When Alabama wins it usually does so in impressive fashion. Over its last 17 wins, dating back to the 49-7 victory over Michigan State at the Capital One Bowl, the Crimson Tide has defeated its opponent by 21 points or more in 15 of those contests. Over that span the Tide has downed nine of those opponents by more than 30 points and posted more than a 40-point margin of victory five times.
Alabama posted a 40-7 win over Florida Atlantic in Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday.
When was it a safe bet that Alabama was going to win this game?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. When the game was scheduled. But how about when Alabama had a 30-0 halftime advantage?
The Crimson Tide has a 53-3 record in games when leading at the half under Coach Nick Saban.
With the victory over Florida Atlantic, Alabama improved to 24-3 against nonconference opponents under Saban. Alabama has now won 17 in a row against out of league opposition. Over the Saban tenure, the Tide has outscored those opponents, 1,019-309.
Although it was mildly disheartening that Alabama did not post a third consecutive shutout – it would have been the first time since 1966 if Bama had been able to send the Owls out with a goose egg – the Tide had a 40-0 lead before giving up the touchdown. Alabama had scored 134 unanswered points in wins over Michigan, Western Kentucky, Arkansas, and FAU.
The span of shutout football reached 192:25 minutes or just under 13 quarters.
Bama has now scored in 31 consecutive quarters.
The Tide has scored in 146 consecutive games, longest streak in storied Bama history.
The Crimson Tide has not trailed after the first quarter in its last 18 games, starting with the 2011 Capital One Bowl against Michigan State. During those 18 games, or 1,080 minutes of game action, UA has trailed for only 25 minutes and 12 seconds, which means the Tide has held the lead or been tied for 1,054 minutes and 48 seconds. UA’s only loss during that stretch was to LSU last season in overtime of a game that Alabama had led or been tied until overtime. In fact, Alabama has not trailed in regulation since a 3-0 deficit at the 2:26 mark of the first quarter against Tennessee last season. That streak spans parts of 10 games, which totals 587 minutes and 26 seconds.
With his career-long 52-yard field goal in the start of the second quarter, Cade Foster became the first Alabama kicker since Neal Thomas in 2000 to connect on three 50-plus yard field goals in the same season. His 52-yard strike was the longest by a Tide kicker since Leigh Tiffin hit from 52 yards against Utah in the Sugar Bowl at the end of the 2008 season.
With Kenyan Drake’s rushing touchdown against Florida Atlantic in the fourth quarter, Alabama has scored a rushing touchdown in 22 of its last 23 games. Alabama has found the end zone on the ground in all four games this season, in 12 of the 13 games in 2011 and the final six contests in 2010.
Alabama junior quarterback A.J. McCarron passed Jay Barker for the second-most consecutive passes without an interception in UA history. McCarron improved his total number of consecutive passes without an interception to 176 with his 25 attempts against FAU. Brodie Croyle’s mark of 190 consecutive attempts without an interception is the Alabama record.
On the third play of the game, McCarron connected with Kenny Bell for an 85-yard touchdown, which is the sixth longest touchdown pass in school history. The 85-yard strike was also career highs for both McCarron and Bell. The touchdown, just 1:42 into the contest was the quickest to start a game for Alabama since a Darius Hanks touchdown grab at Duke on Sept. 18, 2010, just 1:19 in the game. UA scored in 1:53 to open the game against Western Kentucky on Sept. 8.
Junior running back Eddie Lacy tallied 106 yards on 15 carries in the first half against FAU to record his third career 100 yard game. The last time Lacy eclipsed 100 yards was against North Texas (9.17.11) when he tallied 161 yards on nine carries. In his first career game in a Crimson Tide uniform, Lacy ran for 111 yards on 13 carries in the 2010 season opener against San Jose State (9.4.10).
Limiting opposing running backs to less than 100 yards is nothing new for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has surrendered only 10 individual 100-yard rushing games dating back to the 2005 season, a mark that leads the nation. Since Saban’s arrival, the Tide has allowed just five players to rush for more than 100 yards in a game.
Under Saban since 2007, the Crimson Tide has held opponents to 10 points or less 37 times. Alabama was successful in holding opponents under 10 in nine games in 2011. In 2010, the Tide held opponents to 10 points or less eight times and limited opponents to that mark seven times in 2008 and 2009. In 2007, Alabama posted two games in which it held opponents to that mark. Alabama has shutout the opposition eight times during the Saban tenure.
Captains for Bama Saturday were defensive back Dee Milliner, defensive lineman Jesse Williams, and wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
Honorary captains for Alabama were former offensive lineman Jim Krapf, defensive back Bobby McKinney, and running back Ralph Stokes, members of the 1972 Crimson Tide team, which was recognized pre-game.