Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick sets new school INT record, Eddie Jackson breaks one
Defensive notes from Alabama's 41-23 win at Texas A&M on Saturday via Alabama Athletics:
FITZPATRICKS 2 INTERCEPTION RETURNS FOR SCORES: Freshman cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick returned two interceptions for touchdowns against Texas A&M, going 33 and 55 yards for scores. Fitzpatrick is the only player in Alabama history (via records verified back to 1948) to return two interceptions for scores in the same game.
207 INTERCEPTION RETURN YARDS: The Crimson Tide's 207 interception return yards against Texas A&M is an Alabama single-game record, the third-most in SEC history and the most since Tennessee had 214 vs. South Carolina in 1971.
JACKSON SETS ALL-TIME MARK FOR INT RETURN YARDS: Eddie Jackson's 119 return yards on interceptions is the most yards in a single game by an Alabama defender. The previous record high was 98 by Mark McMillian against Chattanooga on Oct. 5, 1991. His 230 on five picks this season are also the UA record for return yards in a season. The previous high was 163 by Hootie Ingram in 1952 on 10 interceptions.
THIRD-LONGEST PICK-SIX IN ALABAMA HISTORY: Eddie Jackson's 93-yard pick-six in the second quarter was the third-longest interception return in Alabama history. Jackson has returned interceptions this season for a total of 230 yards, setting a Crimson Tide record for interception return yards in a season. It broke a 63-year-old record set in 1952 by Hootie Ingram.
HARD TO FIND THE END ZONE AGAINST THE TIDE: The Alabama defense allowed only one touchdown by Texas A&M's explosive offense on Saturday, Since the start of the 2009 season, no defense has allowed fewer touchdowns than the Crimson Tide. Alabama's defense, led by coordinator Kirby Smart and head coach Nick Saban, has surrendered only 130 touchdowns over the last 87 games. That is 37 fewer than the second most in the nation (LSU with 166) entering Saturday's action.
HARD TO RUN ON: Alabama held Texas A&M to 32 rushing yards in the win on Saturday. Alabama has held all seven opponents in 2015 at least 69 yards below their season rushing average. The Tide held Wisconsin to 280 yards below their 2014 rushing yards average before holding Middle Tennessee (156 yards), Ole Miss (185 yards), ULM (115 yards), Georgia (69 yards), Arkansas (160 yards) and A&M (32 yards) well below their 2015 averages entering each game. In all, Alabama has held its seven opponents to an average of 161.4 yards per game below their average entering the game.
RAGLAND LEADING THE TIDE D: Senior linebacker Reggie Ragland led Alabama in tackles against the Aggies with 9 (8 solos), along with a quarterback sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. The Tide's captain in the middle has a team-leading 59 tackles, including 4 for a loss, to go with 3 pass breakups, 3 quarterback hurries and 2 forced fumbles. In 5 of the 7 games during the 2015 season, Ragland has led the Alabama defense in stops.
JACKSON EXCELLING IN NEW ROLE: Junior strong safety Eddie Jackson has excelled at his new position this season. Formerly a cornerback, Jackson moved to strong safety this season. Since the move, he has collected a team-leading five interceptions through seven games, eclipsing his previous career total of two through 18 games. Jackson has added a school-record 230 yards on the picks this season, including two touchdowns, one score against Georgia on a 51-yard return and a 93-yarder at Texas A&M on Saturday (the third-longest return in Alabama history).