Lake when he brought down Harris on the first play. Later in the drive, on second-and-12, Harris got rid of the ball right before he was hit in the backfield, connecting with wide receiver Travin Dural for 40 yards and a touchdown. That trimmed the margin to 10-7 with 6:12 remaining in the opening half following the 6-play, 75-yard scoring drive.

Seeking to keep momentum, the LSU defense forced a three-and-out, including a sack of Coker on second down. Scott booted the ball away for 46 yards, and the Tigers quickly had the ball back, this time at their own 32.

Harris took the field with confidence, throwing a pass to receiver Malachi Dupre for 13 yards, and then taking a deep shot down the field that resulted in a defensive pass interference. On first-and-10 from the Alabama 40, Harris kept the ball up the middle for a gain of 16. The drive eventually stalled at the 23, but kicker Trent Domingue made the drive pay off by making a field goal from 39 yards out. That tied the game at 10-10 at the 2:22 mark in the half.

LSU committed a critical error on special teams, as Cameron Gamble’s kickoff landed out of bounds, gave the Alabama offense the ball at the 35 to start the drive. Coker found receiver ArDarius Stewart open for 19 yards, which was followed up by a 10-yard gain by Henry to move the ball down to the Tiger 36. LSU appeared to thwart the drive when Arden Key was able to get pressure on Coker and bring him down for a nine-yard loss.

Facing fourth-and-11 from the LSU 37, the Tide called a timeout with 18 seconds left in the half. Alabama head coach Nick Saban elected to bring out Griffith for a 55-yard field goal attempt, which he was able to squeeze inside the left upright, tying for the second-longest field goal made in program history.

Score: Alabama 13, LSU 10.

 

THIRD QUARTER

11-07 LSU at Alabama17After a touchback on the kickoff, Harris faked a handoff to Fournette and rolled out, attempting to hit tight end Foster Moreau; however, the pass ended up in the arms of Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee, who made the interception at the 28 before he stepped out of bounds.

A perfectly executed screen pass to Drake on the first play almost went for a touchdown, as the running back cut to the outside and was pushed out at the LSU 3. Henry came in to finish the drive off and, although it took three plays, he plunged across the goal line on third down for his second touchdown of the night. That made the score 20-10 in favor of the Tide only two minutes into the second half.

LSU attempted to get Fournette going, but he could not break loose on his three carries on the Tigers’ next offensive possession. Harris did convert one third down, hitting Dupre on a slant route for 10 yards, but he misfired on the next third down thanks to the heavy pressure being applied by the Tide defense.

Drake took a handoff out of the pistol formation and made a quick cut to the right, picking up 16 yards to begin Alabama’s next drive. LSU’s defense responded with a 12-yard sack of Coker on the next series, and the Tide had to punt the ball back to the Tigers.

LSU took over at the 27 but went three-and-out again, as junior defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson batted down Harris’s pass on third-and-4.

Alabama had possession at its 27, and avoided committing a crucial turnover when Henry was able to recover a botched handoff before a LSU defender could get it. Coker then connected with Ridley, who made a couple of nice moves to break free for 15 yards. Then Coker was under duress but got the ball away to Ridley again, this time on a cross route for 14 yards. That moved the ball into LSU territory, and two plays later Drake ripped off a 24-yard rush that put the ball inside the red zone. Henry got the call on consecutive plays, compiling 11 yards to set the offense up with first-and-goal at the LSU 5. Alabama was called for a false start, but continued to give the ball to Henry, who easily scored from seven yards out on second down, giving him a trio of touchdowns in less than three quarters of play. The Tide’s lead was extended to 27-10 as a result of the 11-play, 73-yard that lasted 3:46.

The Tigers began their next drive backed up at their own 8-yard line due to a holding call on the kickoff return. Harris was sacked by Lee for a loss of five on first down, Fournette was tripped up for a loss of one on second down, and Harris threw incomplete on third down. With his heels at the back of the end zone, LSU punter Jamie Keehn’s punt was only 37 yards.

Taking over on a short field, Alabama picked up two first downs thanks to a 10-yard rush by Henry and a 10-yard completion to Stewart on a screen pass. As the quarter ended, the Tide held a 17-point lead and was in the red zone once again.

Score: Alabama 27, LSU 10.

 

FOURTH QUARTER

11-07 LSU at Alabama13The drive eventually stalled at the 12, but Griffith came out and was good on a 30-yard attempt to add to Alabama’s lead. With 12:45 remaining in the game, the Tide was up 30-10 on the Tigers.

LSU moved across midfield on one play, as Harris found receiver DeSean Smith for 26 yards while the defense was also called for a facemask penalty. LSU could not keep the drive going, however, as Alabama continued to bring heavy pressure, forcing three straight incompletions.

The Tide started at its own 7 following the punt. Coker tossed a quick shovel pass to Drake for a 12-yard gain, but Henry was stripped of the ball on the next play and LSU recovered at the Tide 22. Fournette then ripped off 18 yards, his longest run of the game, before punching it in from one yard out. The extra point was blocked by A’Shawn Robinson, making the score 30-16 in favor of Alabama with 9:18 left in the game.

LSU would not get the ball again as the Alabama offense constructed a 13-play, 78-yard drive that consumed the remaining 9:18 of the game.

An illegal block penalty on the kickoff return placed the ball at the 4, but the Tide was able to move it across the 15 thanks to a pair of carries by Henry and a reception by Howard. The next three plays from scrimmage were all Henry rushes, producing another first down. A holding call negated a big gain by Henry on the next play, but as the Tide continued to work on running out the clock, the junior running back broke loose for 29 yards on a draw on third down.

Henry gained 12 yards on his next carry, and then, on his 37th rushing attempt of the game, surged forward for two yards to eclipse the 200-yard mark for the second time in his career. Coker took a knee on the final play of the game to seal the victory for Alabama.

Final Score: Alabama 30, LSU 16.

 

Focus Shifts for Alabama Football to Gameplanning for Top-10 Contest with LSU

The Crimson Tide will look to control an LSU rushing attack that ranks near the top nationally

10-17-15  MFB Texas A.M. Alabama quarterback Jacob Coker (14) Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) Photo by Kent Gidley
10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M.
Alabama quarterback Jacob Coker (14)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2)
Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama football team practiced in full pads for two hours outdoors on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for this Saturday’s top-10 matchup with the No. 4 LSU Tigers.

Alabama will be faced with the task of stopping the SEC’s top rushing offense that has put together 309.1 yards a game and leads the conference with 2,164 total despite playing only seven games thus far. Not to be overlooked is the Tigers’ rush defense, which ranks second in the conference behind the Crimson Tide. The two SEC West rivals will square off at 7 p.m. CT on CBS for a primetime matchup inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. The trio of Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson and Allie LaForce will call the game, the trios third Alabama game in as many weeks.

The Crimson Tide holds the series advantage, 49-25-5, and has won four straight games against LSU dating back to the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship in New Orleans. Most recently, the Crimson Tide produced a last-second drive to force overtime in Baton Rouge a season ago. In that extra period, Blake Sims found DeAndrew White in the corner of the end zone to push the score to 20-13, the eventual final.

Alabama Football Beats Tennessee, 19-14

10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) Photo by Robert Sutton 10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) Photo by Robert Sutton
10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Derrick Henry Photo by Kent Gidley 10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Derrick Henry Photo by Kent Gidley
10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee
Derrick Henry
Photo by Kent Gidley
10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee
Derrick Henry
Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In a tight, hard-hitting struggle that lived up to the legacy of one of college football’s most storied rivalries, the 8th-ranked University of Alabama football team (7-1 overall; 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference) used a clutch touchdown drive by its offense and a staunch outing from its defense to overcome a late deficit in a 19-14 win over Tennessee (3-4 overall; 1-3 in the SEC) on Saturday afternoon before a capacity crowd of 101,821 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

After Tennessee tailback Jalen Hurd ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 5:49 left in the game, the Tide offense responded with a decisive 71-yard march to the end zone. Tide quarterback Jake Coker completed key passes of 29 yards to wide receiver ArDarius Stewart and 15 yards to wide receiver Calvin Ridley on the drive that was punctuated by running back Derrick Henry’s tough running. Henry carried five times for 35 yards on the winning drive, including the game-winning 14-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left.

Henry rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns on the day while Stewart had six catches for 114 yards, and Coker passed for 247 yards while completing 21-of-27 passes. Linebacker Reggie Ragland led the Tide defense with a game-high 12 tackles (eight solos), including a tackle for loss. Punter J.K. Scott averaged 49.8 yards on four punts, including a 56-yarder.

Alabama broke on top early on a 20-yard touchdown run by Henry with 7:14 left in the first quarter. The score marked the 13th consecutive game in which Henry has scored a rushing touchdown. Henry also moved past Shaud Williams (2002-03) into 13th on the Alabama career rushing list on the play with 2,306 yards at that moment. Tennessee struck back to tie it at 7-7 on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Joshua Dobbs to wide receiver Josh Smith with 3:00 left in the opening period.

Tied 7-7 at halftime, Alabama moved back into the lead on the first possession of the second half by driving 73 yards in 12 plays to a 19-yard field goal by Adam Griffith for a 10-7 lead with 9:00 left in the third period.

Three Tennessee scoring opportunities ended in missed field goals, a 43-yarder in the first quarter on the game’s first series, a 51-yarder on the final play of the first half, and another 51-yarder with 14:06 left in the fourth period. The first would have given the Vols a 3-0 lead, the second would have given UT a 10-7 halftime lead, and the third would have tied the game at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter.

Taking the ball at the Tide 33 with 14:06 left in the fourth period, Alabama moved 56 yards in 12 plays while eating 6:58 of game time. A key sequence on the drive began with a third-and-11 play at the UT 46 with 10:19 left. Coker completed a 15-yard pass to Stewart for a first down at the UT 31. After a 10-yard penalty created a first-and-20 at the UT 41, a pass to receiver Calvin Ridley gained 26 yards to the UT 15. Ridley adjusted back to the pass after being covered on the play, grabbing the ball at the sideline and gaining several more yards after the catch. Henry gained five yards on a rush at right tackle to the Vol 10 on first down, then was dropped for a loss of a yard on second down. On third-and-six at the UT 11, Coker’s fade pass to receiver Richard Mullaney was incomplete in the end zone. That set up a 28-yard field goal attempt by Griffith with 7:13 on the clock. Griffith kicked it true to give the Tide a 13-7 lead with 7:08 left in the fourth period.

10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) Photo by Kent Gidley 10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93) Photo by Kent Gidley
10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93)
Photo by Kent Gidley
10-24-15 MFB vs Tennessee
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen (93)
Photo by Kent Gidley

Tennessee stormed back with authority to take a 14-13 lead, blazing 75 yards in four plays to take the lead on a 12-yard run by tailback Jalen Hurd with 5:49 on the clock. Dobbs connected with Smith for 27 yards on a crossing pattern to start the drive, reaching the Tide 48. Two plays later, Dobbs hit a slant pass to receiver Josh Malone for 34 yards to the Tide 12. Hurd raced around left end into the end zone on the next play.

Alabama responded on the ensuing possession. Facing second and 11 at the Tide 27, Coker completed a 27-yard pass to Stewart at the UT 44 with 4:29 left. Stewart made an acrobatic catch despite tight coverage. Henry gained two yards at left guard to the UT 42 on first down, then carried for two more to Vols 40. Facing third-and-six at the 40, Coker lobbed a pass to Ridley at the left sideline and Ridley made a leaping catch over a Tennessee defender for a 15-yard gain to the Tennessee 25. Henry gained six yards at right guard on first down to the UT 19. Tennessee called its first timeout with 3:02 left. On second-and four, Henry muscled up the middle for five yards to a first down at the UT 14. With the clock running under 2:30, Henry took a handoff at left end and ran behind good blocking for 14 yards and a touchdown with 2:24 left. Leading by five points, Alabama went for a two-point conversion. A pass to Ridley was incomplete, broken up by Tennessee cornerback Justin Martin, and the Tide held a 19-14 lead with 2:24 left.

Tennessee took possession at its 25 following a touchback on the kickoff. On the third play of the possession, Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen sacked Dobbs for a nine-yard loss at the UT 26. Facing a second-and-24 at the UT 21 following a false start penalty, Dobbs was sacked by Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson for a loss of 10 at the UT 11. Dobbs fumbled on the play and Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson recovered at the UT 13, before returning the ball nine yards to the UT 4 with 1:18 left. Coker took a knee on three consecutive snaps to end the game.

Alabama will enjoy next weekend off from competition before resuming its season on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Bryant-Denny Stadium against the Louisiana State University. Kickoff time and television plans for the Alabama-LSU game were not finalized at the time of this report.

Alabama Football Begins Gameplanning for Rivalry Game with Tennessee

10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M. Alabama head coach Nick Saban Photo by Kent Gidley

The Crimson Tide is currently riding an eight-game winning streak over the Volunteers

MFBTUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama started preparations for this weekend’s rivalry game with Tennessee, putting in two hours of work in full pads on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields.

The Crimson Tide will look to improve upon last weekend’s defensive performance in College Station, with UA intercepting four passes and limiting the Aggies to a season-low 23 points scored. Alabama welcomes Tennessee to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the annual “Third Saturday in October” contest this Saturday, Oct. 24. The game will air live on CBS with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson working the booth and Allie LaForce on the sidelines.

Alabama owns the all-time advantage over Tennessee, 51-38-7 (52-37-8 actual), and will meet for the 98th time this Saturday. The rivalry dates back to the 1901 season, when the two teams first met in Birmingham and finished knotted in a 6-6 tie. The Crimson Tide has won the last eight meetings, including last season’s matchup in Knoxville that saw UA leave with a 34-20 victory over the Vols.

Earlier in the day, Eddie Jackson and Minkah Fitzpatrick shared AutoNation FWAA National Defensive Player of the Week honors. The two defensive backs combined for four picks, three of which were returned for touchdowns, and helped accumulate a program-record 207 return yards to come away with the Tide’s second top-10 road victory of the season. The recognition was Fitzpatrick’s second of the week, as he was also named SEC Freshman of the Week on Monday morning.

Alabama Coaching Staff Recognizes Nine for Players of the Week

10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M. Alabama kicker Adam Griffith (99) Photo by Kent Gidley

The Crimson Tide had two on offense and special teams to go with four on the defensive side of the ball

10-17-15  MFB Texas A.M. Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson (4) Photo by Kent Gidley
10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M.
Alabama defensive back Eddie Jackson (4)
Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Nine Alabama players were recognized by the Crimson Tide coaching staff following Saturday’s 41-23 victory at No. 9 Texas A&M. Jake Coker and Derrick Henry were the honorees on offense, while Jonathan Allen, Eddie Jackson, Reggie Ragland and Minkah Fitzpatrick represented the defense. Adam Griffith, Bradley Sylve and Maurice Smith made the special teams list.

Coker finished his day 19-of-25 passing for 138 yards. He also added seven rushes on the day that helped Alabama move the ball on offense.  Henry, a junior from Yulee, Fla., had his first career 200-plus yard game, finishing with 236 yards on the ground. He also added two rushing touchdowns to boost his consecutive games with a score streak to 12. He accounted for 64.1 percent (254 yards) of the Crimson Tide’s offense against the Aggies.

10-10-15  MFB Arkansas Homecoming #14 Jake Coker Photo by Kent Gidley 10-10-15  MFB Arkansas Homecoming #14 Jake Coker Photo by Kent Gidley
10-10-15 MFB Arkansas Homecoming
#14 Jake Coker
Photo by Kent Gidley
10-10-15 MFB Arkansas Homecoming
#14 Jake Coker
Photo by Kent Gidley

Ragland, who earned his second nod from the coaches in as many weeks, once again led the team in tackles, finishing with nine. This was the sixth time in seven games that Ragland has led Alabama in tackles and ninth overall in his career. He also recorded a tackle for loss and one sack. Allen was explosive off the line, totaling five tackles, including two sacks. Jackson had a career day, finishing with two interceptions and 119 return yards. One of his picks went for a 93-yard score marking the third-longest pick-six in Alabama history. Fitzpatrick, a freshman who has been honored for multiple weeks this season, had two interceptions and returned both for touchdowns.

Griffith connected on both of his two field goal attempts, while also making all five of the extra points for the Crimson Tide. The junior also averaged 63.9 yards on eight kickoffs with five touchbacks. Sylve totaled three tackles and helped limit an Aggie aerial attack that was averaging 292.4 yards per game entering last Saturday’s matchup. Smith, a junior from Sugar Land, Texas, assisted on three tackles on punt coverage that kept the Aggies to just 24 return yards.

Derrick Henry and Minkah Fitzpatrick Earn SEC Weekly Award Honors

10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M. Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) Photo by Kent Gidley

Henry honored as the Offensive Player of the Week and Fitzpatrick as the Freshman of the Week

10-17-15  MFB Texas A.M. Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) Photo by Kent Gidley
10-17-15 MFB Texas A.M.
Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29)
Photo by Kent Gidley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama junior running back Derrick Henry and freshman cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick earned SEC Player of the Week recognition the Southeastern Conference announced Monday morning following the Crimson Tide’s 41-23 win at No. 9/10 Texas A&M. This is the third consecutive week that an Alabama player has haven been honored by the league.

Henry was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season after rushing for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries against the Aggies. The 236 yards and 32 carries both eclipsed his previous career highs, and marked the first time an Alabama running back has surpassed the 200-yard mark since Trent Richardson in 2011. Henry broke free for touchdown runs of 55 and six yards to extend his school record of consecutive games with a rushing touchdown to 12.

Fitzpatrick was recognized as the Southeastern Conference Freshman Player of the Week after a career performance of his own. The cornerback returned two interceptions for touchdowns against the Aggies, going 33 and 55 yards. He is the only player in Alabama history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game. Fitzpatrick also recorded two solo tackles as the Crimson Tide limited the Aggies to just 316 yards of total offense, 164 yards below their season average. Fitzpatrick was also recognized at the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.

Henry and Fitzpatrick will look to lead the Crimson Tide this Saturday as the team returns home to Bryant-Denny Stadium to face the Tennessee Volunteers. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and will be televised on CBS.