Alabama Football Recap 2009 Season

Cyrus Ntakirutinka

Virginia Tech

No. 5 Alabama kicked off its 2009 campaign with a showdown against No.7 Virginia Tech led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Alabama went into halftime trailing 17-16. Quarterback Greg McElroy and running back Mark Ingram carried the Crimson Tide offense in the second half as McElroy threw for 230 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Ingram ran for 150 as Alabama scored 18 points in the final quarter to take the Chick-fil-A college kickoff game 34-24.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 15-of-30, 230 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT. Va Tech: Taylor 9-of-20, 90 yds Rushing: Ingram 150, 1 TD Va Tech: R. Williams 13 rushes 71 yds, 2 TDs Receiving: M. Maze 2 rec, 57 yds Va. Tech: R. Williams 2 recs, 42 yds

FIU

After moving up to No. 5 in the AP Poll for the home opener against Florida International, Alabama saw McElroy throw for a game-high 241 yards and a touchdown. Tide fans were pleased to watch freshman running back Trent Richardson’s breakout game when he rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 rushes as Alabama won the game 40-14. Alabama’s defense was a strong factor in the victory, holding the Panthers to 213 yards passing and 1 yard rushing.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 18-of-24 241 yds, 1TD FIU: 16-of-32. 189 yds 1 TD. Rushing: Richardson 118 yds, 2 TDs FIU: D. Mallary 13 yds Receiving: M.McCoy 5 rec, 100 yds 1 TD FIU: G. Ellison 5 rec, 92 1 TD

North Texas

In the second game at home, not much was different for Alabama as the Tide offense showed balance, producing 263 yards passing and 260 yards rushing in a 53-7 victory over North Texas. The Tide defense held the Mean Green’s spread offense in check, limiting it to 187 total yards. Stats:

Passing: McElroy 13-of-15 176 yds 1 TD. North Texas: 16-of-23, 126 yds 1 TD Rushing: 91 yds, 1 TD North Texas: 31 yds Receiving: M. Maze 4 rec, 49 yds 1 TD FIU: L. Dunbar 2 rec, 40 yds

Arkansas

With a new ranking in the polls, Alabama went into its first Southeastern Conference game ready to face the Razorbacks. The Tide defense contained Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett to 160 yards passing with one touchdown and an interception. In the process of getting a 35-7 win over an SEC rival, Alabama lost star linebacker Dont’a Hightower for the season to a knee injury.

Stats:

Passing: 17-of-24 291 yds, 3 TD Ark: R. Mallet 12-of-35 160 yds 1 TD, 1 INT Rushing: T. Richardson 65 yds, 1 Td Ark: 61 yds Receiving: M. Maze 2 rec, 88yds, 1 Td Ark: J. Adams 6 rec, 81 yds

Kentucky

With a 4-0 record, the Tide went to Lexington, Ky., to face the Kentucky Wildcats. The Tide defense bounced back despite the loss of Hightower, holding Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline to 168 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Running back Mark Ingram started the Heisman buzz for the season after rushing for 140 yards and two touchdowns.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 15-of-26 148 yds, 2 TD Kentucky: M. Hartline 17-of-31 168 yards 1 TD, 3 INTs Rushing: Ingram 140 yds, 2 TD Kentucky: D. Locke 75 yds Receiving: C. Peek 6 rec, 65 yds, 1 TD Kentucky: 6 rec, 63 yds

Ole Miss

In its first true road test in the SEC, Alabama showed no signs of letting up, as the Tide beat Ole Miss 22-3. Rebels’ quarterback Jevan Snead was quiet all game, as the Tide limited him to 140 yards passing with four interceptions. Ingram continued his Heisman pursuit by carrying the Tide with 172 yards rushing.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 15-of-34, 147 yds Ole Miss: J. Snead 11-of-34 140 yds, 4 INTs Rushing: Ingram 172 yds, 1 TD Ole Miss: J. Snead 44 yds Receiving: M.Maze 4 rec, 48 yds Ole Miss: B. Bolden 76 yds

South Carolina

Facing one of the toughest defenses in the country, Ingram carried the team on his back, rushing for a career-high 246 yards and scored Alabama’s only offensive touchdown. The defense held quarterback Stephen Garcia to 214 yards passing with one interception by Mark Barron that was returned 77 yards.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 10-of-20 92 yds, 2 INT South Carolina: Stephen Garcia 20-of-46, 214 yds 1 INT Rushing: Ingram 246 yds, 1 TD South Carolina: S. Garcia 20-of-46, 144 yds Receiving: Ingram 2 rec, 23 yds South Carolina: A. Jeffrey 4 rec, 83 yds

Tennessee

Alabama faced off against bitter rival Tennessee in a game that was close from beginning to end as Alabama edged the Vols 12-10. Kicker Leigh Tiffin scored all of Alabama’s points, going 4-for-4 on field goals. Defensive tackle Terrence Cody blocked two critical field goals, including the potential game winner as the clock expired to seal the victory for the Tide.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 18-of-29, 120yds Tennessee: 21-of-36, 265 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT Rushing: Ingram 99 yds Tennessee: M. Hardesty 48 yds Receiving: J. Jones 7 rec, 54 yds Tennessee: D. Moore 4 rec, 73yds

LSU

Alabama returned from a bye week to face another strong SEC rival: LSU. Ingram continued to solidify his Heisman campaign, rushing for 144 yards. With Alabama trailing 15-13 in the fourth, wide receiver Julio Jones scored the go-ahead touchdown by taking a screen pass 73 yards. Alabama’s defense silenced Tigers’ quarterback Jordan Jefferson on the way to securing a 24-15 victory.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 19-of-34 276 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT LSU: Jefferson 10-of-17 114 yds, 1 TD Rushing: Ingram 144 yds LSU: C. Scott 83 yds Receiving: J. Jones 4 rec, 102 yds, 1 TD LSU: T. Oliver 4 rec, 46 yds

Mississippi State

After beating LSU in Tuscaloosa, Alabama turned its focus on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Tide defense continued to show its dominance, forcing Bulldogs’ quarterback Tyson Lee to commit two interceptions on only 99 yards passing. Safety Mark Barron picked off two of the three interceptions by Alabama’s defense on the way to winning 31-3.

Stats:

Passing: 13-of-18, 192 yds, 2 TD Mississippi State: T. Lee 9-of-17, 99 yds, 2 INTs Rushing: Ingram 149 yds, 2 TD Mississippi State: A. Dixon 81 yds Receiving: J. Jones 4 rec, 66 yds, 1 TD Mississippi State: A. Dixon 6 rec 59 yds

UT Chattanooga

Alabama’s offense was firing on all cylinders as the Tide played its last home game of the season against UT Chattanooga. Ingram rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on only 11 carries. The defense also made its presence felt, forcing three interceptions and preserving the shutout in the 45-0 win.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 6-of-11 80 yds, 1 TD UT Chattanooga: Coleman 7-of-25 36 yds, 2 INT Rushing: Ingram 102 yds, 2 TD UT Chattanooga: Kermah 18 yds Receiving: J. Jones 3 rec, 65 yds, 1 TD UT Chattanooga: Pitchford 2 rec, 16 yds

Auburn

Alabama played arguably its toughest game of the season against Auburn as the Tide trailed 14-0 in the first quarter. Despite a hip injury to Heisman candidate Mark Ingram, the Tide was able to come up with some late-game heroics thanks to running backs Trent Richardson and Roy Upchurch. McElroy connected with Upchurch on a 4-yard pass with 1:24 left in the game to take the 26-21 victory.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 21-of-31 218 yds, 2 TD Auburn: 15-of-25 181 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT Rushing: Richardson 51 yds, 1 TD Auburn: T. Zachery 67 yds, 1 TD Receiving: J. Jones 9 rec, 83 yds Auburn: D. Adams 4 rec, 138 yds, 1 TD

Florida

Alabama got a chance to return the favor to Florida after the Gators beat the Tide the previous SEC title game, ending Alabama’s hopes for a title. McElroy threw for 239 yards, including a 19-yard pass to Colin Peek to increase the Tide’s lead to 26-13 in the third quarter. Ingram put a stamp on his Heisman candidacy with 113 yards and 3 touchdowns as Alabama dethroned the Gators 32-13 to punch their ticket to Pasadena for the National Championship game.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 12-of-18 239 yds 1 TD Florida: T. Tebow 20-of-35 247 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT Rushing: Ingram 113 yds, 3 TD Florida: T. Tebow: 63 yds Receiving: M. Maze 5 rec, 96 yds Florida: A. Hernandez 8 rec, 85 yds

Texas

Alabama faced a strong opponent in the National Championship against Texas. Alabama’s rushing attack proved to be too much for the Longhorns’ No. 1 rush defense, as Ingram ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns while Richardson ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns. The defense also did its part in stopping Texas’ potent offense, forcing five turnovers on the way to 37-21 win to secure Alabama’s first national championship since the 1992 season.

Stats:

Passing: McElroy 6-of-11 58 yds Texas: G. Gilbert 15-of-40 186 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT Rushing: Ingram 116 yds, 2 TD Texas: T. Newton 39 yds Receiving: J. Jones 1 rec, 23 yards Texas: J. Shipley 10 rec, 122 yds, 2 TD