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November 7, 2009
Notebook: Tiffin sets Tide career scoring record
Leigh Tiffin didn't hear the announcement during the final minutes of Saturday's game against LSU, and still didn't know when he walked into the postgame interview room.TUSCALOOSA _ University of Alabama senior kicker
"What record did I get?" he asked.
By making three field goals and an extra point, Tiffin's 348 career points set the school scoring record, breaking Phillip Doyle's mark of 345 (1987-90).
"That's great man," Tiffin said. "It's a historic university, there have been a lot of great players here. It's a real big honor to get that.
Tiffin can still set a few more marks during the final five games (three regular season, the SEC Championship and whatever bowl). He's second in career field goals with 76, two shy of Doyle's 78, is third in single-season field goals with 23, and his 95 points is sixth in single-season kicking points.
However, Tiffin already owns those final two records, with 25 field goals last year and
111 points in 2007.
His best against the best
Although sophomore running back Mark Ingram has his worst showing statistically against a ranked team this season, he still managed 144 rushing yards on 22 carries.
"The offensive line did a great job today," he said. "I'm so proud of them. They get better and better every week. This was a big one for our team, probably the biggest one of the year. We've just got to keep getting better and keep winning."
In four games against Top 25 teams (Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, South Carolina and LSU), he has 712 rushing yards with three touchdowns to go with 13 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown to account for 816 all-purpose yards (209.0 average).
For the season, he has 1,148 rushing yards on 175 carries, for a 127.6 average. It's already the ninth-best rushing season in Tide history, 323 yards of Bobby Humphrey (1,471, 1986).
When asked if there was anyone in college football better than "No. 22," junior quarterback Greg McElroy answered "Maybe No. 25.
"But offensively I wouldn't take anyone over him."
Injuries and starters
Alabama didn't appear to have any major injuries although senior cornerback Javier Arenas said he "got the wind knocked out of me."
Sophomore receiver Marquise Maze also had to leave the game for a while but had six catches for 88 yards in the first half to set a single-game career high for receptions while tying his best for yards (vs. Arkansas, this season).
Freshman cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick did suit up, but neither he nor junior running back Terry Grant played due to muscle pulls. Sophomore Julio Jones took Grant's place on kick returns.
Senior tight end Colin Peek did play with a sprained knee had no receptions. Alabama came out in a three-receiver formation on the first play, with Jones, Maze and Darius Hanks, along with sophomore tight end Brad Smelley.
Saban on getting back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game: "This team had a totally different challenge than last year's team, I'm proud of the way they approached it and handled it," Saban said. "They have to be good because they want to be good, and last year's team had a different motive, they wanted to prove they could be could be good. I think there's a huge difference in that. For these guys to have shown the maturity and the consistency to get to the point where they are right now, and if we had not won this game we would not control our own destiny, whether we could get to Atlanta or win the West or not. So I'm extremely happy and pleased that we won the West and control our own destiny in terms of what else we can accomplish and what else we can do."
LSU was limited to one sack (for a safety), two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hurries. "People were questioning our pass-rushing abilities," senior guard Mike Johnson said. "I gave up the only sack of the night, it was a bad job on my part." Incidentally, the safety was the first allowed by Alabama since Oct. 18, 2003, at Ole Miss.
Sophomore safety Robby Green's interception was especially sweet for him because he grew up in Louisiana and his family fled New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. "That felt so great," he said. "That was like a burden on my shoulder, and that it came at such an important time of the game was real big for me,"
Alabama has outscored opponents 56-20 in the first quarter and 142-53 in the first half this season. In addition to a slew of NFL scouts and just about every national college football writer, also attending Saturday's game were a bunch of bowl reps including the Capital One, Sugar, Popajohns.com, Outback, Cotton, Chick-fil-A and three from the BCS national championship game. Team captains were McElroy, Rolando McClain, Johnson and Arenas.