November 22, 2010

Numbers indicate that Alabama's overall play on rise

TUSCALOOSA _ Although the University of Alabama's most recent victory was against upstart Georgia State, of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA), count junior nose tackle Josh Chapman sees a difference in the team's approach the past few weeks that's carrying over to the field.

"A lot of guys have bought into the things that we're supposed to be doing like getting a little extra film study, doing the right thing on and off the field," he said. "Little things, going to class, coming in for treatment.

"It's helping."

Chapman is especially encouraged considering the team could have reacted very differently after losing at No. 10 LSU, 24-21, on Nov. 6.

"We haven't played a full sixty-minute game yet as a team," junior running back Mark Ingram said. "We've made tremendous strides during the past two games, though."

Actually, the Crimson Tide has.

A month ago, when Alabama was on its bye week, we introduced you to the misery index, which is a basic measure of mistakes, or as a football player might say all the times a team shoots itself in the foot.

When Coach Nick Saban takes about lack of maturity and discipline, this is where it shows up.

The misery index is fumbles lost + interceptions + penalties + sacks.
Here's Alabama's game-by game totals:

Alabama game-by-game
Opponent ...... Fum. Inter. Pen. Sacks Total

San Jose St. ..... 1 ….. 0 ….. 4 ….. 1 ….. 6
Penn State ........ 1 ….. 0 ….. 5 ….. 2 ….. 8
at Duke ............ 1 ….. 1 ….. 6 ….. 2 …. 10
at Arkansas ....... 0 ….. 2 ….. 8 ….. 3 …. 13
Florida .............. 0 ….. 0 ….. 5 ….. 2 ….. 7
at South Carolina 1 ….. 0 ….. 5 ….. 7 …. 13
Ole Miss ............ 1 ….. 0 ….. 8 ….. 4 ….. 13
at Tennessee ..... 0 ….. 0 ….. 5 ….. 1 ….. 6
at LSU .............. 1 ….. 1 ….. 3 ….. 3 ….. 8
Miss. State ........ 1 ….. 1 ….. 4 ….. 2 ….. 8
Georgia State .... 0 ….. 0 ….. 3 ….. 0 ….. 3
Total ................ 7 ….. 5 …. 56 …. 27 …. 95


Even before Georgia State, the Tide's mistakes were clearly on the decline, which is the earmark of a maturing team.

Here's how Alabama compares to the rest of the Southeastern Conference, with every team having played 11 games:

SEC misery index
School ........... Fum. Inter. Pen. Sacks Total Average

Arkansas ........ 9 …. 12 …. 95 …. 20 …. 136 …. 12.4
Florida .......... 11 …. 10 ... 85 …. 21 …. 127 …. 11.5
Tennessee ...... 9 …. 10 …. 65 …. 35 …. 119 …. 10.8
Vanderbilt ....... 8 …... 9 …. 63 …. 33 …. 113 …. 10.3
LSU .............. 10 …. 10 …. 67 …. 18 …. 105 .…. 9.5
South Carolina . 7 …. 12 …. 59 …. 25 …. 103 .…. 9.4
Mississippi St. .. 6 …. 11 …. 62 …. 20 …. 99 ….. 9.0
Auburn ............ 7 ….. 6 …. 68 …. 17 …. 98 ….. 8.9
Ole Miss .......... 9 …. 13 …. 63 …. 11 ….. 96 ….. 8.7
Alabama ......... 7 ….. 5 …. 56 …. 27 …. 95 ….. 8.6
Georgia ........... 6 ….. 6 …. 61 …. 21 …. 94 …. 8.5
Kentucky ......... 8 ….. 8 …. 61 ….. 13 … 90 ….. 8.2


When Alabama went into the bye a month ago it was averaging 9.5 miscues per games. What it's done since then has been more comparable to last year, when the Tide's misery index was 101 over 14 games, an average of 7.2.

The improvement since the bye ranks among the best in the league:

Misery average vs. a month ago
School ........ Before ... Now .. Difference

LSU ................ 10.5 …… 9.5 …. -1.0
South Carolina . 10.4 …… 9.4 …. -1.0
Alabama .......... 9.5 …… 8.6 …. -0.9
Auburn ............. 9.1 …… 8.9 …. -0.2
Arkansas ......... 12.4 ….. 12.4 …. +0.0
Ole Miss ........... 8.6 …… 8.7 …. +0.1
Tennessee ....... 10.6 ….. 10.8 …. +0.2
Kentucky .......... 8.0 …… 8.2 …. +0.2
Georgia ........... 8.25 …… 8.5 … +0.25
Florida ............ 10.9 ….. 11.5 …. +0.6
Vanderbilt ........ 9.6 ….. 10.3 …. +0.7
Mississippi St. .. 8.6 ….… 9.0 …. +0.4

Linebacker "touches"

BamaOnline has also been following which linebackers are around the ball the most, adding up their solo tackles, assists, sacks, passes defending (interceptions are included), hurries, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries:

Linebacker "touches"
Player ................... TK .. Ast. .. Sacks . PD .. QBH .. FF … FR . Total

Dont'a Hightower …. 26 ….. 37 …… 0 …... 3 …... 8 …… 0 …… 0 …… 74
C.J. Mosley ...………… 25 ….. 35 …. 0.5 …. 9 …… 2 …… 0…… 0…… 70.5
Courtney Upshaw …. 20 ….. 17 …... 2 …… 2 …… 1…… 1…… 1…… 44
Nico Johnson ...……… 14 …... 7 …... 0 …… 2 …… 0…… 0…… 0 …… 23
Jerrell Harris ....………. 14 …… 7 …... 0 …… 0 …… 2…… 0…… 0…… 23
Chris Jordan ...………… 8 …… 6 ….... 1 …… 1 …… 0…… 0…… 0 …… 16
Ed Stinson ....………….. 8 …… 6 .…... 0 …… 0 …… 2…… 0…… 0 …… 15
Alex Watkins ...……….. 6 …… 5 .…… 1.5 …. 0 …… 2 …… 0 …… 0…… 14.5
Chavis Williams ...……. 4 …… 7 .…… 0 …… 0 …… 2 …… 0 …… 0 …… 13

Although the order hasn't changed too much, the involvement of the top players has grown since the bye week. Hightower has seen his average rise from 6.5 to 6.7, while Mosley has made the biggest jump from 5.7 to 6.4.

Georgia State update

Since there was no "Upon Further Review" this week, some housekeeping items from the Georgia State game:

Player of the game: Senior quarterback Greg McElroy's record-setting 12-for-13 performance was even more impressive considering the lone incompletion was a drop pass by Eddie Lacy. He completed his only pass on third down and was 3-for-3 in the red zone.

Play of the game: Mosley knocked the intended receiver off his route and took the interception 41 yards for a touchdown.
Hit of the game: Split it between freshman DeMarcus Milliner and Harris on kick returns.

Stat of the game: Alabama had more interceptions (two) than Georgia State completed passes (one) in the second half.

Did you notice? Freshman kicker Cade Foster has more forced fumbles (one) than Hightower, Mosley, Chapman, Johnson, Marcell Dareus, DeQuan Menzie, Damion Square, Jerrell Harris, Phelon Jones, Will Lowery, Nick Gentry, Ed Stinson, Luther Davis, Chris Jordan, Wesley Neighbors, Chavis Williams and Alex Watkins - who have all made at least 10 tackles this season - combined.

Tide-bits
Against division opponents, Alabama has an edge in scoring of 98-64 while Auburn is 157-105. Of course, the Tigers are 4-0 while the Tide is 3-1. They have one other common opponent, South Carolina. Auburn won at home 35-27, while Alabama lost on the road, 35-21.

Alabama only had nine explosive plays (carries of 13 yards or more or a pass of 17 yards or more) against Georgia State, the third-most of any game this season. Led by Julio Jones' 78 yards, the Tide tallied 156 yards after the catch, roughly 20 yards more than its season average.

During its 20-game winning streak at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama has scored 43 rushing touchdowns while allowing just one. Overall the Crimson Tide has scored 70 touchdowns while yielding just 14. The average final score has been 32.7-7.6.



 

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2007 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.