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Some Stats Bama Fans Didn’t Know

Alabama fans are riding the high that comes with being ranked the nation’s number one team. But are they aware of just how good some stats say they are and how bad some stats are in other areas? Read and see if you knew.

Nick Saban knew all these facts before reading this article, did you? (Photo-TDA Magazine)

Some Stats Bama Fans Didn’t Know

By: Larry Burton

Ok, I admit it. Stats can tell different sides of a lot points that folks in the media want to make. Take for instance the Total Defense Stat. The team that statistically is number one, may have that rank because they’ve played more cupcakes than other teams. But some stats do tell a story and here are some that Alabama fans didn’t know, but will be glad to see.

The Good

Total Big Rushing Plays – Alabama is tied for first in the nation with 68 with Army, who has played a much less rigorous schedule. A big rushing play is a rushing play over 10 yards. Alabama has two over 70 yards.

Total Rushing Offense – First in the SEC by a good margin with 302.57 yards a game average. Nationally they’re 7th, behind Ga. Tech and the three service academies who always lead the nation in rushing with almost predominant rushing offenses like the wishbone.

Yards Per Carry Leaders – Damien Harris is number two in the nation among all players with more than 50 carries. His average is 9.19 yards per carry. The nation’s leader is Bryce Love at Stanford who has a mind blowing 10.27 yards per carry. You decide who has played against tougher defenses. But Bryce love also has over twice as many carries, so you decide who may be leading with equal carries.

Scoring Defense – Alabama is number two in the nation only allowing 10.1 points per game. Penn State is number one at 9 points per game. But Alabama has played one more game than Penn State has. Penn State’s played 6 while Alabama has played 7.

Rush Defense – Alabama is number one allowing just 66.21 yards rushing per game. Washington is number two at 71 yards per game.

Scoring Offense – Alabama is number nine with an average of 42.7 yards per carry. While being number nine may not be great news, it really is considering they are only allowing 10.1 points per game. So this is something to really celebrate.


The Bad

Passing Defense – Yes, Alabama looks good, yes Minkah Fitzpatrick is great, but Alabama is rated 25th in pass defense. Behind other SEC teams like Auburn at 17, LSU at 14, Vanderbilt and Georgia tie for 11th, Mississippi State at 4th and Tennessee at 2nd. That makes them 7th in the SEC.

Passing Offense – Clearly Jalen Hurts is still a work in progress as a passer. Alabama only beats out 2 of the 14 schools in the SEC and nationally come in tied for 102nd in the nation at just 182.3 yards per game. Folks, that’s near the bottom of the barrel.

3rd Down Conversion Rate – Alabama continues to suck here, coming in at number 49 in the nation behind Troy. Yes that’s right, behind Troy. They are also behind Georgia, Auburn, Mississippi State and Arkansas.

Punting – Absolutely dead last in the SEC, yes dead last. Nationally, there 120 out of 130. Can you say sucks the big one? Most Bama fans had no idea things were this bad here.

Field Goal Percentage –  Tied for sixth in the SEC, kicking just 72.2 percent. That puts them right in the middle. You don’t want to be in a close game with Georgia who is kicking over 91 percent of them through the uprights. Nationally their tied for 68th place in the bottom half in the nation. Good thing they haven’t played a lot of close games.

Punt Returns – Yes, here again the ugly rears it’s head as Alabama comes in 9th of 14 teams in the SEC and 60th in the nation. With all the talented running backs on the bench and all the great receivers on the bench how does this happen?

Kickoff Returns – You’d think with the talent on this team they could do better than 10th in the SEC out of 14 teams. Nationally they’re number 50. Are you seeing a trend here? Does the time need a full time special teams coach? Most would say yes.

So there you have it, the good and bad stats that perhaps a ton of Bama fans didn’t know. It just goes to show that no team is perfect, even if they’re they’re rated number one.

But what the game results do show, if you use a little logic here, is that overall the good masks the bad for the most part and if that continues in the manner it has for the first half of the year, the Tide will continue to roll toward the playoffs.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at





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Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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