Remember November because it can make or break a team.
This season marks the eighth time Alabama has entered the second-to-last month without a loss on its record. It’s currently 8-0 and its next game isn’t until Nov. 3 against LSU. Three more games are after that.
“We’ve been in this position before,” UA coach Nick Saban said. “Sometimes it works out really well when we finish like we need to. Sometimes we don’t make it all the way through.”
Only one team has ever finished undefeated with Saban in charge, professional or collegiate, and that was the 2009 Crimson Tide. It went 14-0 and won Saban his first national championship title at UA.
The other six Alabama teams prior to this season that started off with eight-straight victories – the 2008, 2011-13, and 2016-17 squads – eventually lost a game. Some of those losses came in the postseason – 2008 and 2016 – but the others were in November.
“I mean, we’ve had how many teams around here that lose on a Kick Six or whatever it is at the end of a game,” Saban said. “Do you remember that?”
“So,” Saban said, “you get remembered by what happened in November.”
Auburn’s Kick Six was 2013’s November hiccup. Alabama also lost the Iron Bowl in 2007, 2010 and last year.
In addition to Auburn, Alabama has fallen to LSU (2007, 2010 and 2011), Mississippi State (2007), Louisiana-Monroe (2007) and Texas A&M (2012) in November.
Half of Saban’s 20 losses at Alabama have actually happened in the 11th month.
“If we win the rest of our games, good things happen,” Saban said. “If we lose any of them, bad things happen.”
Alabama has the top scoring offense in the nation, averaging 54.1 points per game. Houston is second with an average of 48.7. That’s more than a five-point difference.
The Crimson Tide also leads the nation in total offense, averaging 564.3 yards per game. Ohio State follows with an average of 555.5, almost 9 yards less.
Another category Alabama has in the bag: third-down conversions. It has a 56.18-percent success rate. Boise State trails with a conversion percentage of 55.26.
Coming in at second, Alabama has defended 52 passes. It is one away from the lead, which Marshall holds.
UA’s defense has recorded 26 sacks, tied for third-most nationally. It’s just four behind leader Oklahoma State. On the flip side, Alabama is ranked fifth in sacks allowed, giving up only five. Army has let only two happen.
Quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones have helped Alabama become the fifth-best passing offense in the county. Combined, they average 347.4 yards per game. Washington State has the highest average at 400.7 passing yards per game.
Other UA top-10 placements: sixth in turnover margin (1.38 per game) and interceptions (12 total), seventh in tackles for loss (62 total) and ninth in first downs (25.4 per game)
Reach Terrin Waack at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.