Crimson Tide Zone http://www.crimsontidezone.com Get the Latest News From the University of Alabama Sports Program Thu, 21 May 2015 21:54:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 W. Tennis. Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe Defeat Texas-Arlington Duo in Opening Round of 2015 NCAA Doubles Championship; Routliffe Falls in Singles Round of 32 http://www.crimsontidezone.com/w-tennis-maya-jansen-and-erin-routliffe-defeat-texas-arlington-duo-in-opening-round-of-2015-ncaa-doubles-championship-routliffe-falls-in-singles-round-of-32-79738/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/w-tennis-maya-jansen-and-erin-routliffe-defeat-texas-arlington-duo-in-opening-round-of-2015-ncaa-doubles-championship-routliffe-falls-in-singles-round-of-32-79738/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 21:54:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/w-tennis/spec-rel/052115aab.html
May 21, 2015

WACO, Texas — Reigning NCAA Doubles National Champions, Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe sailed to a convincing 6-2, 6-1 victory over Texas-Arlington’s Angeles de los Rios and Elizabeth Thoms in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University. Jansen and Routliffe are the No. 1 seed in the field of 32 pairings selected by the NCAA Division I subcommittee to compete for the NCAA doubles crown. Earlier in the day, Routliffe was defeated in the singles tournament by No. 4 seed (Cal) Maegan Manasse in the round of 32.

Jansen and Routliffe were in control from start to finish, dropping just three games across the entire match. The Tide’s No. 1 duo took two of the first three games to begin the opening set, and owned a 4-1 advantage before surrendering its second point. The second set began with the two teams exchanging a pair of games, before Jansen and Routliffe went on to win five consecutive games and the match.

“We really focused on playing our style of tennis and executing all of our shots,” said Jansen. “Once we got into the match we started to feel really comfortable and that helped us build a lot of confidence. The key for us right now is to focus on every point, focus on the task at hand and keeping ourselves from looking too far ahead.”

The Crimson Tide’s No. 1 duo for the entire 2014-15 campaign, Routliffe and Jansen ended the dual match season with a commanding 19-2 (9-1 SEC) record and have now gone 28-4 overall on the season.

Routliffe added, “We are continuing to go into every match with the same mindset — one match at a time. If we focus on being aggressive and keeping the opponent from finding a rhythm, we are confident that we’ll have a shot at every match.”

In singles action, Routliffe earned a 6-4 decision over Manasse in the first set, but was unable to carry the momentum through the remainder of the match. Cal’s Manasse — the tournament’s No. 4 seed — earned a 6-0 victory and the second set and was leading the third set 4-0 before Routliffe earned her next point. Manasse, taking today’s match by a final score of 4-6, 6-0, 6-1, now advances to the singles tournament round of 16.

Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaWTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.


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Softball. NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Super Regional Press Quotes http://www.crimsontidezone.com/softball-ncaa-softball-tuscaloosa-super-regional-press-quotes-79740/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/softball-ncaa-softball-tuscaloosa-super-regional-press-quotes-79740/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 21:21:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/052115aac.html
May 21, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The 2015 NCAA Tuscaloosa Softball Super Regional held its media and practice day Thursday afternoon at Rhoads Stadium. Quotes from the press conferences are below:

NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Super Regional
Press Conference Quotes
Thursday May 21, 2015

Alabama

Head Coach Patrick Murphy

On playing against Oklahoma in the Super Regional…

“It’s unfortunate because you don’t want to beat your friends and I consider Patty (Gasso) a friend. I just have a great respect for everything she does. This is kind of like the end of the line because I worked for Team USA, I think it was 2010, and we went to Colombia for a junior qualifier. Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley were on that team. It was an unbelievable team with an all-star cast and now they are both seniors, but it was a heck of a 14 days in Colombia. I knew back then both would be great college players because they were both very good back then. Having the opportunity to play against those types of players is one of the reasons why you are at Alabama. We have an opportunity to go to the World Series and play a very good opponent in Oklahoma.”

On the margin of error when playing Oklahoma…

“When you get to the World Series, everyone knows it’s a game of inches. The margin for error is very small at the World Series. Whether it’s because of a bad call or good call, a strike or a ball, an error or mistake; this weekend will be the exact same thing. This is like the first round of the World Series for both teams. The margin of error against a team like Oklahoma is very small, so you better be able to get a bunt down when it’s called for.”

On evaluating young pitchers…

“It’s cool that two of the three finalists for National Freshman of the Year will be in Tuscaloosa this weekend. It’s awesome for you guys to see those two. It’s the biggest gamble of my career, trying to judge a pitcher who is a freshman or sophomore and ask yourself `in four years, can she beat teams in the SEC? Can this kid take us to the World Series?’ You just pray that number one she stays healthy, number two that she is still in love with the game of softball and number three that she does all the things she needs to in order to get into the University of Alabama academically. Those are three tough things to make sure all of them get done. I saw their pitcher at under-16 nationals and thought she was very good as well. Alexis (Osorio) has gotten better and better as the year has gone along. I am surprised because she was very good this summer and then she had a couple of low spots this spring. I think she has really picked it up considerably ever since the third game against Florida through last weekend, she has been awesome.”

Infielder Danae Hays

On facing Oklahoma in the Super Regionals…

“We are excited to play against Oklahoma this weekend. They are a great team and they’ve never been here before, so we are excited to show them what the SEC atmosphere is all about. We are excited to play against a great team.”

On the opportunity to play against Oklahoma once again…

“Dancing in the rain was by far one of the best memories I’ve had since I’ve been here. There are a lot of great memories when we have played Oklahoma. I feel like we’ve had a great history against them. They are just a fun team to play against. Some of the best memories I have had have come playing against them.”

Oklahoma

Head Coach Patty Gasso

On playing against Alabama in the Super Regional…

“I agree with Patrick about playing Alabama. We respect the Alabama program and I believe they respect the Oklahoma program. I think our programs are similar in the way of our traditions and our expectations as programs that have a goal of reaching the World Series. As programs, we both expect the same things. There’s a reason, why this happens I’m not exactly sure, but we are here. It’s going to be a great weekend of softball for any fan.”

On having two of the top six all-time home run hitters in NCAA history in the same lineup…

“You are in the season and playing and trying to do what you do, but when it quiets down, which isn’t very often, you look back and say `wow, this is pretty amazing.’ Just to be a part of Lauren’s home run race and Shelby chasing it along with the dynamic of that and the attention they get, that our program got and the attention that softball paid to this record was pretty impressive. I had comments from high school coaches saying that when they heard she broke it they stopped the game just to announce it. People are paying attention to our sport, so it has been something else and been pretty neat to see.”

On consistently having power hitters…

“When you go out and recruit there is something you see, they just have incredible hands. When you see that, I think of them as women amongst girls and when you see that, you try and bring them to your program. I am not out just looking for big home run hitters. That’s a tribute to our hitting coach Tripp MacKay and the things he has done with our hitters. They come in, train, work hard and get stronger, so they all don’t start that way. But to see some of the power numbers that they are putting up is a part of their training as well. Everyone in the lineup is pretty dangerous at any time. I say that we are never out of a game. As long as we have one strike, and we’ve been in that position where we were one strike away from a game ending on us and we’ve kept it alive by some good offense.”

Infielder Lauren Chamberlain

On facing Alabama in the Super Regionals…

“We are excited to play at Alabama in the Super Regionals. They have great fans and a great atmosphere. It’s just a chance to play a great ball club, so we are looking forward to it.”

On breaking the NCAA all-time home run record…

“It means a lot. I think it was something I was excited to break and be done with. I think after breaking it, I had a chance to really look at it for what it was and was able to embrace and cherish it. I was excited about the process it took to get there.”


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Track & Field, Cross Country. Remona Burchell Named to Latest Top-10 Watch List for the 2015 Bowerman Trophy http://www.crimsontidezone.com/track-field-cross-country-remona-burchell-named-to-latest-top-10-watch-list-for-the-2015-bowerman-trophy-79742/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/track-field-cross-country-remona-burchell-named-to-latest-top-10-watch-list-for-the-2015-bowerman-trophy-79742/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 20:35:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/c-xctrack/spec-rel/052115aac.html
May 21, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –

Alabama senior sprinterRemona Burchellhas been named to the final women’s Watch List before the NCAA first rounds for the 2015 Bowerman Trophy, collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Thursday afternoon.

A finalist for The 2014 Bowerman, Burchell has been dominant in the sprints this year, becoming the fastest collegiate woman to run the 60-meter dash. At the SEC Indoor Championships, the senior dominated the field to win her first conference championship in an Alabama uniform. She edged the previous collegiate record (7.09) as well, running 7.08 in the finals. The senior also successfully defended her 60-meter NCAA title at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, running 7.11 to take home the crown for the second time in her collegiate career.

Burchell (Montego Bay, Jamaica) opened the 2015 outdoor season with an impressive 100-meter dash, recording a time of 11.04 at the Pepsi Florida Relays on April 3. That time ranks her eighth in the world this year heading into next week’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary. She also earned a silver medal in the 100-meter dash at the SEC Outdoor Championships after running a 11.31 on a wet track, just a hundredth of a second away from the gold. She is also on track to defend her NCAA title in the event later this season.

In addition, Alabama sophomore Quanesha Burks is among those receiving votes for the latest Bowerman watch list. Burks, the 2015 SEC long jump champion, is ranked fifth in the world in the long jump with a school-record leap of 22 feet, five and one-quarter inch at the SEC Championships.The mark is the second-best jump by an American in 2015 and the best by over half a foot in the collegiate ranks.

The next watch list is slated for release on Thursday, June 4. Below (listed alphabetically by last name) are the 10 members of the The Bowerman’s Post-Regular Season Women’s Watch List, including others who received votes but did not make the top 10.

Name Year School Events Hometown
Erica Bougard Sr. Mississippi State Multis Byhalia, Miss.
Remona Burchell Sr. Alabama Sprints Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kendra Harrison Sr. Kentucky Hurdles Clayton, N.C.
Natoya Goule Sr. Clemson Mid-distance Clarendon, Jamaica
Sandi Morris Sr. Arkansas Pole vault Greenville, S.C.
Courtney Okolo Jr. Texas Sprints Carrollton, Texas
Demi Payne Jr. Stephen F. Austin Pole vault New Braunfels, Texas
Jenna Prandini Jr. Oregon Sprints/Jumps Clovis, Calif.
Jeannelle Scheper Sr. South Carolina High jump Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia
Shelbi Vaughan Jr. Texas A&M Throws Mansfield, Texas

Also Receiving Votes: Morolake Akinosun (Texas), Quanesha Burks (Alabama), Courtney Frerichs (UMKC), Kyra Jefferson (Florida), Leah O’Connor (Michigan State), Keturah Orji (Georgia), Irena Sediva (Virginia Tech), Emily Sisson (Providence)

Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaTrack on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.


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Baseball. Haynie’s Seventh Inning Bomb Advances Baseball Past Missouri, 4-3 http://www.crimsontidezone.com/baseball-haynies-seventh-inning-bomb-advances-baseball-past-missouri-4-3-79744/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/baseball-haynies-seventh-inning-bomb-advances-baseball-past-missouri-4-3-79744/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 20:03:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/m-basebl/recaps/052115aaa.html
May 21, 2015


HOOVER, Ala. — Will Haynie’s solo home run in the seventh inning broke the tie, lifting Alabama baseball to the 4-3 win over Missouri inside the Hoover Met on Thursday morning. The Crimson Tide has now won nine of its last 12 games and advances to the next round of the SEC Tournament.

“The key to the day was pretty simple — Taylor (Guilbeau) gave us a really good start and then the bullpen was solid on the back end,” said Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard. “Offensively, we got a big double from Casey Hughston to get us started, Cody Henry got two huge RBI and then Haynie hit the bomb.”

Senior Taylor Guilbeau collected his third win of the season and his first against an SEC foe with a 7.0 inning, three-run performance. The left-hander tossed 104 pitches and struck out four by day’s end. Fellow senior Jay Shaw tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth and sophomore Thomas Burrows closed out the ninth with two strikeouts to earn his seventh save of the season.

The Tide scored first for a third consecutive game in the tournament. With two outs, Mikey White delivered a single for the Tide’s first hit of the game. Immediately following was Hughston with a double to left-center to give Alabama the 1-0 lead. Missouri would rally back to take the lead with two runs in the fifth coming off a two-out double for the 2-1 lead.

The Tigers would add one more in the top of the sixth to extend its lead, but Alabama would quickly answer back. With two down, White drew a walk and then Hughston singled to put two on. Kyle Overstreet reached with a fielder’s choice that would load the bases for Cody Henry. The freshman continued his hot streak in the tournament with a two-RBI single up the middle to even the score at 3-3. An inning later, Haynie would take the first pitch of his at-bat deep for a leadoff, solo home run to push the Crimson Tide ahead, 4-3, before the bullpen shut down the Tiger offense.

Overall, the Crimson Tide bats have collected 14 of its 25 hits with two outs, including three today. Also with two outs, 10 of the Tide’s 13 runs have crossed, including all three tallies before Haynie’s homer in this morning’s contest.

With the win, Alabama will play at 3 p.m. CT tomorrow afternoon in a quarterfinal matchup against the loser of the contest between Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The game will air on the SEC Network once again, this time with Dave Neal, Kyle Peterson, Chris Burke and Kayce Smith on the call.

Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaBSB on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Alabama Baseball. General athletic news can be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.


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Alabama Football: Why QB Is Not Tide’s Most Important Position for 2015 http://www.crimsontidezone.com/alabama-football-why-qb-is-not-tides-most-important-position-for-2015-79777/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/alabama-football-why-qb-is-not-tides-most-important-position-for-2015-79777/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 19:47:44 +0000 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2472023-alabama-football-why-qb-is-not-tides-most-important-position-for-2015
Alabama Football: Why QB Is Not Tide's Most Important Position for 2015

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama's quarterback battle remains one of the most talked about storylines of the college football offseason. The reasons why are fairly obvious: Said battle will extend into preseason camp and has been the subject of grad transfer rumors involving Braxton Miller and Everett Golson. Here's a question, though: Is it really that important who the Tide's starting quarterback is in Week 1?

If anything, Alabama's recent history under head coach Nick Saban has shown that defense is the pavement on which national championship runs are constructed. If the Tide want to get back to a national championship game in 2015-16, their defensive line is going to be position group that gets them there. 

Why? Because it's a group loaded with talent and depth and because it will be the first line of defense for all the talented run games Alabama will face this year. 

By Saban's own admission, “The defensive front is probably the strength," of the team, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports. And if you get a "probably" from Saban, that means he thinks highly of it. 

The quarterback position is fussed over certainly. There's good reason for that. No other position touches the ball on pretty much every play. 

However, it could be considered wasted breath. Having an experienced quarterback isn't a necessity to win a national championship. Since 2009, four of the six national championship-winning quarterbacks were first-year starters. A fifth, Ohio State's Cardale Jones, was the third-string quarterback to start the 2014 season. 

(And technically there's no guarantee Jones will start for the Buckeyes in '15.)

National Championship Winning QBs 2009-14
Year Team Quarterback Prior Starts
2014 Ohio State Cardale Jones 2
2013 Florida State Jameis Winston 13
2012 Alabama AJ McCarron 27
2011 Alabama AJ McCarron 13
2010 Auburn Cam Newton 13
2009 Greg McElroy Alabama 13

Source: Sports-Reference.com

The starts alone don't tell the whole story, of course. Cam Newton and Jameis Winston were special players. Newton was one-and-done at Auburn. Similarly, if Winston was able to leave for the NFL after his redshirt season in 2013, he probably would have been a high draft pick. But the idea is that experience at the quarterback position isn't some sort of prerequisite to winning a national title over the past several years. 

Having a great D-line, on the other hand, is paramount. Even if overall defensive stats aren't superb—since football is now geared almost entirely toward offensive success, what defines a great defense has changed—controlling the line of scrimmage up front allows defenses to get creative elsewhere. 

Within Alabama's defense, the D-line's job is to be the immovable object. It has the players to do that. 

By now, the starting three—Jarran Reed, Jonathan Allen and A’Shawn Robinson—are household names. Even the backups—D.J. Pettway, Darren Lake and Dalvin Tomlinson—are good enough that there shouldn't be a huge drop-off, if any. 

But as Charlie Potter of 247Sports notes, Alabama's depth along the D-line goes even further than that: "But that’s only the two-deep defensive line. We haven’t mentioned younger players like Da’Shawn Hand, Josh Frazier and O.J. Smith, who put together strong springs. They would likely crack the two-deep at any other school in the country."

When you have the kind of depth Alabama does, injuries don't cripple productivity—not unless that unit is decimated by them. Rotating players means fresher bodies late in games and late in the season. Traditionally under Saban, when Alabama has been good up front, it's had a lot of success: 

Alabama's defensive stats in championship years
Year Run Defense (Rank) Pass Defense (Rank) Scoring Defense (Rank) Sacks Per Game (Rank) Turnover Margin (Rank)
2012 2.43 YPR (1st) 6.1 YPA (16th) 10.9 PPG (1st) 2.5 (29th) +14 (T-10th)
2011 2.43 YPR (2nd) 4.3 YPA (1st) 8.2 PPG (1st) 2.3 (30th) +8 (T-20th)
2009 2.83 YPR (6th) 5.2 YPA (T-2nd) 11.7 PPG (2nd) 2.2 (44th) +19 (4th)

Source: cfbstats.com

Past trends aren't always an indication of future success, but Alabama's prior defensive stats could hold true for 2015. As Phil Steele tweeted recently, the Tide have the toughest schedule in the country:

Top 10 toughest schedule 2015 1. Alabama 2. USC 3. Arkansas 4. California 5. Washngton 6. Auburn 7. Texas 8. Utah 9. Stanford @Pac12Networks

— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) May 14, 2015

Several of Alabama's upcoming opponents have star running backs and/or excellent run games: Wisconsin (Corey Clement), Georgia (Nick Chubb), Arkansas (Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins), Tennessee (Jalen Hurd), LSU (Leonard Fournette) and Auburn (Roc Thomas, Jovon Robinson).  

For many of those teams, if you stop the run, you stop the offense. 

That's good news, because if there's any question mark in Alabama's defense, it's the secondary. When you don't put up huge sack numbers (Alabama doesn't), that requires a lot of confidence in the secondary's ability to shut down receivers. 

If Alabama is going to make another run at a playoff spot and take home another national championship, the defensive line is the group that will be the rock on which others will lean.

Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin deserves the benefit of the doubt that he can take the new-look offense and make it at least a serviceable group if not a formidable one. Whomever Alabama goes with at quarterback, the offense should be fine. 

But it's the defense that will take Alabama to the top of the college football mountain, and the D-line will be the ones leading the way.

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All stats courtesy of cfbstats.com. 

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Alabama Football: Why QB Is Not Tide's Most Important Position for 2015

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama’s quarterback battle remains one of the most talked about storylines of the college football offseason. The reasons why are fairly obvious: Said battle will extend into preseason camp and has been the subject of grad transfer rumors involving Braxton Miller and Everett Golson. Here’s a question, though: Is it really that important who the Tide’s starting quarterback is in Week 1?

If anything, Alabama’s recent history under head coach Nick Saban has shown that defense is the pavement on which national championship runs are constructed. If the Tide want to get back to a national championship game in 2015-16, their defensive line is going to be position group that gets them there. 

Why? Because it’s a group loaded with talent and depth and because it will be the first line of defense for all the talented run games Alabama will face this year. 

By Saban’s own admission, “The defensive front is probably the strength,” of the team, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports. And if you get a “probably” from Saban, that means he thinks highly of it. 

The quarterback position is fussed over certainly. There’s good reason for that. No other position touches the ball on pretty much every play. 

However, it could be considered wasted breath. Having an experienced quarterback isn’t a necessity to win a national championship. Since 2009, four of the six national championship-winning quarterbacks were first-year starters. A fifth, Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, was the third-string quarterback to start the 2014 season. 

(And technically there’s no guarantee Jones will start for the Buckeyes in ’15.)

National Championship Winning QBs 2009-14
Year Team Quarterback Prior Starts
2014 Ohio State Cardale Jones 2
2013 Florida State Jameis Winston 13
2012 Alabama AJ McCarron 27
2011 Alabama AJ McCarron 13
2010 Auburn Cam Newton 13
2009 Greg McElroy Alabama 13

Source: Sports-Reference.com

The starts alone don’t tell the whole story, of course. Cam Newton and Jameis Winston were special players. Newton was one-and-done at Auburn. Similarly, if Winston was able to leave for the NFL after his redshirt season in 2013, he probably would have been a high draft pick. But the idea is that experience at the quarterback position isn’t some sort of prerequisite to winning a national title over the past several years. 

Having a great D-line, on the other hand, is paramount. Even if overall defensive stats aren’t superb—since football is now geared almost entirely toward offensive success, what defines a great defense has changed—controlling the line of scrimmage up front allows defenses to get creative elsewhere. 

Within Alabama’s defense, the D-line’s job is to be the immovable object. It has the players to do that. 

By now, the starting three—Jarran Reed, Jonathan Allen and A’Shawn Robinson—are household names. Even the backups—D.J. Pettway, Darren Lake and Dalvin Tomlinson—are good enough that there shouldn’t be a huge drop-off, if any. 

But as Charlie Potter of 247Sports notes, Alabama’s depth along the D-line goes even further than that: “But that’s only the two-deep defensive line. We haven’t mentioned younger players like Da’Shawn Hand, Josh Frazier and O.J. Smith, who put together strong springs. They would likely crack the two-deep at any other school in the country.”

When you have the kind of depth Alabama does, injuries don’t cripple productivity—not unless that unit is decimated by them. Rotating players means fresher bodies late in games and late in the season. Traditionally under Saban, when Alabama has been good up front, it’s had a lot of success: 

Alabama’s defensive stats in championship years
Year Run Defense (Rank) Pass Defense (Rank) Scoring Defense (Rank) Sacks Per Game (Rank) Turnover Margin (Rank)
2012 2.43 YPR (1st) 6.1 YPA (16th) 10.9 PPG (1st) 2.5 (29th) +14 (T-10th)
2011 2.43 YPR (2nd) 4.3 YPA (1st) 8.2 PPG (1st) 2.3 (30th) +8 (T-20th)
2009 2.83 YPR (6th) 5.2 YPA (T-2nd) 11.7 PPG (2nd) 2.2 (44th) +19 (4th)

Source: cfbstats.com

Past trends aren’t always an indication of future success, but Alabama’s prior defensive stats could hold true for 2015. As Phil Steele tweeted recently, the Tide have the toughest schedule in the country:

Several of Alabama’s upcoming opponents have star running backs and/or excellent run games: Wisconsin (Corey Clement), Georgia (Nick Chubb), Arkansas (Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins), Tennessee (Jalen Hurd), LSU (Leonard Fournette) and Auburn (Roc Thomas, Jovon Robinson).  

For many of those teams, if you stop the run, you stop the offense. 

That’s good news, because if there’s any question mark in Alabama’s defense, it’s the secondary. When you don’t put up huge sack numbers (Alabama doesn’t), that requires a lot of confidence in the secondary’s ability to shut down receivers. 

If Alabama is going to make another run at a playoff spot and take home another national championship, the defensive line is the group that will be the rock on which others will lean.

Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin deserves the benefit of the doubt that he can take the new-look offense and make it at least a serviceable group if not a formidable one. Whomever Alabama goes with at quarterback, the offense should be fine. 

But it’s the defense that will take Alabama to the top of the college football mountain, and the D-line will be the ones leading the way.

Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All stats courtesy of cfbstats.com. 

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M. Tennis. Lovett and O’Shaughnessey Edged out in NCAA Doubles Round of 32 http://www.crimsontidezone.com/m-tennis-lovett-and-oshaughnessey-edged-out-in-ncaa-doubles-round-of-32-79746/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/m-tennis-lovett-and-oshaughnessey-edged-out-in-ncaa-doubles-round-of-32-79746/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 19:25:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/m-tennis/recaps/052115aab.html
May 21, 2015

WACO, Texas – Korey Lovett and Becker O’Shaughnessey fell in a 7-6(6), 6-4 decision to Wake Forest’s Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim in the NCAA Doubles Championship Round of 32 on Thursday at the Hurd Tennis Center.

The match was extremely close from start to finish as indicated in the score. Mansouri and Seraphim pulled ahead early in the first set tiebreaker, but Lovett and O’Shaughnessey came back within one late. In the end it would be the Demon Deacon pair that held on to take the breaker, 8-6. The second set remained on serve until Mansouri and Seraphim broke for the 5-4 lead. The duo then held in the final game to win the set, 6-4.

Get all the latest information on the team by following AlabamaMTN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.



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Wisconsin vs. Alabama will be ABC primetime game http://www.crimsontidezone.com/wisconsin-vs-alabama-will-be-abc-primetime-game-79757/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/wisconsin-vs-alabama-will-be-abc-primetime-game-79757/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 18:44:17 +0000 http://network.yardbarker.com/all_sports/article_external/wisconsin_vs_alabama_will_be_abc_primetime_game/18835178 [unable to retrieve full-text content]
Wisconsin vs. Alabama was curiously missing when ESPN announced it’s primetime schedule earlier this month. There apparently was a reason for it, as it was announced on Thursday that the Badgers and Crimson Tide will indeed be on primetime.
It’s just that the two foes will square off in the first ABC primetime game of the season instead of being put on cable television. The game will kick at 7pm CT, and it’s only right considering where these two teams have been over the course of the last few years.
The two teams will clash in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas — the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and the home to the Green Bay Packers’ last Super Bowl triumph.
It will also be the first game for new Badgers head coach Paul Chryst, after taking over for the departed Gary Andersen this offseason.
Thursday’s announcement gives the Badgers at two prime-time games in 2015, as UW’s Sept. 26 matchup with Hawaii at Camp Randall will also kick off at 7 p.m. W…
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ABC Announces Week 1′s Alabama-Wisconsin Game Will Be Its Primetime Contest http://www.crimsontidezone.com/abc-announces-week-1%e2%80%b2s-alabama-wisconsin-game-will-be-its-primetime-contest-79759/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/abc-announces-week-1%e2%80%b2s-alabama-wisconsin-game-will-be-its-primetime-contest-79759/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 18:20:41 +0000 http://network.yardbarker.com/all_sports/article_external/abc_announces_week_1s_alabama_wisconsin_game_will_be_its_primetime_contest/18834968 [unable to retrieve full-text content]
The most-intriguing game on college football’s Week 1 slate is likely the Alabama-Wisconsin matchup that is taking place at AT&T Stadium in Texas. 
The contest between the Crimson Tide and the Badgers will be kicking off in primetime. 
ABC announced this afternoon that the game will be its national TV game. 

See you on Saturday Night Football! #Badgers‘ matchup with Bama set for ABC prime time http://t.co/9IzFWl69Ie pic.twitter.com/jLTX4RQxzx
— Badger Football (@BadgerFootball) May 21, 2015

Alabama will surely be the favorite, but Wisconsin is a contender to start the season in the top 25. It should be an entertaining contest. 

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Is Alabama’s 2015 Schedule the Toughest of the Nick Saban Era? http://www.crimsontidezone.com/is-alabamas-2015-schedule-the-toughest-of-the-nick-saban-era-79779/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/is-alabamas-2015-schedule-the-toughest-of-the-nick-saban-era-79779/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 17:23:47 +0000 http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2472155-is-alabamas-2015-schedule-the-toughest-of-the-nick-saban-era
Is Alabama's 2015 Schedule the Toughest of the Nick Saban Era?

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

For all of the praise and accolades heaped on Alabama and Nick Saban during their tear through college football together—and it is all much deserved—they still have only gone undefeated, perfect, through an entire football season once.

There have been several years where the Crimson Tide have clearly been the best team in the country, but only once could they do it without sustaining a loss.

It’s a testament not only to the grueling road of the SEC but also to his teams’ resiliency to fight back and regroup.

If Alabama fans are looking for a year for their team to run the gantlet for the first time since 2009, though, this might not be that year.

The Crimson Tide have plenty of holes, yes, but even if those get filled, they face what is shaping up to be their toughest slate since the start of the Saban era.

2015 Alabama football schedule
9/5 Wisconsin 11-3
9/12 Middle Tennessee 6-6
9/19 Ole Miss 9-4
9/26 Louisiana-Monroe 4-8
10/3 at Georgia 10-3
10/10 Arkansas 7-6
10/17 at Texas A&M 8-5
10/24 Tennessee 7-6
11/7 LSU 8-5
11/14 at Mississippi State 10-3
11/21 Charleston Southern 8-4
11/28 at Auburn 8-5

fbsschedules.com

College football guru Phil Steele is already projecting Alabama to have the toughest road in the country this year:

Top 10 toughest schedule 2015 1. Alabama 2. USC 3. Arkansas 4. California 5. Washngton 6. Auburn 7. Texas 8. Utah 9. Stanford @Pac12Networks

— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) May 14, 2015

Elsewhere, FBSSchedules.com, using the NCAA’s purely win-loss record method for calculating strength of schedule, put Washington No. 1 with Alabama at No. 4. Bleacher Report’s Greg Wallace thought the Crimson Tide’s 2015 slate to be the toughest in the nation.

Of course, none of this will be able to be determined objectively until the end of the season, when we have a better feel for the overall strength of certain teams.

Still, 2015 is shaping up to be the toughest during Saban’s tenure.

For starters, it’s hard to imagine a time when Alabama’s division was this formidable, top to bottom.

Michael Chang/Getty Images

At the top, both Auburn should be much improved, with Jeremy Johnson taking over at quarterback and Will Muschamp coming in to run the defense. LSU is loaded as usual but needs to sort out its quarterback issue, which was still able to take Alabama down to the wire last season.

It’s hard to see the Mississippi schools maintaining their momentum from last season, but there shouldn’t be too much of a drop-off. Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze have proved that they can be dangerous coaches.

Arkansas is a sexy surprise team pick, and for good reason. The Razorbacks shut out Ole Miss and LSU late in the season and thumped Texas in their bowl game. Head coach Bret Bielema’s installation of his suffocating style on both sides of the ball is finally coming together.

The perceived “worst” team in the league, Texas A&M, will have another year of experience under a 5-star quarterback with a nasty receiving corp, and it just brought in one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, John Chavis.

And gone are the days of Alabama’s weak Eastern division schedule.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This may be the best Tennessee team Alabama has had to face, though that isn’t saying much. And it draws Georgia as its rotational opponent.

Wisconsin serves as the Power Five opener, hardly a cakewalk either.

Alabama can’t look away from home field much for relief, either. It draws Georgia, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn for its road games. None of those four can be considered sure things by any stretch of the imagination.

If you’re looking for a year where Alabama may have had a tougher schedule, there’s a good argument to be made for 2010.

Is 2015 Alabama's toughest schedule under Nick Saban?

That year, the Crimson Tide drew Florida and South Carolina from the East, the latter handing Alabama its first loss of the year.

But what made that year especially tough was the placement. It faced six straight SEC teams who were coming off of a bye week and essentially had two weeks to prepare.

Still, the West wasn’t nearly as strong back then, and Alabama had more relief in getting Florida and Auburn at home.

This year, Alabama’s East rotation shows no mercy, and the West is as good as it’s ever been. Combine that with the grueling road schedule, and the Crimson Tide’s road to an undefeated season and national championship looks as tough as ever.

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Is Alabama's 2015 Schedule the Toughest of the Nick Saban Era?

Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

For all of the praise and accolades heaped on Alabama and Nick Saban during their tear through college football together—and it is all much deserved—they still have only gone undefeated, perfect, through an entire football season once.

There have been several years where the Crimson Tide have clearly been the best team in the country, but only once could they do it without sustaining a loss.

It’s a testament not only to the grueling road of the SEC but also to his teams’ resiliency to fight back and regroup.

If Alabama fans are looking for a year for their team to run the gantlet for the first time since 2009, though, this might not be that year.

The Crimson Tide have plenty of holes, yes, but even if those get filled, they face what is shaping up to be their toughest slate since the start of the Saban era.

2015 Alabama football schedule
9/5 Wisconsin 11-3
9/12 Middle Tennessee 6-6
9/19 Ole Miss 9-4
9/26 Louisiana-Monroe 4-8
10/3 at Georgia 10-3
10/10 Arkansas 7-6
10/17 at Texas A&M 8-5
10/24 Tennessee 7-6
11/7 LSU 8-5
11/14 at Mississippi State 10-3
11/21 Charleston Southern 8-4
11/28 at Auburn 8-5

fbsschedules.com

College football guru Phil Steele is already projecting Alabama to have the toughest road in the country this year:

Elsewhere, FBSSchedules.com, using the NCAA’s purely win-loss record method for calculating strength of schedule, put Washington No. 1 with Alabama at No. 4. Bleacher Report’s Greg Wallace thought the Crimson Tide’s 2015 slate to be the toughest in the nation.

Of course, none of this will be able to be determined objectively until the end of the season, when we have a better feel for the overall strength of certain teams.

Still, 2015 is shaping up to be the toughest during Saban’s tenure.

For starters, it’s hard to imagine a time when Alabama’s division was this formidable, top to bottom.


Michael Chang/Getty Images

At the top, both Auburn should be much improved, with Jeremy Johnson taking over at quarterback and Will Muschamp coming in to run the defense. LSU is loaded as usual but needs to sort out its quarterback issue, which was still able to take Alabama down to the wire last season.

It’s hard to see the Mississippi schools maintaining their momentum from last season, but there shouldn’t be too much of a drop-off. Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze have proved that they can be dangerous coaches.

Arkansas is a sexy surprise team pick, and for good reason. The Razorbacks shut out Ole Miss and LSU late in the season and thumped Texas in their bowl game. Head coach Bret Bielema’s installation of his suffocating style on both sides of the ball is finally coming together.

The perceived “worst” team in the league, Texas A&M, will have another year of experience under a 5-star quarterback with a nasty receiving corp, and it just brought in one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, John Chavis.

And gone are the days of Alabama’s weak Eastern division schedule.


Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

This may be the best Tennessee team Alabama has had to face, though that isn’t saying much. And it draws Georgia as its rotational opponent.

Wisconsin serves as the Power Five opener, hardly a cakewalk either.

Alabama can’t look away from home field much for relief, either. It draws Georgia, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn for its road games. None of those four can be considered sure things by any stretch of the imagination.

If you’re looking for a year where Alabama may have had a tougher schedule, there’s a good argument to be made for 2010.

Is 2015 Alabama’s toughest schedule under Nick Saban?

That year, the Crimson Tide drew Florida and South Carolina from the East, the latter handing Alabama its first loss of the year.

But what made that year especially tough was the placement. It faced six straight SEC teams who were coming off of a bye week and essentially had two weeks to prepare.

Still, the West wasn’t nearly as strong back then, and Alabama had more relief in getting Florida and Auburn at home.

This year, Alabama’s East rotation shows no mercy, and the West is as good as it’s ever been. Combine that with the grueling road schedule, and the Crimson Tide’s road to an undefeated season and national championship looks as tough as ever.

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes and reporting were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Softball. Softball Welcomes Oklahoma for NCAA Super Regional Round http://www.crimsontidezone.com/softball-softball-welcomes-oklahoma-for-ncaa-super-regional-round-79748/ http://www.crimsontidezone.com/softball-softball-welcomes-oklahoma-for-ncaa-super-regional-round-79748/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 16:23:00 +0000 http://onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/alab/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/052115aaa.html
May 21, 2015

THIS WEEK

May 22-23 – Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Rhoads Stadium

No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 11 Oklahoma

Friday, May 22 – 6 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Saturday, May 23 – 4 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Saturday, May 23* – 7 p.m. CT (ESPN2)



* = if necessary

THE TIDE ON THE AIR

TV

Game One/Two: ESPN

Game Three (if necessary): ESPN2

PXP: Beth Mowins, Color: Jessica Mendoza / Michele Smith

RADIO

95.3 FM (953thebear.com)

*streaming audio also available on RadioPup app*

SCOUTING ALABAMA (45-12, 17-7 SEC)

– Alabama swept its opponents at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, outscoring Fairfield and Washington by a combined score of 28-1 over three games.

– This marks the 11th-straight NCAA Super Regional round Alabama has advanced to, playing in every season since the round was created in 2005. The Tide are the only team in the country to do so.

– Alabama slugged nine home runs in three games last weekend, the highest total over three games all season. Haylie McCleney accounted for four of the nine, as all four of her hits went over the fence.

– Alabama pitching combined to allow just one unearned run on five hits over 18.0 innings pitched last weekend.

SCOUTING OKLAHOMA (48-7, 14-2 Big 12)

– Despite being ranked fifth and sixth in the national polls, Oklahoma slid to a No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Sooners won its fourth straight Big 12 title this season, leading the league with a 14-2 conference record. The lone conference losses came against Baylor and Kansas.

– Senior infielder Lauren Chamberlain broke the NCAA career home run record this season on April 30 with her 91st career homer against North Texas. This breaks Stacey Nuveman’s long-standing record of 90, which was set 13 years ago. Despite the home run prowess, Chamberlain is actually second on the team with 20 home runs, trailing Shelby Pendly with 24.

– Freshman Paige Parker is a top three finalist for Freshman of the Year and leads the pitching staff with a 27-5 record and 1.49 ERA. She has struck out 211 batters over 197.0 innings pitched.

ALL-TIME VS. OKLAHOMA (7-3)

Last Meeting: May 29, 2014 – W, 6-2 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

First Meeting: Feb. 15, 1997 – L, 0-12 (6) – Arlington, Texas

Last Meeting in Tuscaloosa: N/A

Current Streak: Alabama 3

NCAA TOURNAMENT VS. OKLAHOMA (3-2)

May 24, 2003 – L, 3-6 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

June 4, 2012 – L, 1-4 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

June 5, 2012 – W, 8-6 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

June 6, 2012 – W, 5-4 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

May 29, 2014 – W, 6-2 – Oklahoma City, Okla. *WCWS*

TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL ROUNDUP

Alabama turned in a dominant performance at last weekend’s NCAA Regional round, defeating Fairfield once and Washington twice.

– The Tide outscored its opponents 28-1 over three games, owning the largest run differential (+27) of any team that played three games last weekend. Michigan was the next highest of any team that played three games at +23. Georgia owned the highest overall run differential (+31) but did so over five games.

– The nine home runs are the most over a three-game stretch for Alabama since April of 2012. The four home runs hit in Sunday’s win are the most since March 16, 2014 at Ole Miss and the most at home since April 25, 2012 vs. Troy.

– The five hits allowed by Alabama pitching over the weekend is the lowest total in a three-game series since March of 2011.

ALABAMA IN THE NCAA TOURANMENT

– Alabama is making its 17th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, qualifying every year since 1999.

– Alabama is one of just eight teams that own an active NCAA Tournament appearance streak of at least 17 years:

– Arizona: 29

– Oklahoma, Washington: 22

– Michigan: 20

– Alabama, UCLA, Louisiana-Lafayette, Notre Dame: 17

– Alabama has hosted an NCAA Regional round 11 straight years (2005-15), winning all of them.

– Alabama is the only school in the country to play in every Super Regional round since the round was created in 2005.

– This is the eighth Super Regional the Tide has hosted, as Alabama has only lost one Super Regional in Tuscaloosa (2010 vs. Hawaii).

RBI RECORD WITHIN REACH

With a scorching second half of the year, Alabama sophomore Marisa Runyon has put herself within reach of the single-season RBI record, originally set by Charlotte Morgan in 2008. Runyon passed Morgan’s third-place total during the NCAA Regional weekend.

Alabama Single Season RBI Record

79 – Charlotte Morgan (2008)

77 – Kaila Hunt (2012)

75 – Marisa Runyon (2015)

74 – Charlotte Morgan (2010)

OSORIO TOP THREE FINALIST FOR NFCA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Alabama freshman pitcher Alexis Osorio has been named one of three finalists for the NFCA Freshman of the Year award, along with Oklahoma pitcher Paige Parker and Oregon infielder Jenna Lilley. The winner of the award will be announced on May 27 in Oklahoma City, Okla., just prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series. Tennessee catcher Annie Aldrete and Auburn infielder Kasey Cooper shared the inaugural Freshman of the Year award last season.

– Osorio was named the SEC Freshman of the Year, Alabama’s first since 2010

– In her six losses as a starter, she held the opponent to four or fewer runs in five of them and four of the losses were just one-run losses in which the opponent scored no more than three runs.

– She was the only pitcher to have an ERA below 2.00 in SEC-only games and was also the only one to surpass 100 strikeouts in SEC play.

– In NCAA Tournament play so far, she has allowed just one run, unearned, on two hits with 14 strikeouts over 12.0 innings pitched.

HOME RUNYON

Sophomore Marisa Runyon has enjoyed an incredibly productive second half of the season, as the March 25 game against Georgia Tech has sparked a fantastic string of 27 games:

– She has earned a hit in 18 of those 27 games and driven in at least one RBI in 18 of those 27 games.

– She has four multi-homer games over those 27 games after hitting just four home runs total in the 28 games prior. The four multi-homer games is a single season record at Alabama, beating Kelly Kretschman’s previous record of three set in 1998.

– Runyon slugged three home runs in the May 2 win at Arkansas, becoming just the second player in program history to do so. The first was Jackie Traina on Feb. 11, 2011 against Western Michigan.

– She is now just four RBI away from tying Charlotte Morgan’s single season record at Alabama

Marisa Runyon Splits Pre/Post March 25

Feb. 5 – March 21 (28 Games): 19-66 (.288), 11 R, 19 RBI, 4 HR

March 25 – Pres. (27 Games): 32-80 (.400), 23 R, 56 RBI, 14 HR

LAST TIME OUT: NCAA REGIONAL

– GAME ONE: ALABAMA 8, FAIRFIELD 0 (6 INNINGS) – Alabama opened NCAA Regional play on Thursday with an 8-0 shutout over Fairfield in six innings, advancing to play Washington on Saturday. Alabama was strong offensively from top-to-bottom, as everyone in the lineup reached base safely while eight of the nine starters would earn at least one base hit. Three of the Tide’s eight runs were scored courtesy of the long ball, as Danae Hays hit a towering two-run shot in the third inning and Haylie McCleney slapped a solo homer in the fourth. Tide starter Sydney Littlejohn turned in a masterful performance in the circle as she held Fairfield to just two hits while not issuing a single walk and throwing 45 of her 62 pitches for strikes.

– GAME TWO: ALABAMA 9, WASHINGTON 0 (5 INNINGS) – After a shutout victory in Friday’s regional opener, Alabama turned in an even more impressive shutout in Saturday’s game against Washington, as the offense blasted three home runs while Alexis Osorio was just one hit away from throwing a perfect game to win 9-0 in five innings. Alabama scored in three of the four innings they came to bat, including four runs scored in both the second and fourth innings. After each hitting home runs in Friday’s win, Danae Hays and Haylie McCleney sent the ball over the fence again in Saturday’s win. Marisa Runyon drove in the Tide’s first run of the game on a first inning RBI single and added four more RBIs on a fourth-inning grand slam. Alexis Osorio faced just 16 batters over 5.0 innings pitched, allowing just one single with no walks and eight strikeouts as no Washington runner made it to scoring position.

– GAME THREE: ALABAMA 11, WASHINGTON 1 – As it has all weekend, stellar pitching and red-hot hitting led Alabama to a convincing 11-1 win over Washington, punching the Crimson Tide’s 11th straight ticket to the NCAA Super Regional round. The Tide bats were hot again on Sunday, blasting four home runs that accounted for seven of the 11 runs scored. Haylie McCleney hit two of the Tide’s four home runs, marking her third straight game with a homer after hitting just three all season prior to this weekend. Chaunsey Bell hit Alabama’s second homer of the day as part of a 3-3 performance with four RBI. Danae Hays earned her third straight multi-hit game, going 2-4 with three runs scored. Alexis Osorio notched her second win of the weekend, throwing a complete game with just one run and two hits allowed.

NEXT TIME OUT: WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

Next weekend, the eight winners from the Super Regional round will advance to the 2015 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. The double elimination tournament begins on Thursday, May 28. The field of eight will be narrowed down to two teams, who will play in a best-of-three series starting Monday, June 1 to decide a national champion.



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