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2015 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

The 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA", "Bama", or "The Tide") represented the University of Alabama in the 2015 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It marked the Crimson Tide's 121st overall season, 82nd as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and its 24th within the SEC Western Division. The team played its home games at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They were led by ninth-year head coach Nick Saban. They finished the season with a record of 14 wins and 1 loss (14–1 overall, 7–1 in the SEC), as SEC champions and as consensus national champions after they defeated Clemson in the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Game. Alabama also secured its 10th Associated Press (AP) national title.

2015 Alabama Crimson Tide football
Alabama Crimson Tide logo
Consensus national champion
SEC champion
SEC Western Division champion
Cotton Bowl Classic champion
Cotton Bowl Classic (CFP Semifinal), W 38–0 vs. Michigan State
CFP National Championship, W 45–40 vs. Clemson
Conference Southeastern Conference
Division Western Division
Ranking
Coaches No. 1
AP No. 1
2015 record 14–1 (7–1 SEC)
Head coach Nick Saban (9th season)
Offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin (2nd season)
Offensive scheme Multiple
Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (8th as DC, 9th overall season)
Base defense 3–4
Home stadium Bryant–Denny Stadium
(Capacity: 101,821)
Seasons
← 2014
2016 →
2015 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
No. 25 Florida x   7 1         10 4  
No. 22 Tennessee   5 3         9 4  
Georgia   5 3         10 3  
Vanderbilt   2 6         4 8  
Kentucky   2 6         5 7  
Missouri   1 7         5 7  
South Carolina   1 7         3 9  
West Division
No. 1 Alabama x$#^   7 1         14 1  
No. 10 Ole Miss   6 2         10 3  
Arkansas   5 3         8 5  
No. 16 LSU   5 3         9 3  
Texas A&M   4 4         8 5  
Mississippi State   4 4         9 4  
Auburn   2 6         7 6  
Championship: Alabama 29, Florida 15
  • # – College Football Playoff champion
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

Contents

Previous season and offseasonEdit

The 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide finished the regular season 11–1, 7–1 SEC, with their only loss to Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide won the Western Division of SEC and qualified to play in the 2014 SEC Championship Game against the Missouri Tigers. Alabama defeated the Tigers, 42–13 in Atlanta, Georgia, clinching the program's 24th SEC title. The team was ranked no. 1 in all polls including the new College Football Playoff Rankings entering bowl season. As the no. 1 seed in the inaugural College Football Playoff, the Crimson Tide were selected to play in the semifinal game at the 2015 Sugar Bowl against the no. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes of the Big Ten. Alabama fell short against the Buckeyes in a 35–42 upset loss, finishing the 2014 season 12–2.

DeparturesEdit

Notable departures from the 2014 squad included juniors Amari Cooper, T. J. Yeldon, and Landon Collins, who all forewent their final year of eligibility and declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Name Number Position Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
T. J. Yeldon 4 Running back 6'1" 226 Junior Daphne, AL Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[1]
Amari Cooper 9 Wide receiver 6'1" 211 Junior Miami, FL Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[2]
Landon Collins 26 Defensive back 6'0" 228 Junior New Orleans, LA Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[3]
DeAndrew White 2 Wide receiver 5'11" 193 Senior Houston, TX Undrafted Free Agent.[4]
Blake Sims 6 Quarterback 5'11" 218 Senior Gainesville, GA Undrafted Free Agent[5]
Jarrick Williams 20 Defensive back 6'1" 209 Senior Mobile, AL Undrafted Free Agent[6]
Christion Jones 22 Wide receiver/return specialist 5'10" 182 Senior Adamsville, AL Undrafted Free Agent[7]
Trey DePriest 33 Linebacker 6'0" 254 Senior Springfield, OH Undrafted Free Agent[8]
Jalston Fowler 45 Fullback 6'1" 248 Senior Mobile, AL Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[9]
Xzavier Dickson 47 Linebacker 6'3" 260 Senior Griffin, GA Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[10]
Leon Brown 72 Offensive tackle 6'6" 320 Senior Riverdale, MD Undrafted Free Agent[11]
Arie Kouandjio 77 Offensive guard 6'5" 310 Senior Hyattsville, MD Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[12]
Austin Shepherd 79 Offensive tackle 6'4" 315 Senior Buford, GA Declared for the 2015 NFL Draft[13]
Brian Vogler 84 Tight end 6'7" 263 Senior Columbus, GA Undrafted Free Agent[14]
Brandon Ivory 99 Defensive tackle 6'4" 311 Senior Memphis, TN Undrafted Free Agent[15]

Incoming transfersEdit

2015 recruiting classEdit

Prior to National Signing Day in February 2015, eight players enrolled for the spring semester in order to participate in spring practice and included six former high school seniors and two junior college transfers. On National Signing Day, Alabama signed 18 additional players out of high school that completed the 2015 recruiting class. The class was highlighted by 19 players from the "ESPN 300": . Alabama signed the No. 1 recruiting class according to ESPN.com and 247Sports.com, and No. 2 according to "Rivals.com" and "Scout.com" behind USC.

Returning startersEdit

Alabama had seven returning players on offense, five on defense and five on special teams that started games in 2014.

OffenseEdit

Spring practiceEdit

2015 A-Day Spring Game
1 2 3 4 Total
• White 7 0 10 10 27
Crimson 7 0 0 7 14
  • Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m.
  • Elapsed time: 2:12
  • Television network: ESPNU

Alabama started spring practice on March 16 and concluded 15 practices later on April 18 with the annual A-Day game.

PersonnelEdit

Coaching staffEdit

Alabama head coach Nick Saban entered his ninth year as the Crimson Tide's head coach for the 2015 season. During his previous eight years with Alabama, he led the Crimson Tide to an overall record of 86 wins and 17 losses (86–17, .835) and the 2009, 2011 and 2012 national championships.[16]


Name Position Consecutive season at
Alabama in current position
Nick Saban Head coach 9th
Burton Burns Associate head coach, running backs 9th
Lane Kiffin Offensive coordinator, quarterbacks 2nd
Bo Davis Defensive line 2nd
Kirby Smart Defensive coordinator, inside linebackers 9th
Mario Cristobal offensive line 3rd
Billy Napier Wide receivers 3rd
Tosh Lupoi Outside linebackers 1st
Bobby Williams Tight ends and special teams 8th
Scott Cochran Strength and conditioning 9th
Mel Tucker Assistant head coach and defensive backs 1st
Reference:[17]

Depth chartEdit

As of September 5, 2015.[18]

ScheduleEdit

The 2015 schedule was released on October 14, 2014. Alabama faced all six Western Division opponents: Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. They faced two Eastern Division opponents: official SEC rival Tennessee and Georgia. Alabama was not scheduled to play SEC opponents Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina or Vanderbilt – although ultimately faced Florida in the SEC Championship Game. They were also scheduled to play four non-conference games: Wisconsin of the Big Ten Conference, Middle Tennessee of Conference USA, Louisiana–Monroe of the Sun Belt Conference and Charleston Southern of the FCS' Big South Conference.

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 5 7:00 p.m. vs. No. 20 Wisconsin* No. 3 AT&T StadiumArlington, TX (Advocare Classic) ABC W 35−17   64,279
September 12 3:00 p.m. Middle Tennessee* No. 2 Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL SECN W 37−10   98,568
September 19 8:15 p.m. No. 15 Ole Miss No. 2 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Rivalry) ESPN L 37−43   101,821
September 26 3:00 p.m. Louisiana–Monroe* No. 12 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL SECN W 34–0   101,323
October 3 2:30 p.m. at No. 8 Georgia No. 13 Sanford StadiumAthens, GA CBS W 38–10   92,746
October 10 6:00 p.m. Arkansas  No. 8 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL ESPN W 27–14   101,821
October 17 2:30 p.m. at No. 9 Texas A&M No. 10 Kyle FieldCollege Station, TX CBS W 41–23   105,733
October 24 2:30 p.m. Tennessee No. 8 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Third Saturday in October) CBS W 19–14   101,821
November 7 7:00 p.m. No. 2 LSU No. 4 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Rivalry) CBS W 30–16   101,821
November 14 2:30 p.m. at No. 17 Mississippi State No. 2 Davis Wade StadiumStarkville, MS (Rivalry) CBS W 31–6   62,435
November 21 3:00 p.m. Charleston Southern* No. 2 Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL SECN W 56–6   101,821
November 28 2:30 p.m. at Auburn No. 2 Jordan–Hare StadiumAuburn, AL (Iron Bowl) CBS W 29–13   87,451
December 5 3:00 p.m. vs. No. 18 Florida No. 2 Georgia DomeAtlanta, GA (SEC Championship Game) CBS W 29–15   75,320
December 31 7:00 p.m. vs. No. 3 Michigan State* No. 2 AT&T StadiumArlington, TX (Cotton Bowl Classic – CFP Semifinal) ESPN W 38–0   82,812
January 11, 2016 7:30 p.m. vs. No. 1 Clemson* No. 2 University of Phoenix StadiumGlendale, AZ (CFP National Championship) ESPN W 45–40   75,765
*Non-conference game.  Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll (before 11/3) and CFP Rankings (thereafter). All times are in Central Time.

Game summariesEdit

vs #20 Wisconsin BadgersEdit

#20 Wisconsin Badgers vs #3 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#20 Wisconsin 0 7 3 7 17
#3 Alabama 7 7 14 7 35

at AT&T StadiumArlington, TX

  • Date: September 5, 2015
  • Game time: 7:14 p.m.
  • Game weather: Played indoors (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 64,279
  • Referee: Alan Eck
  • TV announcers (ABC): Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color), Heather Cox (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The University of Alabama's junior running back Derrick Henry had a career day, rushing 13 times for 147 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 3 Crimson Tide past No. 20 Wisconsin 35-17 in the Advocare Classic inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night.

Henry opened up the game's scoring, breaking off a 37-yard run in the first quarter to put Alabama ahead 7-0. He put up two more scores in the third quarter, including a 56-yard touchdown rush that put him over 100 yards for the night, the sixth time in his career he has eclipsed the century mark in a game.

Senior quarterback Jake Coker, making his debut as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback, was an efficient 15-of-21 for 213 yards and one touchdown to go along with no turnovers. Sophomore Cooper Bateman also saw action in the second half, finishing 7-for-8 with 51 yards.

Defensively, Alabama was dominant at the line of scrimmage, holding the Badgers to just 40 yards rushing on 21 attempts, an average of 1.9 yards per rush. Senior linebacker Reggie Ragland recorded 12 total tackles, including five solo. Additionally, Jonathan Allen had two sacks and the team broke up seven passes on the night.

Overall, the Tide gained 502 yards (264 passing and 238 rushing), picked up 28 first downs, and averaged 7.6 yards per play. Wisconsin totaled 268 yards (228 passing and 40 rushing), along with converting 17 first downs and averaging 4.5 yards per play. The Tide also did not commit a turnover on the night.

Alabama won its season opener for the 97th time in 121 season opening games with the victory. The Tide also moved to 6-0 in neutral-site season opening games.

Alabama : 1-0, 0-0 SEC

vs Middle Tennessee Blue RaidersEdit

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at #2 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Middle Tennessee 0 3 0 7 10
#2 Alabama 7 16 14 0 37

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: September 12, 2015
  • Game time: 3:01 p.m.
  • Game weather: 81, Partly Cloudy, Wind NNW 13 mph
  • Game attendance: 98,568
  • Referee: Marc Curles
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Tom Hart (play-by-play), Andre Ware (color), Laura Rutledge (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (2-0) opened its 2015 home slate in impressive fashion, forcing four turnovers en route to a 37-10 victory over visiting Middle Tennessee (1-1) in front of 98,568 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After a shaky opening quarter by both teams, the Crimson Tide was able to extend a 7-3 lead to a 23-3 halftime margin. Senior quarterback Jake Coker, who had another solid game, hit Robert Foster for a 19-yard touchdown to open the scoring. Derrick Henry added touchdown runs of 1 and 2 yards in the second quarter, and he reached the end zone a third time thanks to a 28-yard burst in the third quarter. Sophomore quarterback Cooper Bateman recorded his first touchdown pass of his career, connecting with Kenyan Drake on a shovel pass for a 14-yard scoring play as well.

Defensively, Alabama recovered all three fumbles it forced while also getting one interception, the most turnovers an Alabama defensive has forced since Sept. 8, 2012, against Western Kentucky. Senior linebacker Reggie Ragland led the team in tackles once again, recording a total of 7.5, including six solos. The secondary also broke up six passes.

For the game, Alabama totaled 532 yards (312 passing and 220 rushing), notched 28 first downs and averaged 6.5 yards per play. Middle Tennessee gained 275 yards (189 passing and 86 rushing), along with collecting 15 first downs and averaging 3.7 yards per play. The Tide limited its penalties on the day, being flagged only five times for 40 yards.

Alabama: 2-0, 0-0 SEC

vs #15 Ole Miss RebelsEdit

#15 Ole Miss Rebels at #2 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#15 Ole Miss 3 14 13 13 43
#2 Alabama 0 10 7 20 37

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: September 19, 2015
  • Game time: 8:21 p.m.
  • Game weather: 75, Clear Skies, Wind 1 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,821
  • Referee: Tom Ritter
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color), Heather Cox (sideline)
  • Sources
Game information

The No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide could not overcome five turnovers in its SEC opener, falling by a final score of 43-37 to the No. 15/11 Ole Miss Rebels (3-0; 1-0) in a back-and-forth contest in front of a sellout crowd of 101,821 on Saturday night at Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.

The opening kickoff of the game would set the tone for Alabama, as a fumble by sophomore receiver ArDarius Stewart on the return was recovered by Ole Miss. The Rebels were able to turn that into three points, the only points of the quarter. The Tide evened the score early in the second quarter, but two more turnovers in the quarter allowed the Rebels to take advantage of short fields to reach the end zone twice. Alabama was playing from behind for the rest of the game, twice getting within six points, but unable to complete the comeback.

For the game, the Tide offense totaled 503 yards (288 passing and 215 rushing), picked up 29 first downs and averaged an even 5.0 yards per play. Ole Miss gained 433 yards (341 passing and 92 rushing), along with converting 16 first downs and averaging 6.7 yards per play. Alabama limited its penalties again, getting flagged just four times for 36 yards, but lost the turnover battle by a 5-0 margin.

Alabama: 2-1, 0-1 SEC

vs Louisiana–Monroe WarhawksEdit

Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks at #12 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Louisiana–Monroe 0 0 0 0 0
#12 Alabama 7 7 10 10 34

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: September 26, 2015
  • Game time: 3:01 p.m.
  • Game weather: 81, Partly Cloudy, Wind ENE 6 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,323
  • Referee: Matt Loeffler
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (color), Kayce Smith (sideline)
  • Sources
Game information

The 12th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide shut out the visiting ULM Warhawks (1-2; 0-0 in the Sun Belt Conference) by a final score of 34-0 in front of 101,323 fans at Bryant–Denny Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Tide got off to another slow start offensively, getting on the board with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter thanks to a three-yard run by junior running back Derrick Henry. Senior quarterback Jacob Coker found freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley for a touchdown early in the second quarter, the first of the rookie's career. In the second half, Alabama was able to put the game away. Junior placekicker Adam Griffith made field goals of 35 and 40 yards, and Coker tossed two more touchdowns.

Defensively, the Tide dominated ULM. For the game, the Alabama defense allowed a total of 92 yards from scrimmage, the fewest yards given up by an Alabama defense since the 2012 BCS Championship Game against LSU, when the Tigers also gained 92 yards of offense. The defense also recorded six quarterback sacks and 12 tackles for loss.

Alabama gained 303 yards total yards (166 passing and 137 rushing) and converted 17 first downs. The Warhawks picked up 83 yards through the air and nine on the ground, along with gaining 10 first downs.

Alabama: 3-1, 0-1 SEC

@ #8 Georgia BulldogsEdit

#13 Alabama Crimson Tide at #8 Georgia Bulldogs – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#13 Alabama 3 21 14 0 38
#8 Georgia 0 3 7 0 10

at Sanford StadiumAthens, GA

  • Date: October 3, 2015
  • Game time: 3:39 p.m.
  • Game weather: 60, Rain, Wind NE 6 mph
  • Game attendance: 92,746
  • Referee: Hubert Owens
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources
Game information

The No. 13/13 Alabama Crimson Tide put together a dominating performance on the road to beat No. 8/6 Georgia (4-1, 2-1) 38-10 Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

In a game played mostly in a steady rain, senior quarterback Jake Coker and the Alabama offense were efficient while the defense had both Bulldogs quarterbacks under duress all game long. Coker had a rushing and passing touchdown, junior running back Derrick Henry added another touchdown on the ground, and the Tide scored on a 50-yard interception return by junior defensive back Eddie Jackson and on a blocked punt by freshman defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Freshman receiver Calvin Ridley caught five passes for 120 yards, his first game over the century mark, and one touchdown while Henry set a new career-high in attempts (26) and rushing yards (148). The Alabama defense was a disruptive force in the wet conditions all day, forcing a total of four turnovers, including three interceptions by three different members of the secondary. Georgia's two quarterbacks completed only 11 of 31 pass attempts and averaged 3.2 yards per pass. The Tide gained 379 yards of offense (190 passing and 189 rushing) and converted 15 first downs. The Bulldogs picked up 299 yards for the game (106 passing and 193 rushing) along with converting 12 first downs.

Alabama: 4-1, 1-1 SEC

vs Arkansas RazorbacksEdit

Arkansas Razorbacks at #8 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Arkansas 0 7 0 7 14
#8 Alabama 3 0 7 17 27

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: October 10, 2015
  • Game time: 6:05 p.m.
  • Game weather: 64, Overcast, Wind NW @ 7 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,821
  • Referee: Ken Williamson
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Brad Nessler (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (color), Holly Rowe (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team (5-1 overall; 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference) turned in a gritty performance on Saturday night to defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-4 overall; 1-2 SEC), 27-14, in the 2015 Homecoming game before a capacity crowd of 101,821 at Bryant–Denny Stadium on the Alabama campus. Alabama erased a 7-3 deficit late in the third quarter on an 81-yard pass from quarterback Jake Coker to wide receiver Calvin Ridley, a play that ignited an offense that had struggled to finish drives most of the game to that point. That score, with 1:39 left in the third period, turned the game in Alabama's favor as the Crimson Tide stopped an Arkansas drive at the Hogs' 43 on the ensuing possession and marched to a touchdown on a 3-yard pass from Coker to wideout Richard Mullaney for a 17-7 lead. After an Eddie Jackson interception for the Tide a few plays later, Alabama tacked on a 35-yard Adam Griffith field goal for a 20-7 edge with 10:07 left in the fourth quarter. Derrick Henry added a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:44 left, marking the 11th consecutive game in which he has scored on the ground, to give the Tide the final 27-7 victory margin.

Arkansas' first touchdown came in the second quarter on a four-yard pass by quarterback Brandon Allen to wide receiver Drew Morgan after the Hogs took possession at the Tide 12 following an interception. Arkansas added a late 54-yard touchdown pass by Allen to wide receiver Dominique Reed with 1:37 left in the game.

Led by linebacker Reggie Ragland's eight tackles (seven solos), Alabama's defensive was unyielding, allowing only 220 total yards to the Razorbacks (176 passing, 44 rushing) while allowing just 1.8 yards per rush. Ragland also had one quarterback sack, broke up a pass, had two quarterback hurries and forced a fumble.

The Tide offense gained 396 total yards, including 134 on the ground against one of the nation's top rushing defenses. Coker completed 24 of 33 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Ridley caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Henry rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Alabama punter JK Scott averaged 50.0 yards per punt on four attempts, placing two inside the Arkansas 20-yard line.

Alabama: 5-1, 2-1 SEC

@ #9 Texas A&M AggiesEdit

#10 Alabama Crimson Tide at #9 Texas A&M Aggies – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#10 Alabama 14 14 3 10 41
#9 Texas A&M 3 10 7 3 23

at Kyle FieldCollege Station, TX

  • Date: October 17, 2015
  • Game time: 2:39 p.m.
  • Game weather: 82 degrees, Clear Skies, Wind 1 mph
  • Game attendance: 105,733
  • Referee: Matt Austin
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The 10th-ranked University of Alabama football team used a punishing rushing offense and big plays from its defense to defeat No. 9- Texas A&M, 41-23, on Saturday before a crowd of 105,733 at Kyle Field. Alabama (6-1 overall; 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference) intercepted four passes, returning three for touchdowns, to knock off the previously unbeaten Aggies (5-1 overall; 2-1 in the SEC).

Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry rushed for 236 yards and two touchdowns while cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick and strong safety Eddie Jackson nabbed two interceptions each. Jackson returned one for a 93-yard touchdown as the Tide defense scored three times - a first in Alabama history. Fitzpatrick scored two touchdowns via interception returns, first on a 33-yard return in the first quarter and later on a game-clinching 55-yarder. Alabama quarterback Jake Coker passed for 138 yards while completing 19-of-25 passes.

Alabama built a 28-6 lead midway through the second quarter with Henry rushing 15 times for 178 yards and three scores in the first half and the Tide defense holding the explosive A&M offense to 189 total yards. After Fitzpatrick's interception return, Henry rumbled 55 yards to pay dirt with 5:26 left in the opening stanza before tacking on a 6-yard scoring run with 14:51 left in the half. Jackson's 93-yard scoring play extended the lead to 28-6 before A&M struck back on a 68-yard punt return touchdown by Christian Kirk with 3:03 left in the first half. Alabama led, 28-13, at halftime.

A&M narrowed the Alabama lead to 28-20 early in the third period on a 3-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Allen to wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. The Tide extended its lead to 34-20 on a pair of Adam Griffith field goals before A&M's Taylor Bertolet hit a 36-yard field goal with 7:57 left in the fourth quarter, Bertolet's third counter of the game. Fitzpatrick stopped an Aggie drive with his second interception of the day, which he returned 55 yards for his second score of the game. It set a Crimson Tide single-game record for interceptions return for a touchdown, both for the team and an individual.

Alabama: 6-1, 3-1 SEC

vs Tennessee VolunteersEdit

Tennessee Volunteers at #8 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Tennessee 7 0 0 7 14
#8 Alabama 7 0 3 9 19

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: October 24, 2015
  • Game time: 2:40 p.m.
  • Game weather: 82, Partly Cloudy, Wind SE @ 11 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,821
  • Referee: John McDaid
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

In a tight, hard-hitting struggle that lived up to the legacy of one of college football's most history-rich rivalries, the 8th-ranked University of Alabama football team (7-1 overall; 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference) used a clutch touchdown drive by its offense and a staunch outing from its defense to overcome a late deficit in a 19-14 win over Tennessee (3-3 overall; 1-2 in the SEC) on Saturday afternoon before a capacity crowd of 101,821 at Bryant–Denny Stadium.

After Tennessee tailback Jalen Hurd ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 5:49 left, the Tide offense responded with a decisive 71-yard march to the end zone. Tide quarterback Jake Coker completed key passes of 29 yards to wide receiver ArDarius Stewart and 15 yards to wide receiver Calvin Ridley on the drive that was punctuated by running back Derrick Henry's tough running. Henry carried five times for 35 yards on the winning drive, including the game-winning 14-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left.

Henry rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns, Stewart had six catches for 114 yards, and Coker passed for 247 yards while completing 21-of-27 passes. Linebacker Reggie Ragland led the Tide defense with a game-high 12 tackles (eight solos), including a tackle for loss and punter J.K. Scott averaged 49.8 yards on four punts, including a 56-yarder.

Alabama broke on top early on a 20-yard touchdown run by Henry with 7:14 left in the first quarter. The score marked the 13th consecutive game in which Henry has scored a rushing touchdown. Tennessee struck back to tie it at 7-7 on an 11-yard pass from quarterback Joshua Dobbs to wide receiver Josh Smith with 3:00 left in the opening period.

Tied at halftime, 7-7, Alabama broke on top on the first possession of the second half by driving 73 yards in 12 plays to a 19-yard field goal by Adam Griffith for a 10-7 lead with 9:00 left in the third period.

Three Tennessee scoring opportunities ended in missed field goals, a 43-yarder in the first quarter on the game's first series, a 51-yarder on the final play of the first half, and another 51-yarder with 14:06 left in the fourth period. The first would have given the Vols a 3-0 lead, the second would have given UT a 10-7 halftime lead, and the third would have tied the game at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter.

Taking the ball at the Tide 33 with 14:06 left in the fourth period, Alabama moved 56 yards in 12 plays while eating 6:58 of game time. A key sequence on the drive began with a third-and-11 play at the UT 46 with 10:19 left. Coker completed a 15-yard pass to Stewart for a first down at the UT 31. After a 10-yard penalty created a first-and-20 at the UT 41, a pass to receiver Calvin Ridley gained 26 yards to the UT 15. Ridley adjusted back to the pass after being covered on the play, grabbing the ball at the sideline and gaining several more yards after the catch. Henry gained five yards on a rush at right tackle to the Vol 10 on first down, then was dropped for a loss of a yard on second down. On third-and-six at the UT 11, Coker's fade pass to receiver Richard Mullaney was incomplete in the end zone. That set up a 28-yard field goal attempt by Griffith with 7:13 on the clock. Griffith kicked it true to give the Tide a 13-7 lead with 7:08 left in the fourth period.

Tennessee stormed back with authority to take a 14-13 lead, blazing 75 yards in four plays to take the lead on a 12-yard run by tailback Jalen Hurd with 5:49 on the clock. Dobbs connected with Smith for 27 yards on a crossing patter to start the drive, reaching the Tide 48. Two plays later, Dobbs hit a slant pass to receiver Josh Malone for 34 yards to the Tide 12. Hurd raced around left end into the end zone on the next play.

Alabama responded on the ensuing possession. Facing 2nd and 11 at the Tide 27, Coker completed a 27-yard pass to Stewart at the UT 44 with 4:29 left. Stewart made an acrobatic catch despite tight coverage. Henry gained two yards at left guard to the UT 42 on first down, then carried for two more to Vols 40. Facing third-and-six at the 40, Coker lobbed a pass to Ridley at the left sideline and Ridley made a leaping catch over a Tennessee defender for a 15-yard gain to the Tennessee 25. Henry gained six yards at right guard on first down to the UT 19. Tennessee called its first timeout with 3:02 left. On second-and four, Henry muscled up the middle for five yards to a first down at the UT 14. With the clock running under 2:30, Henry took a handoff at left end and ran behind good blocking for 14 yards and a touchdown with 2:24 left. Leading by five points, Alabama went for a two-point conversion. A pass to Ridley was incomplete, broken up by Tennessee cornerback Justin Martin, and the Tide held a 19-14 lead with 2:24 left.

Tennessee took possession at its 25 following a touchback on the kickoff. On the third play of the possession, Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen sacked Dobbs for a nine-yard loss at the UT 26. Facing a second-and-24 at the UT 21 following a false start penalty, Dobbs was sacked by Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson for a loss of 10 at the UT 11. Dobbs fumbled on the play and Alabama's A'Shawn Robinson recovered at the UT 13. Robinson returned the fumble nine yards to the UT 4 with 1:18 left. Coker took a knee on three consecutive snaps to end the game.

Alabama: 7-1, 4-1 SEC

vs #2 LSU TigersEdit

#2 LSU Tigers at #4 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#2 LSU 0 10 0 6 16
#4 Alabama 0 13 14 3 30

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: November 7, 2015
  • Game time: 7:10 p.m.
  • Game weather: 57, Rain, Winds at 3 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,821
  • Referee: Hubert Owens
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The University of Alabama defense limited Louisiana State University running back Leonard Fournette to 31 rushing yards while the Crimson Tide offense rode a 210-yard, three-touchdown rushing performance by running back Derrick Henry to a 30-16 victory before a capacity crowd of 101,821 on Saturday night at Bryant–Denny Stadium. The victory moved No. 4 Alabama (9-1 overall; 5-1 in the Southeastern Conference) into a tie with No. 2 LSU (7-2 overall; 4-1 in the SEC) for the lead in the SEC's West Division.

Fournette, who entered the game as the nation's leading rusher averaging 193.1 yards rushing per game, could not get going against the Crimson Tide defense. But Henry rushed for touchdowns of two yards, one yard and seven yards while carrying the ball 38 times, the third-most carries by one player in a single game in Alabama football history. Fournette had an 18-yard run at the 11:00 mark of the fourth quarter after a Henry fumble set up the Tigers at the Tide 22. But by that time, the Tide had built a 30-10 lead and the outcome was decided.

Alabama was dominant early, breaking out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter on a 22-yard Adam Griffith field goal and Henry's two-yard scoring rush that came after a 40-yard run in which he fended off three would-be tacklers while rumbling deep into LSU territory. But the Tigers struck back to tie it at 10-10 with an explosive passing game. Quarterback Brandon Harris hit wide receiver Travin Dural for a 40-yard touchdown pass and Trent Domingue followed with a 39-yard field goal to tie it. But Alabama took a 13-10 lead at halftime on a career-long 55-yard field goal by Griffith with 14 seconds left in the half.

After Tide linebacker Dillon Lee intercepted a Harris pass on the first play of the third quarter to set Alabama up at the LSU 28, Henry capped a touchdown drive with a 1-yard run to stake the Tide to a 20-10 lead with 13:00 left in the period. Henry extended the lead with a seven-yard scoring run with 2:47 left in the third quarter and Griffith added a 29-yard field goal with 12:45 left in the fourth period for a 30-10 Alabama lead.

LSU showed life late after Henry lost a fumble at the Tide 22. The Tigers marched 22 yards in four plays with Fournette scoring on a one-yard run with 9:18 on the clock. The extra-point was blocked by the Tide's A'Shawn Robinson as the Tide held a 30-16 lead.

The Alabama defense created seven plays of negative yardage by the LSU offense in the game, including seven tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. LSU was limited to 182 total yards in the game (54 rushing, 128 passing). The Alabama offense gained 434 total yards, including 250 rushing, and had the ball for 39:27 of game time. Tide safety Geno Matias-Smith led the Tide defense with six tackles. Alabama punter JK Scott averaged 45.0 yards on three punts with a long of 50 yards, including one punt downed inside the LSU 20. Griffith made all three field goal attempts, running his streak of successful attempts to seven straight.

Alabama: 8-1, 5-1 SEC

@ #17 Mississippi State BulldogsEdit

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide at #17 Mississippi State Bulldogs – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Alabama 0 21 3 7 31
#17 Mississippi State 0 3 3 0 6

at Davis Wade StadiumStarkville, MS

  • Date: November 14, 2015
  • Game time: 2:39 p.m.
  • Game weather: 65, partly cloudy, winds @ 4 mph
  • Game attendance: 62,435
  • Referee: Ken Williamson
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The University of Alabama defense sacked Mississippi State (7-3 overall; 3-3 in the SEC) quarterback Dak Prescott nine times and Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-6 victory over the Bulldogs before an overflow crowd of 62,435 at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field on Saturday.

Alabama's defense produced 12 plays for losses against a high-powered State offense, limiting the explosive Prescott to 14 rushing yards on 26 attempts and holding the Bulldogs out of the end zone for the first time in 36 games dating back to MSU's 2013 season opener. It also marked the end of a 32-game streak by Prescott in which he had scored a touchdown in a game, the longest streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The nine quarterback sacks by the Tide defense is the most by an Alabama defense since 1998 when it also tallied nine against Vanderbilt.

Henry scored on runs of 75 and 65 yards as the Crimson Tide offense overcame a slow start with a methodical ground game while the Tide defense held off several State scoring threats. Henry turned in over 200 yards rushing in a game for the third time in 2015, becoming the second Alabama back to do that three times in a single season, following Bobby Humphrey who rushed for 200+ yards in three games during the 1986 season.

Tide linebacker Reuben Foster led Alabama with 10 tackles (six solo). Defensive end Jonathan Allen had three quarterback sacks among his seven tackles. Defensive end A'Shawn Robinson had 2.5 sacks among his five tackles, linebacker Ryan Anderson had two sacks among his five tackles and linebacker Tim Williams added two sacks in his five stops. Nose guard Da'Ron Payne had 1.5 sacks in his three stops while linebacker Denzel Devall had one sack on his only tackle of the day. Alabama racked up 12 tackles for losses totaling 58 yards, forced three fumbles (recovering one), broke up seven passes and had four quarterback hurries on the day.

Alabama broke on top, 7-0, early in the second quarter on a 69-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones. On Alabama's next possession, wide receiver Calvin Ridley took a pass from Coker at the Tide 49 in the middle of the field, cut back and juked a defender, then raced to the end zone to complete a 60-yard scoring play, extending the Tide lead to 14-0. State responded on the next possession with a 31-yard field goal by Westin Graves that narrowed the lead to 14-3 before Henry raced 74 yards for a touchdown to give the Tide a 21-3 lead at the half.

A 42-yard field goal by Adam Griffith gave Alabama a 24-3 lead early in the third quarter. State added a 39-yard field goal by Graves late in the third quarter before Henry sealed the verdict with a 65-yard touchdown run with 7:53 left in the game.

Alabama: 9-1, 6-1 SEC

vs Charleston Southern BuccaneersEdit

Charleston Southern Buccaneers at #2 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Charleston Southern 0 0 0 6 6
#2 Alabama 28 21 0 7 56

at Bryant–Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL

  • Date: November 21, 2015
  • Game time: 3:02 p.m.
  • Game weather: 66, Partly Cloudy, Wind WSW @ 4 mph
  • Game attendance: 100,611
  • Referee: Brad Rogers
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (color), Kayce Smith (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

The second-ranked University of Alabama Crimson Tide in a 56-6 victory before a crowd of 100,611 at Bryant–Denny Stadium Saturday. Alabama raced to a 28-0 lead after the first quarter on the way to a 49-0 halftime advantage, scoring touchdowns on its first five offensive possessions and adding scores on a pair of punt returns.

Playing only the first quarter of Saturday's game, Alabama running back Derrick Henry rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries. He also caught a pass for 28 yards. Henry's two rushing touchdowns opened the scoring and Cyrus Jones' punt returns highlighted the opening half onslaught as the Tide prepared for its annual Iron Bowl clash with Auburn by dispatching the Buccaneers quickly. The Alabama defense was dominant throughout, allowing only 31 total yards and three first downs in the opening half.

Due to the big lead, Alabama's starters sat out the second half. In two quarters of play, quarterback Jake Coker completed 11 of 13 pass attempts for 155 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley had four catches for 49 yards, wide receiver ArDarius Stewart had four catches for 45 yards and wideout Richard Mullaney had one catch for a 21-yard touchdown. The offensive starters yielded to the Tide's second-team offense late in the second period. Reserve running back Bo Scarborough had a game-high 69 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

The Alabama defense limited CSU to 134 total yards (85 rushing, 49 passing) and eight first downs in the game, holding the Buccaneers to 1-of-10 on third downs while causing two turnovers (one fumble and one interception). Cornerback Bradley Sylve and defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson both had four tackles each to lead the Tide.

Henry started the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown run with 11:36 left in the first quarter, capping the game's first possession. It was Henry's 16th consecutive game with a touchdown. Henry ended the Tide's next possession with a 2-yard scoring run to give Alabama a 14-0 lead with 5:50 left in the opening period. That gave him 21 rushing touchdowns in 2015, tying the school record set by Trent Richardson in 2011, and also gave Henry 35 career rushing scores to tie Richardson for fourth on the Tide's career rushing touchdowns list. After the Tide forced another CSU punt, Alabama capped its third possession with its third touchdown of the game, this one a 21-yard pass from Coker to wide receiver Richard Mullaney with 2:28 left in the opening quarter. Cyrus Jones closed the quarter with a 43-yard punt return for a touchdown on the final play of the period for a 28-0 Alabama lead, marking the second consecutive game in which Jones has taken a punt the distance.

A 30-yard pass from Coker to wide receiver Calvin Ridley gave the Tide a 35-0 lead at 7:07 of the second quarter, capping an 86-yard drive and giving Alabama four touchdowns in four offensive possessions. Three minutes later, following CSU's next possession, Jones took another punt for a touchdown, this one going 72 yards for a 42-0 lead. It marked the first time in Crimson Tide history that an Alabama player has returned two punts for touchdowns in the same game. Alabama led, 49-0, at the half via Bo Scarborough's one-yard run with 1:53 left in the half. The 49 points scored by the Tide was the most in a half by an Alabama team since scoring 52 points against Vanderbilt 1990. CSU quarterback Kyle Copeland's three-yard run early in the fourth quarter prevented a shutout. Alabama running back Damien Harris scored on a six-yard run in the fourth period to end the Tide's scoring.

Alabama: 10-1, 6-1 SEC

@ Auburn TigersEdit

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide at Auburn Tigers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Alabama 3 9 7 10 29
Auburn 6 0 7 0 13

at Jordan–Hare StadiumAuburn, AL

  • Date: November 28, 2015
  • Game time: 2:39 p.m.
  • Game weather: 73 degrees, winds @ 5 mph
  • Game attendance: 87,451
  • Referee: Tom Ritter
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:
Game information

University of Alabama running back Derrick Henry rushed for 271 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 46 carries to lead the Crimson Tide (11-1 overall; 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference) to a 29-13 over the Auburn Tigers (6-6 overall; 2-6 in the SEC) Saturday afternoon before a capacity crowd of 87,451 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The victory gave the Crimson Tide the SEC's Western Division title and earned Alabama a berth in the SEC Championship Game against the Florida Gators next Saturday, December 5, in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

With the game on the line in the final quarter, Henry rushed 19 times for 114 yards in the fourth quarter alone to lead the Tide out of a tense situation in which they were clinging to a 19-13 lead midway through the period. After Alabama took a 22-13 lead on Adam Griffith's fifth field goal of the game with 10:04 left, Henry carried on every Crimson Tide snap the rest of the way, carrying the ball on 14 consecutive plays to close out the game. Henry's totals stand as the third-most rushing yards in a game by any Alabama back, and his yardage is the most ever gained by an Auburn opponent.

In addition to Henry's heroics, Alabama's offense was keyed by an accurate passing performance by quarterback Jake Coker, who completed 17 of 26 attempts for 179 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart caught a game-high eight catches for 81 yards and a score while wideout Calvin Ridley had 90 yards receiving on six catches. Griffith made good on all five field goal attempts in the game, the most by a Tide kicker in four seasons. The Alabama defense permitted only one big play in the game while limiting the explosive Tigers offense to 260 total yards (169 passing, 91 rushing).

Alabama outgained Auburn, 465 to 260, while the Tide rushed for 286 yards and passed for 179. The Tide notched 24 first downs to Auburn's 12, limited the Tigers to 3-of-15 on third downs, and had the ball for 35 minutes, 23 seconds, compared to Auburn's 24:37. Safety Geno Matias-Smith led the Tide with eight tackles and a forced fumble. Linebacker Reuben Foster had six stops, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry, while Tide cornerback Marlon Humphrey had six tackles on the night. Linebacker Reggie Ragland had five stops while directing the Tide defense on the field.

Alabama broke on top early with a field goal to cap its first offensive possession of the game. The Tide marched 48 yards in eight plays to the Auburn 9 where Adam Griffith entered to kick a 26-yard field goal, giving Alabama a 3-0 lead with 11:28 on the clock. Henry carried four times for 36 yards on the march, keying the drive with a 30-yard run to the Auburn 14. Stewart caught three passes for 12 yards on the opening drive. Auburn struck right back, moving 68 yards in nine plays to a 24-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson that tied the game at 3-3 with 7:35 on the clock. Auburn took the lead on its next series, a seven-play, 22-yard drive that stalled at the Tide 27. From there, Carlson entered to kick a 44-yard field goal that gave Auburn a 6-3 lead with 1:49 on the clock. The Tide came right back with a field goal to tie it, this one a 41-yarder by Griffith with 11:47 left to knot the score at 6-6. Henry carried seven times for 51 yards on the 14-play drive that covered 67 yards.

The Tide moved 55 yards in 5 plays to take the lead early in the second quarter, highlighted by a 46-yard pass from Coker to Ridley, who made an outstanding catch in double coverage at the Tiger 5. Alabama settled for a third field goal, this one a 26-yarder by Griffith, for a 9-6 lead with 6:58 left in the half. After an Auburn drive ended in a missed 48-yard field goal with 1:24 left, Alabama moved quickly. ArDarius Stewart made a spectacular leaping catch for a 17-yard gain on the first play, then Henry took a handoff around right tackle for 15 yards to the Auburn 36. After Henry gained three on a rush up the middle, two incompletions forced a 50-yard field goal try by Griffith. Griffith nailed it for his fourth of the half to give the Tide a 12-6 lead with 24 seconds left.

Alabama lengthened its lead late in the third period, moving 85 yards in nine plays to a touchdown on an impressive 34-yard pass from Coker to Stewart with 5:14 on the clock. Under a heavy rush, Coker left the pocket and evaded two rushers before firing a dart on the run to Stewart in the end zone. Griffith's kick gave Alabama a 19-6 lead with 5:14 left in the third quarter. But Auburn retaliated quickly, as quarterback Jeremy Johnson hit wide receiver Jason Smith on a 77-yard touchdown pass on a third and long play in which Smith bobbled the ball twice into the air before hauling it in and racing untouched to the end zone. With the point-after kick by Carlson, Alabama's lead was trimmed to 19-13 with 4:27 left in the third period.

On a first down at the Tide 35, Coker was flushed from the pocket and rushed to the sidelines for a one-yard gain. A 15-yard personal foul was called on Auburn safety Johnathan Ford for a late hit on Coker as he exited the field. Another 15-yard penalty was assessed to Auburn for unsportsmanlike conduct after that play, moving the ball to the Auburn 34. Three plays later, Griffith kicked a 47-yard field goal to give the Tide a 22-13 lead with 10:04 left in the fourth period. This drive is infamous for the commentary by the Auburn radio announcers, who showed extreme bias in complaining about the officiating, and attacking Coach Nick Saban in their deflection of Auburn's sideline penalty.

After forcing an Auburn punt, Alabama took over possession with 7:49 left at its own 18. Henry and the Tide offensive line took over from there, beginning with a 16-yard gain on the first play and giving the ball to Henry 14 consecutive times. The first 10 of those plays ended when Henry was stopped on a fourth-and-one play at the Auburn 31 with 2:46 left. After Auburn was stuffed on the next possession, Alabama took over again at the Tiger 34. Henry carried the next four plays, closing it out with a 25-yard burst around right end for the clinching touchdown with 26 seconds left in the game.

Alabama: 11-1, 7-1 SEC

vs. #18 Florida GatorsEdit

#18 Florida Gators vs #2 Alabama Crimson Tide – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#18 Florida 0 7 0 8 15
#2 Alabama 2 10 10 7 29

at Georgia DomeAtlanta, GA

  • Date: December 5, 2015
  • Game time: 4:10 p.m.
  • Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
  • Game attendance: 75,320
  • Referee: Matt Austin
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Sources:

The Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1 overall) used a dominant performance by its defense and a record-setting day by running back Derrick Henry to defeat the Florida Gators (10-3 overall), 29-15, to win the 2015 Southeastern Conference Championship Game in front of a crowd of 75,320 at the Georgia Dome (capacity: 71,500). The SEC title, the 25th in Crimson Tide history, made the Tide the first team to earn back-to-back SEC Championship Game victories since Tennessee did so in 1997-98.

The Alabama defense stifled Florida's offense for much of the game, holding the Gators to 180 total yards including only 15 yards rushing. From the end of the first quarter through Florida's first possession of the fourth period (13:16 left in the game), the Alabama defense held the Gators to only three yards of total offense. During that time frame, the Tide erased an early 7-2 deficit while running off 27 unanswered points to secure the victory.

Henry rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries, increasing his 2015 season rushing total to 1,986 yards. He broke the SEC single-season rushing yards record previously held by Herschel Walker of Georgia (1,891 yards in 1981) on a second-and-three play on which Henry ran at right tackle and gained seven yards with 4:00 left in the third period. Henry earned Most Valuable Player honors for his performance. Tide quarterback Jake Coker completed 18 of 26 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley had 103 yards on a game-high eight catches and receiver ArDarius Stewart had four catches for 64 yards.

The Crimson Tide defense registered five quarterback sacks, posted nine tackles for loss, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble. Florida's offense managed only seven first downs and had the ball for 16:31 of game time while Alabama dominated in time of possession with 43:29. Linebacker Ryan Anderson led Alabama with four tackles and three quarterback hurries while cornerback Marlon Humphrey had three stops and an interception.

Alabama opened the scoring with a safety on a blocked punt as Tide linebacker Keith Holcombe's block of Florida punter Johnny Townsend's kick bounced through the back of the end zone for a safety to give the Tide a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Florida took a 7-2 lead on an 85-yard punt return by Antonio Calloway, the longest in SEC Championship Game history. Moments later, Alabama responded with a 28-yard field goal by Adam Griffith, narrowing the Gator lead to 7-5. Late in the first half, a 55-yard bomb from Coker to receiver Calvin Ridley took the ball to the Gator 3, setting up a two-yard touchdown run by Henry to put the Tide in the lead, 12-7, at halftime.

Alabama extended its lead to 15-7 midway through the third period on a 30-yard field goal by Griffith. The lead moved to 22-7 later in the third on a leaping touchdown grab of a Coker pass amidst three Florida defenders by receiver ArDarius Stewart. Alabama's lead grew to 29-7 on a nine-yard pass from Coker to receiver Richard Mullaney midway in the fourth quarter. Florida's offense reached paydirt in the fourth period on a 46-yards pass from Treon Harris to receiver C.J. Worton. Harris ran for two points and the Alabama lead had narrowed to 29-15 with 5:02 on the clock. Even though Alabama was forced to punt on their next possession, their defense held by sacking Harris on a fourth down attempt.

Alabama: 12-1, 8-1 SEC

CFP PlayoffEdit

vs. #3 Michigan State Spartans – (Cotton Bowl Classic – CFP Semifinal)Edit

#3 Michigan State Spartans vs #2 Alabama Crimson Tide - Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#3 Michigan State 0 0 0 0 0
#2 Alabama 0 10 21 7 38

at AT&T StadiumArlington, TX

  • Date: December 31, 2015
  • Game time: 7:21 p.m.
  • Game weather: Played indoors (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 82,812
  • Referee: Mike DeFee
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color), Heather Cox & Tom Rinaldi (sideline)
  • Sources:

The Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1 overall), ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings, produced a dominant performance for a 38-0 victory over the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans (12-2) Thursday night in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in front of a crowd of 82,812 at AT&T Stadium (capacity: 71,815). With the victory, Alabama advances to the CFP National Championship Game against the No. 1 Clemson Tigers set for Monday, January 11, 2016, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The Alabama defense produced another excellent performance against a quality opponent, shutting down the Spartans' offense for much of the game, holding the Spartans to only 29 rushing yards and 239 total yards. Meanwhile, Tide cornerback Cyrus Jones produced game-changing plays with an interception to stop an MSU scoring threat and a punt return for a touchdown that sealed the verdict. The Tide defense registered four quarterback sacks, posted six tackles for loss, and intercepted two passes.

Linebacker Reggie Ragland led Alabama with seven tackles while linebacker Dillon Lee had six stops and intercepted a pass. Linebacker Ryan Anderson had four tackles, including a sack and two tackles for losses. Linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Geno Matias-Smith also had four tackles in the game. Alabama limited MSU's outstanding quarterback, Connor Cook, to 186 passing yards on 17 completions in 33 attempts with 2 interceptions and no touchdowns.

Alabama's offense produced 440 total yards (286 passing, 154 rushing) led by senior quarterback Jake Coker's career-best 286 passing yards and two touchdowns. Coker was deadly accurate, completing 25 of 30 pass attempts. Freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley had 138 receiving yards on 8 catches for 2 touchdowns, setting a new Alabama freshman record for single-season receiving yards in the process (1,031 yards). Heisman Trophy winning running back Derrick Henry rushed for 75 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries, becoming only the 25th running back in NCAA history (encompassing all divisions) to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. He enters the CFP title game with 2,061 rushing yards in 2015.

After a scoreless first quarter, the teams continued in a standoff well into the second quarter until the Tide moved 80 yards in six plays to a touchdown to break on top, 7-0, on a 1-yard run by Henry with 5:36 left in the first half. Clutch plays in the passing game keyed the drive that was highlighted by a 50-yard pass from Coker to Ridley that reached the MSU 1-yard line. Henry's touchdown run was his 24th, breaking the Southeastern Conference record for rushing TDs in a season (previously held by Auburn's Tre Mason in 2013 and Florida's Tim Tebow in 2006). Placekicker Adam Griffith connected on a 47-yard field goal to give the Tide a 10-0 lead with 1:25 left in the half. Tide cornerback Cyrus Jones made a huge play at the end of the first half. The Spartans had marched to the Tide 12 in the final minute of the half before Jones leaped high to intercept a Connor Cook pass at the Tide 2-yard line in the waning seconds of the half, ending a scoring threat and protecting the Tide's 10-0 lead heading into halftime.

Alabama extended the lead to 17-0 on the opening drive of the second half, moving 75 yards in nine plays to pay dirt on a six-yard pass to Ridley along the sideline in the end zone. Later in the third period, Jones returned an MSU punt 57 yards for a touchdown to give the Tide a 24-0 lead with 3:24 left in the third period. Just 1:04 later, Coker and Ridley connected on a 50-yard touchdown bomb to move the Tide to a 31-0 lead with 2:20 left in the third period. Henry closed the scoring with an 11-yard run with 7:52 left in the game.

Alabama: 13-1, 8-1 SEC

vs. #1 Clemson TigersEdit

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs #1 Clemson Tigers - Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
#2 Alabama 7 7 7 24 45
#1 Clemson 14 0 10 16 40

at University of Phoenix StadiumGlendale, AZ

  • Date: January 11, 2016
  • Game time: 6:33 p.m.
  • Game weather: Played indoors (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 75,765
  • Referee: Terry Leyden (Pac-12)
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color), Heather Cox & Tom Rinaldi (sideline)
  • Sources:

Alabama came off a stellar defensive performance in the semifinal game, and was looking to contain Clemson's QB Deshaun Watson, but Alabama defense was quickly forced into conceding most of the field and stopping Clemson in the redzone. Alabama's offense was stressed at the line of scrimmage by Clemson's defensive line led by Shaq Lawson. Despite being statistically outplayed by Clemson (550 Clemson offensive yards to 473 Alabama) offensively and statistically tied in other areas, Alabama was able to capitalize on three key plays: an interception of Deshaun Watson's pass early in the second quarter, a surprise Alabama onside kick early in the fourth quarter, and an Alabama kickoff return for a touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter. These plays accounted for 21 points, and Alabama won the game 45 to 40.

Having won the coin toss to start the game, Clemson elected to defer to the second half. Characteristic of Alabama, the offensive opening drive was slow and cautious but notable for utilizing Derrick Henry four times, a schematic change of pace from that of the Semifinal game against Michigan State. Alabama and Clemson would trade punting drives before, on the next Alabama possession, Derrick Henry was utilized three times. On the third run, Derrick would find an opening for a 50-yard touchdown run (7-0). However, on the next two Clemson possessions Deshaun Watson used his characteristic speed, agility, and elusiveness to sustain drives with a mixture of QB runs and fade routes against Alabama's top-ranked defense. These two drives both culminated in TD throws to Hunter Renfrow (7-14) the later of which ended the first quarter.

On Alabama's next possession to start the second quarter, despite a promising start in a 29-yard pass to Richard Mullaney, Alabama's offensive line conceded a sack by Kevin Dodd and a tackle for loss on Derrick Henry. Characteristic of Alabama, facing third and long offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin enacted for extra field position on a punt with a short throw to Ridley rather than attempting a first down pass. Despite the seemingly dire situation, on the ensuing Clemson drive Deshaun Watson was intercepted by Eddie Jackson at the Clemson 42 yard line. The resulting Alabama possession culminated in a 1-yard TD run by Derrick Henry (14-14). After this flurry, both Clemson and Alabama played more cautiously as each of the three following possessions by both teams went no further than 40 yards. Clemson's last possession of the half resulted in a blocked field goal.

Going into the third quarter, Clemson opted to receive the ball but was forced into a quick three and out. On Alabama's next possession, TE OJ Howard found himself open in space for a 53-yard touchdown (21-14). Clemson responded with a mixture of QB runs, pass plays by Deshaun Watson, and key run plays by RB Wayne Gallman on its next two drives to get a 37-yard field goal by Greg Hugel (21-17) and a 1-yard touchdown run by Wayne Gallman (21-24). Both teams were then stalled for three and outs or near three and outs on their next two possessions to close the Third quarter.

On Alabama's first possession of the fourth quarter, Jake Coker found ArDarius Stewart in single man coverage for 38 yards. This gain, however, did not translate into a touchdown as the offense was stalled by good secondary play from Clemson. Alabama settled for a field goal from 33 yards to tie the game (24-24). On the ensuing kickoff Alabama gambled on a surprise onside kick, executed to perfection by Adam Griffith and caught by Marlon Humphrey. Alabama capitalized almost immediately with another 50+ touchdown pass to a wide open OJ Howard (31-24). Clemson pulled within 4 once again. However, Alabama's defense held in the red zone and forced a field goal from Clemson (31-27). On the ensuing kickoff, Alabama RB Kenyan Drake stunned Clemson by taking the ball 95 yards for an Alabama touchdown (38-27). Deshaun Watson quickly answered with an 8 play 75 yard touchdown drive which culminated in a 15-yard touchdown pass to WR Artavius Scott. In attempt to pull within three points of Alabama (and thus within a field goal of tying the game), Clemson attempted a two-point conversion with what morphed into a naked bootleg QB run by Deshaun Watson which was stopped short (38-33). On Alabama's next possession QB Jake Coker passed the ball in a checkdown screen to OJ Howard who, getting good blocking, ran for 63 yards. With less than 3 minutes left in the game, ran the ball up the middle to convert downs. After a key third down scramble for a first down by Jake Coker, Derrick Henry, on third down, broke the touchdown plane with the nose of the ball over the top of the goal line pile of players for a 1-yard TD run (45-33). A stellar performance by Deshaun Watson on a 55-second drive culminated in a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Leggett with 12 seconds left on the clock (45-40). Clemson attempted an onside kick but the ball was recovered by Alabama sealing Alabama victory. This was the fourth Alabama national championship win in seven years, first of the CFB era, and Head Coach Nick Saban's fifth overall.

Alabama: 14-1, 8-1 SEC

RankingsEdit

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP 3 2 2 12 13 8 10 8 7 (1) 7 (1) 3 (2) 3 (4) 2 (6) 2 (8) 2 (9) 1 (61)  
Coaches 3 (1) 2 (1) 2 (1) 12 13 10 9 8 7 7 4 (3) 3 (4) 2 (5) 2 (8) 2 (5) 1 (56)  
CFP Not released 4 2 2 2 2 2 Not released


StatisticsEdit

TeamEdit

OffenseEdit

DefenseEdit

Key: POS: Position, SOLO: Solo Tackles, AST: Assisted Tackles, TOT: Total Tackles, TFL: Tackles-for-loss, SACK: Quarterback Sacks, INT: Interceptions, BU: Passes Broken Up, PD: Passes Defended, QBH: Quarterback Hits, FF: Forced Fumbles, FR: Fumbles Recovered, BLK: Kicks or Punts Blocked, SAF: Safeties

Special teamsEdit

Scores by quarter (all opponents)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
All opponents 3 27 23 27 80
Alabama 24 61 59 37 181

Scores by quarter (SEC opponents)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
SEC opponents 3 17 20 13 53
Alabama 3 31 21 20 75

Postseason and awardsEdit

Conference awardsEdit

Preseason award watchlistsEdit

SemifinalistsEdit

Players

Coaches

FinalistsEdit

Players

Coaches

HonorsEdit

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
  • Bye

Preseason All-SEC team

First-Team Offense
  • OL, Cam Robinson, Alabama (167)
  • C, Ryan Kelly, Alabama (144)
Second-Team Offense
  • RB, Derrick Henry, Alabama (151)
Third-Team Offense
  • RB, Kenyan Drake, Alabama (34)
  • TE, O.J. Howard, Alabama (87)
First-Team Defense
  • DL, A'Shawn Robinson, Alabama (160)
  • LB, Reggie Ragland, Alabama (181)
  • DB, Cyrus Jones, Alabama (126)
Second-Team Defense
  • DL, Jonathan Allen, Alabama (99)
Third-Team Defense
  • DL, Jarran Reed, Alabama (60)
  • DB, Eddie Jackson, Alabama (58)
First-Team Special Teams
  • P, JK Scott, Alabama (161)

Preseason All-Americans

All-AmericansEdit

Each year several publications release lists of their ideal "team". The athletes on these lists are referred to as All-Americans. The NCAA recognizes five All-American lists. They are the Associated Press (AP), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Sporting News (SN), and the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF). If a player is selected to the first team of three publications he is considered a consensus All-American, if a player is selected to the first team of all five publications he is considered a unanimous All-American.

Key:
First team
Consensus All-American
Unanimous All-American

SEC All-Conference TeamEdit

The Crimson Tide had TBA players honored as members of the 2015 SEC All-Conference team, with five each on the first and second teams, respectively. TBA other Crimson Tide earned honorable mention honors.

  • First Team
  • Second Team
  • Honorable Mention

All-Academic TeamsEdit

NCAA Academic All-AmericansEdit

SEC Conference All-Academic PlayersEdit

The Crimson Tide had two players selected to the Southeastern Conference All-Academic Second Team, six players granted honorable mention and no players selected to the First Team. In order to be eligible for the academic team a player must maintain a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and play in at least 50 percent of their team's games.

  • First team
  • Second Team
  • Honorable Mention

Records brokenEdit

1. Alabama played the most difficult schedule of any national championship team in NCAA history. Of the 15 teams Alabama played, 14 had a winning record, 13 played in bowl games and Alabama defeated 12 of them, 8 won bowl their games, 6 won 10 or more games, 3 won 9 games, 2 won 8 games, and 2 won 7 games. Two conference champions (Big 10 and ACC) were defeated in the Playoffs by Alabama. 7 of Alabama’s opponents were ranked in the final AP Poll (#2 Clemson, #6 Michigan State, #10 Ole Miss, #16 LSU, #21 Wisconsin, #22 Tennessee, #25 Florida). In the final Coaches Poll, 8 of Alabama’s opponents were ranked (the same teams as in the AP plus #24 Georgia).

2. Alabama’s opponents had a 134-49 combined record for a 73% combined winning percentage (not counting head to head games against Alabama): the highest opponent combined winning percentage of any national championship team in NCAA history.

3. Derrick Henry set an SEC rushing record in 2015: 395 rushes for 2219 yards, eclipsing Herschel Walker’s 1981 SEC rushing record of 1891 yards on 381 carries.

4. Derrick Henry set an SEC rushing TD record with 28 rushing TDs, eclipsing the previous record of 23 previously held by Tim Tebow (2007) and Tre Mason (2013).

5. Derrick Henry set an SEC single season rushing carries record with 395 carries, eclipsing the previous 1981 record of 381 carries set by Georgia's Herschel Walker.


6. O.J. Howard set a BCS/Playoff national championship game receiving yards record with 5 receptions totaling 208 yards.

Postseason gamesEdit

Senior Bowl

All Star Game

NFL DraftEdit

The following members of 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide football team were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft and Draft EvaluationsEdit

Player Round Pick Position NFL Club
Ryan Kelly 1 18 Center Indianapolis Colts

[21]

NFL Draft CombineEdit

Seven members of the 2015 team were invited to participate in drills at the 2016 NFL scouting Combine.

2016 NFL Combine Participants
# Name POS HT WT Arms Hands 40 Bench Press Vert Jump Broad Jump 3 Cone Drill 20-yd Shuttle 60-yd Shuttle Ref

† Top performer

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lance Zierlein (March 30, 2015). "T. J. Yeldon Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Amari Cooper Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  3. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Landon Collins Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ Lance Zierlein (March 16, 2015). "DeAndrew White Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Blake Sims Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Jarrick Williams Bio - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site". Rolltide.Com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Christion Jones Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Trey DePriest Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Jalston Fowler Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ Lance Zierlein (March 18, 2015). "Xzavier Dickson Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Leon Brown Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  12. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Arie Kouandjio Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Austin Shepherd Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ Lance Zierlein. "Brian Vogler Draft Profile â€". Nfl.com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  15. ^ 1. "Brandon Ivory Bio - ROLLTIDE.COM - University of Alabama Official Athletic Site". Rolltide.Com. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  16. ^ DeLassus, David. "Nick L. Saban Records by Year". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Media Guide, p. 2
  18. ^ Alabama releases 2015 depth chart as Wisconsin week begins
  19. ^ Gribble, Andrew (October 14, 2014). "Alabama's 2015 football schedule revealed". AL.com. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ Ching, David (October 14, 2014). "SEC releases 2015 football schedule". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ "2012 NFL Draft". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved November 28, 2016.