1992 Alabama Crimson Tide football team
|1992 Alabama Crimson Tide football|
Consensus national champion
Sugar Bowl champion
|1992 record||13–0 (8–0 SEC)|
|Head coach||Gene Stallings (3rd year)|
|Offensive coordinator||Mal Moore|
|Home stadium||Bryant–Denny Stadium
|1992 SEC football standings|
|#10 Florida xy||6||–||2||–||0||9||–||4||–||0|
|#8 Georgia x||6||–||2||–||0||10||–||2||–||0|
|#1 Alabama x$||8||–||0||–||0||13||–||0||–||0|
|#16 Ole Miss||5||–||3||–||0||9||–||3||–||0|
|#23 Mississippi State||4||–||4||–||0||7||–||5||–||0|
|Championship: Alabama 28, Florida 21|
The 1992 Alabama Crimson Tide football team represented the University of Alabama in the 1992 NCAA Division I-A football season. This was the team's third season under head coach Gene Stallings. They played their home games at both Bryant–Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season undefeated with a record of 13–0 (8–0 in the SEC) and as National Champions. The team was noted especially for its strong defense, which led the nation in fewest points allowed (9.2 per game during the regular season) and, in a strong bowl game performance, prevented defending national champion Miami from scoring an offensive touchdown.
The 1992 Crimson Tide won their twentieth Southeastern Conference title by defeating the Florida Gators 28–21 on December 5 in the inaugural SEC Championship Game. The team then capped off Alabama's eighth perfect season by winning the 1992 national football championship, defeating the heavily favored Miami Hurricanes 34-13 in the 1993 Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1993, a matchup resulting from the first ever Bowl Coalition national championship game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide celebrated 100 years of Alabama Football in the 1992 season.
|September 5||11:30 a.m.||Vanderbilt||No. 9||Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL||JPS||W 25–8||70,123|
|September 12||4:00 p.m.||Southern Miss*||No. 8||Legion Field • Birmingham, AL||PPV||W 17–10||83,091|
|September 19||7:00 p.m.||at Arkansas||No. 9||War Memorial Stadium • Little Rock, AR||PPV||W 38–11||55,912|
|September 26||1:30 p.m.||Louisiana Tech*||No. 7||Legion Field • Birmingham, AL||W 13–0||77,622|
|October 3||2:30 p.m.||South Carolina||No. 9||Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL||PPV||W 48–7||70,123|
|October 10||7:00 p.m.||at Tulane*||No. 6||Louisiana Superdome • New Orleans, LA||PPV||W 37–0||50,240|
|October 17||2:30 p.m.||at No. 13 Tennessee||No. 4||Neyland Stadium • Knoxville, TN (Third Saturday in October)||ABC||W 17–10||97,388|
|October 24||11:30 a.m.||Ole Miss||No. 4||Bryant–Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Rivalry)||JPS||W 31–10||70,123|
|November 7||2:30 p.m.||at LSU||No. 3||Tiger Stadium • Baton Rouge, LA (Rivalry)||ABC||W 31–11||76,813|
|November 14||6:30 p.m.||at No. 16 Mississippi State||No. 2||Scott Field • Starkville, MS (Rivalry)||ESPN||W 30–21||41,320|
|November 26||12:00 p.m.||Auburn||No. 2||Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Iron Bowl)||ABC||W 17–0||83,091|
|December 5||2:30 p.m.||vs. No. 12 Florida||No. 2||Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (SEC Championship Game)||ABC||W 28–21||83,091|
|January 1, 1993||7:30 p.m.||vs. No. 1 Miami (FL)*||No. 2||Louisiana Superdome • New Orleans, LA (Sugar Bowl)||ABC||W 34–13||76,789|
|*Non-conference game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll. All times are in Central Time Zone.|
In the opener, freshman Michael Proctor kicked four field goals and Alabama defeated Vanderbilt 25–8 despite the absence of star WR/KR David Palmer, then serving a suspension for a drunk driving arrest. One Alabama touchdown came after Tide pressure caused the Vanderbilt punter to fumble the ball at his team's 6-yard line and the other came on an interception return in the fourth quarter.
Alabama held the Golden Eagles to only 54 yards of total offense and three first downs. Alabama had 383 yards total offense, but lost two fumbles and an interception and struggled to score. Alabama's only TD in the first half came on a fake punt. When the Golden Eagles tipped a pass by Alabama quarterback Jay Barker in the air in the third quarter, intercepted it, and ran it back 18 yards for a touchdown, the game was tied 7–7. On the next possession Alabama fumbled the ball away to Southern Mississippi at its own 18-yard-line. After the Golden Eagles subsequently kicked a field goal, they led 10–7 despite a total inability to move the ball on offense. It was the first of only four times all year that Alabama trailed in a game. Towards the end of the third quarter, Southern Miss returned the turnover favors, fumbling the ball away to Alabama at its own 20. Michael Proctor's field goal tied the game up with 38 seconds to go in the third. Finally, in the fourth quarter Alabama put together its only sustained drive of the game, a 63-yard march that ended with a 1-yard Chris Anderson TD. Alabama won, 17–10.
New SEC member Arkansas (the Razorbacks joined the conference along with the South Carolina Gamecocks for the 1992 season) proved no match for the Tide. Derrick Lassic scored on a 33-yard TD run on Alabama's first play from scrimmage, the Tide was up 28–0 halfway through the second quarter, and from there Alabama cruised to a 38–11 victory. Jay Barker threw for 192 yards and three touchdown passes,and Alabama had 467 yards in total offense. Arkansas governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton was in attendance.
Alabama had its worst offensive game of the season against Louisiana Tech. The Tide mustered only 167 yards of offense in the game. In the first quarter a drive to the Tech 19 ended in a field goal. In the second Bama started a possession on the Louisiana Tech 30 after a short punt and a penalty, but again could muster only a field goal. In the third Tech nearly took the lead after a 62-yard pass completion (more than half of their 117 yards total offense for the entire game) advanced the ball to the Alabama 9, but the Bulldogs could not punch it into the end zone and a field goal attempt missed. In the fourth quarter, with Alabama still clinging to a 6–0 lead, David Palmer ran a punt back 63 yards for a touchdown, making the final score 13–0. It was his first game after sitting out the first three games of the season due to his drunk driving arrest.
The other new arrival to the SEC proved to be even less of a challenge. By the time South Carolina got its first 1st down, late in the second quarter, Alabama was ahead 38–0. Alabama gave almost all of its starters the second half off, and still managed to rack up 485 yards of total offense while limiting USC to one touchdown and nine first downs. The Tide won 48–7.
One year after Alabama annihilated the Green Wave 62–0, Tulane put up stiffer resistance against the Tide, in the first half at least. Alabama penetrated inside the Tulane 25 three times in the first half but came away with only two field goals. Tulane lost a touchdown when the lineman carrying the ball on a fumblerooski touched his knee to the ground as he picked the ball up. A third field goal put Alabama up 9–0 in the third, and after another Tulane drive ended in an interception at the Tide 2, Alabama pulled away, scoring four touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to win 37–0.
Alabama dominated the Third Saturday in October matchup with Tennessee, outgaining the Vols 355 yards (301 on the ground) to 194, but nearly blew the game late after taking a 17–0 second quarter lead. Proctor missed two field goals, then, late in the third, Bama had the ball up 17–3 and with a 4th and goal at the Tennessee 2. Coach Stallings elected to go for it, but Derrick Lassic was tackled for a 1-yard loss. Heath Shuler's touchdown pass with 12:53 to go cut the deficit to 17–10, and a Tide fumble at the Tennessee 48 with 1:33 left gave UT one last chance. However, Shuler threw an interception two plays later and the Crimson Tide escaped with a victory, its seventh in a row over Tennessee. Lassic rushed for 142 yards and both Alabama touchdowns. Tennessee backup quarterback Jerry Colquitt, who came into the game in relief after a hit forced Shuler to the sideline, said of the Alabama defense that "These guys are unbelieveable [sic]. They beat you to the pocket."
Against Ole Miss, the usually dominant Tide running attack was held to 83 yards after averaging 241 yards per game going in, but Jay Barker responded by completing 25 of 39 passes for 285 yards, all career highs, and the Tide rolled over the Rebels 31–10. Kevin Lee had 82 yards receiving and David Palmer had 67 yards as well as a touchdown reception.
Chris Anderson ran for 149 yards on only 15 carries to help lift Bama to an easy 31–11 victory over LSU after starting tailback Derrick Lassic left the game with a shoulder injury in the first half. LSU had only 22 yards rushing. LSU's field goal on the first possession of the ball game was only the second time all season that Alabama had trailed.
The Bulldogs gave Alabama its hardest test of the entire season. In the first half it did not appear that would be the case. Alabama's first drive was an easy 67-yard march ending in a 23-yard shovel pass from Barker to Lassic for a touchdown. Mississippi State got the ball back, went nowhere, and attempted to punt, but Antonio Langham blocked the punt, recovered it at the MSU 5 and scored a touchdown to put Bama up 14–0. In the second quarter the Tide kicked two field goals and the Bulldogs kicked one, making the halftime score 20–3.
Alabama, which had not allowed any opponent to score more than 11 points in a game, led by 17 at the half. Then Mississippi State caught a break, picking off a Barker pass and returning it to the Alabama 11. A touchdown and a two-point conversion followed to make it 20–11. Bama went three and out on its next possession, the Bulldogs got the ball at the Tide 47, and they capitalized with a quick TD drive. Suddenly the score was 20–18. Bama got one first down, then punted again. Mississippi State drove down to the Alabama 1, but an illegal participation penalty pushed the ball back to the 16 and the Bulldogs settled for a field goal. Eighteen unanswered third quarter points gave the Bulldogs a 21–20 lead. It was only the third time all year Alabama had trailed, and it was the only time in the 1992 season that they trailed in the fourth quarter.
An interception ended one Alabama drive and a sack ended the next one. Finally a Mississippi State fumbled punt gave Alabama momentum. Barker completed a 24-yard pass to Prince Wimbley to advance the ball to the Bulldog 16, and a 26-yard field goal by Proctor made the score 23–21 with 8:10 left. Shortly thereafter George Teague intercepted a pass by MSU's Greg Plump, giving Alabama possession at the Bulldog 20. A five-play drive ended in a Chris Anderson TD run made the score 30–21 with 5:07 to go. Alabama stopped two Mississippi State drives in the waning minutes and the Tide escaped Starkville with a 30–21 victory.
In the Iron Bowl finale against Auburn, the Tide offense struggled. Jay Barker threw two interceptions, including one on 2nd and 11 at the Auburn 16, and the game was scoreless at the half. Auburn got the ball to start the second half, but Antonio Langham intercepted a pass by Auburn's Stan White and returned it 61 yards for the first points of the game. Barker's struggles led Stallings to direct an ultra-conservative game in the second half, as the Tide attempted only one pass after halftime. That one pass, a 20-yard completion from Barker to Curtis Brown, set up a Michael Proctor field goal that stretched the lead to 10–0. A 16-yard Auburn punt gave Alabama the ball on the Tiger 40 as the third quarter ended, and the clinching touchdown in a 17–0 victory followed. Auburn had only eight first downs and 119 yards of total offense. It was Alabama's third shutout of the season, the most since the 1980 team also recorded three.
As champions of the SEC Western Division, the Crimson Tide faced off in the first-ever SEC Championship Game against the Eastern Division champion Florida Gators. It was a tight contest. Florida QB Shane Matthews passed for 287 yards against a Tide defense that had been averaging 126 passing yards allowed per game. Florida scored a touchdown on the game's opening drive, driving 77 yards on an array of short passes completed by Matthews. It was the only first-quarter touchdown yielded by Alabama in all of 1992. Alabama responded immediately with a 72-yard drive that ended on a 5-yard TD run by Lassic. Jay Barker's 30-yard pass to Curtis Brown put Alabama out in front 14–7 in the second quarter. In the third quarter, a 39-yard completion from Barker to David Palmer was the key play in a drive that put the Tide ahead 21–7. Florida rallied, going on 68-yard and 51-yard marches to tie the game up with 8:09 left. Alabama's perfect season hung in the balance, until Antonio Langham picked off a Matthews pass with 3:16 to go for the game winning touchdown, and another Matthews interception at the 2:54 mark sealed the victory. Palmer had 101 receiving yards and Derrick Lassic rushed for 117 yards. It was Alabama's 20th SEC Championship.
Alabama faced #1 Miami in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship. The result was an emphatic 34–13 Alabama victory that completed the perfect season and won a national championship. Jay Barker managed only 18 yards passing in the Sugar Bowl and threw two interceptions, but the Tide running game punished Miami for 267 yards, including 135 rushing yards by Derrick Lassic. 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Toretta threw for 278 yards but, critically, also threw three interceptions, all of which led to Alabama touchdowns.
On the opening possession Alabama drove deep into Miami territory but could not get into the end zone, settling for a Michael Proctor field goal and a 3–0 lead. A 34-yard pass from Toretta to Kevin Williams set up a 49-yard field goal that tied the game. Jay Barker threw an interception in the first quarter that gave Miami the ball at the Alabama 39, but Lamar Thomas fumbled it right back after catching a pass from Toretta and the opportunity was wasted. Barker's second interception killed a drive at the Miami 23 before the first quarter ended. In the second, Alabama drove down to the Miami 1, the key plays being runs of 24 yards and 10 yards by Lassic and a six-yard pass from Barker to Palmer to move the chains on a third down. However, after Lassic's 10-yard run he and Alabama were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct (Lassic spun the ball on the ground as he got up), and the Tide was pushed back 15 yards. Alabama settled for another Proctor field goal and a 6–3 lead. Sam Shade intercepted a Toretta pass in the second quarter and returned it to the Miami 31, setting up a five-play drive that ended in a 2-yard TD run by Sherman Williams, putting Alabama ahead 13–3. A late Miami field goal made it 13–6 at the half.
Early in the third, Tommy Johnson intercepted a Toretta pass and returned it 23 yards to the Miami 20-yard line. A Lassic TD followed soon after. On the first play from scrimmage after Lassic's touchdown, George Teague picked off another Toretta pass and ran it back 31 yards for another touchdown and a 27–6 Alabama lead. Later in the third, Toretta hit Lamar Thomas on what briefly appeared to be an 88-yard touchdown pass. George Teague somehow caught Thomas from behind, so the play briefly appeared to be an 82-yard completion, but instead Teague actually stripped Thomas of the football. Miami retained possession of the ball due to an offsides penalty on Alabama, but Teague's feat in catching Thomas and stripping him of the ball prevented a Hurricane touchdown and sent the ball back deep in Miami territory. Miami was forced to punt three plays later.
Kevin Williams ran a punt back 78 yards for Miami in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 27–13, but Derrick Lassic's four-yard run with 6:46 to go for his second touchdown of the game closed the scoring. Alabama beat Miami 34–13 and finished 13–0.
It was Alabama's twelfth national championship and seventh by vote of either the AP Poll or Coaches' Poll. It was the first 13–0 season in Alabama history, and it was the eighth perfect season in Alabama history, following the perfect seasons of 1925, 1930, 1934, 1945, 1961, 1966, and 1979 (the 1897 season consisted of a single game which Alabama won).
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL", New York Times, September 6, 1992
- "How They Scored", Tuscaloosa News, September 6, 1992
- "Score by quarters", Tuscaloosa News, September 13, 1992
- "How They Scored", Tuscaloosa News, September 13, 1992
- "Rough-running Tide suddenly smooths out", Tuscaloosa News, September 20, 1992
- "Palmer's punt return helps Tide tame Tech", Gadsden Times, September 27, 1992
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL-SOUTH", New York Times, Oct. 4, 1992
- "Crimson Tide roughs up Gamecocks", Tuscaloosa News, Oct. 4, 1992
- "Different Tide whips Tulane in second half", Tuscaloosa News, Oct. 11, 1992
- "Defense plus Lassic equals 7 for Tide", Florence, Alabama Times-Daily, Oct. 18, 1992
- "Red Storm Rising", Sports Illustrated, Dec. 7, 1992
- "Barker unloads on Rebels", Florence, Alabama Times-Daily, Oct. 25, 1992
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL", New York Times, Nov. 8, 1992
- "Bama not sharp, but LSU is no match", Tuscaloosa News, Nov. 8, 1992. (Link is to Cecil Hurt column. Zoom out for game recap.)
- "Bama passes late gut check", Tuscaloosa News, Nov. 15, 1992
- "Bama is staring at pair of zeroes", Tuscaloosa News, Nov. 27, 1992 (Link is to Cecil Hurt column. Zoom out for game recap.)
- "Tide can pack for Sugar Bowl after clipping pesky Gators", Tuscaloosa News, Dec. 6, 1992
- "A Tidy Finish", Sports Illustrated, Dec. 14, 1992
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Crown That Is Fit Only For Alabama", New York Times, Jan. 3, 1993
- "Tide trashes Canes", Florence, Alabama Times-Daily, Jan. 2, 1993
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Roll Tide! Alabama Dethrones #1 Miami", New York Times, Jan. 2, 1993
- "COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tide Wins With 6 Key Plays", New York Times, Jan. 3, 1993