Alabama Football: Fun facts from the 2020 season

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

These stats put Alabama football’s year into perspective

Alabama football had one of the greatest years in program history last season. Despite losing four first-round players on offense and battling through a pandemic, the Tide went undefeated and tore through an all-SEC regular season on their way to the College Football Playoff. They took home plenty of hardware, including the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.

When a team has as much success as Alabama has over the past few seasons, it’s hard to fully grasp how well the Tide performed in 2020. Here are a few fun facts to keep Alabama football’s dominance in perspective.

Najee Harris’s production

When you look at how Najee played, it isn’t surprising that he filled the box score. However, one stat puts his success in perspective. He had more rushing touchdowns than negative rushing yards. It’s crazy enough to only have 21 negative rushing yards. Some running backs have over 40 with far fewer carries. Still, he ran for 26 touchdowns. 

Harris was practically guaranteed to make it back to the line of scrimmage, which is valuable for any offense. He kept the offense in front of the chains and helped maintain the pace.

Heisman history

Before Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa, no Alabama football player had ever won the Heisman Trophy. Now, the Tide have three Heisman winners. However, that’s not the fun fact. Alabama houses the last three Heisman winners who aren’t quarterbacks. In an era where quarterbacks have taken over the award, Alabama has dominated with skill players.

Who will be Alabama’s next Heisman winner? Bryce Young could be the first Tide quarterback to win the award. If not, Alabama has plenty of running backs who will tear through the conference for years to come.

DeVonta Smith’s legacy

DeVonta Smith got close to 2000 receiving yards last year, and that one season alone would be enough to make him an all-tide Alabama football receiver. However, his legacy is much more than one great year.

Alabama has two receivers who have surpassed 3000 career receiving yards. Amari Cooper was the first to do it, and Smith was the second. Still, Smith has over 500 yards more receiving yards over his career than Cooper. Holding a school record by that margin has to be applauded.

To be fair, Cooper only played for three years. It’s also hard to compare those offenses to the ones we see now. Still, Smith saw minimal reps in his freshman year due to Calvin Ridley’s elite final season. Smith also played alongside two of the best receivers in Alabama football history for two years, and he had to fight Jaylen Waddle for targets as well.

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If Smith hadn’t gotten hurt in the championship game, he would’ve surpassed the 4000-yard career mark. He likely would’ve hit 2000 receiving yards for 2020 alone. That’s unheard of, and it will likely never be duplicated.