CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

October 28, 2012

ALABAMA NOTEBOOK: First-half scoring bodes well for top-ranked Tide

By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times

TUSCALOOSA — Aside from a mere 15 seconds where Ole Miss held a 7-6 lead in Week 5, Alabama hasn't known what it feels like to trail another team in 2012.

The top-ranked Tide didn't take long to keep it that way in a 38-7 rout of No. 11 Mississippi State Saturday night at home, as T.J. Yeldon beat the defense to the end zone on an 11-yard run for the team's first score with 10:28 remaining in the first quarter.

AJ McCarron added two touchdown passes, and Jeremy Shelley chipped in a 34-yard field goal to give Bama a 24-0 cushion by halftime, marking the 28th consecutive game its either led or tied its opponent after two quarters. The Tide hold a considerable 564-114 scoring advantage over their opposition during that streak.

The 24 points was also the team's eighth time in eight games that they've scored at least 20 in the first half this season.

Their final total of 38 points increased their streak of games with 30 or more points to eight, the most in school history to begin a season.

 

% Winning the turnover battle: A positive turnover margin is often the difference between a great team and a not-so-great squad.

Despite entering the game with the best turnover in the nation, the No. 11 Bulldogs fell in that latter category Saturday, fumbling the ball away twice and throwing an interception in the end zone.

All three turnovers came in a relatively short amount of time, allowing the Tide to cruise to yet another lopsided victory.

Bama has converted its 23 turnovers this season into 125 points — six on two field goals and 119 on 17 touchdowns.

 

Up the ladder: McCarron is continuing to make his mark as one of Alabama's all-time greatest quarterbacks, at least as far as statistics are concerned.

The signal-caller increased his school record for passes without an interception to 258. He broke Brodie Croyle's previous mark of 190 earlier in the season.

McCarron's two touchdown passes increased his season total to 18 and career total to 37.

He is now tied for second with John Parker Wilson for the most passing touchdowns in a single season. He's only two back of Greg McElroy, who set the record with 20 in 2010.

His 37 career touchdown passes ranks fourth in the school's record books, only 10 behind Wilson, four behind Croyle and two behind McElroy.

 

% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at robk@cullmantimes.com.