September 16, 2007

The Sunday Rewind: Alabama 41, Arkansas 38

The Sunday Rewind is a weekly collection of notes and quotes from the Alabama football game of the weekend.

Alabama 41, Arkansas 38: John Parker Wilson - 24 of 45, 327 yards, four TDs. ... Keith Saunders - Game-high 10 tackles, six solos. ... DJ Hall - six catches, 172 yards, 2 TDs. ... Javier Arenas - 58-yard punt return.

Hog Roast
Alabama senior wide receiver DJ Hall has done plenty of damage league-wide in his career, but no school in the SEC will be happier to see Hall graduate than the Razorbacks. With a record-breaking 172 yards Saturday night - a personal career-high - Hall made Arkansas pay dearly for man-to-man coverage. A look at Hall's career number against each team in the SEC:

2006Miss. State19-39-21870

By the numbers
A look at a few numbers from Alabama's 24-10 win over Vanderbilt.

6 Alabama started six drives with field position of its own 35-yard line or better.

5 Alabama's defense stopped five of Vanderbilt's offensive drives on three plays or less.

97 Vanderbilt star receiver Earl Bennett has only 97 total yards over two career games against Alabama. The UA-Vandy series did not convene in Bennett's freshman year, 2005.

34 Alabama receiver DJ Hall needs 34 yards to become the school's all-time receiving yardage leader. Ozzie Newsome holds the record with 2,070 yards.

307 Alabama freshman running back Terry Grant has 307 yards rushing through two games.

22 Vanderbilt lost 22 yards on tackles behind the line of scrimmage against Alabama.

57 Alabama's offense has amassed 57 first downs through two games.


Quote of the day

"When we play against better teams that have big physical guys that are hard to block up front - and some of the good teams in this league have those kind of people - we're going to have to be able to throw the ball and make people make more plays in space than they're having to make right now." - Nick Saban

All the right things
Whether it was honesty or just a sense of self-preservation, RB Glen Coffee had all the right things to say Saturday when asked about his increased playing time (11 carries).

"Whoever gets the most carries, it doesn't matter, just as long as we win," Coffee said. "It's football, so of course we all love to play and I'm happy to get out there and help the team win, but as far as how many carries, I'm not worried about it."

Last week against Western Carolina, Jimmy Johns handled most of the backup duty behind starter Terry Grant.

Countering the rugby punt
Saban employed twin return men on the punt return unit Saturday to prevent Vanderbilt from getting lengthy rolls on its rugby-style punts. Javier Arenas and Jonathan Lowe each took one side of the field so that Vandy's line-drive punts could be fielded off one bounce.

"We put two guys back so that we could get the ball fielded with that rugby punt," Saban said. "The purpose being to save hidden yardage because the ball rolls so much. We could play the hops and have a guy right wherever the guy was going to kick it."

The Commodores netted only 22.2 yards per try.

Quick hits
Vanderbilt lost 156 yards - more than half of its yardage total for the day - on three plays thanks to penalties. The 60-yard completion to Earl Bennett on the game's first play was costly enough, then a 70-yard punt return was called back. Finally, two 15-yard penalties on the same play put Alabama in easy field goal range with :14 left in the half, moving the ball from the Vandy 37 to the Vandy 11, as the second penalty was marked at half the distance to the goal. ... If anyone thought linebacker Prince Hall and receiver Keith Brown might earn starts just for returning from suspension, they learned differently Saturday. Brown did not enter the game until 1:21 left in the first quarter, and Hall didn't make his season debut until 8:13 left in the first half. ... RB Glen Coffee's first-quarter appearance in Saturday's game was enough of a surprise, but even more of an eye-opener was his alignment on one particular snap. Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite's scheme showed its diversity when Coffee lined up as a split end for one snap. ... The wide receiver rotation took on a different look Saturday than it did in the opener against Western Carolina. Nikita Stover did not play at all, and Earl Alexander's action was far more limited. On the flipside, Will Oakley not only got some action but entered at crunchtime - with Alabama trying to extend its lead in the final minutes of the first half. ... Players trading their ticket allotments among each other is commonplace, and with 13 brothers and sisters in his hometown of Nashville, linebacker Darren Mustin was on the take for Saturday. Asked how many tickets he owes to teammates for future games, Mustin said: "A lot. Not the whole team, but almost half the team." ... Alabama media got a real rarity Saturday when true freshman Kareem Jackson was made available for a post-game interview. Under Saban policy, true freshmen are typically not permitted to give interviews.

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