No. 1 Bama has been near-perfect in red zone

Associated Press Modified: September 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm •  Published: September 20, 2012
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Sometimes Alabama gets creative inside the opponents' 20-yard line, like inserting hulking noseguard Jesse Williams at fullback. Other times the top-ranked Crimson Tide opts for more straightforward, power football by inserting four tight ends to complement a big offensive line.

Whatever the approach, Alabama has been practically unstoppable inside the red zone. The Tide (3-0) has 11 touchdowns and a field goal when getting inside the zone going into Saturday's game against Florida Atlantic (1-2).

Attitude helps, too.

"You have to set your hair on fire like my position coach Jeff Stoutland says," guard Chance Warmack said. "When we hit the goal line, we know we have to execute and score. We take pride in that."

It shows, so far. Only six teams nationally have been perfect in as many trips into the red zone.

Having powerful backs like Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon helps. So does an offensive line that might be among the nation's best.

As if those weren't enough, Alabama can mix and match supersized personnel to bulldoze defenders.

Against Arkansas, Alabama lined up on the 1 with four tight ends, and T.J. Yeldon scored.

Lacy likes that formation of hefty blockers, too.

"That's never bad at all. It helps out a lot," he said. "The defense can't really get through them. They play physical and they allow us to do what we're capable of doing."

Williams, a 320-pound lineman, lined up a fullback with three tight ends in the same situation in the second quarter. Williams mistakenly headed left when the play went right in his new role, but Lacy still scored from a yard out.

Former Tide noseguard Terrence Cody used to moonlight as a lead blocker, too.

"Everybody likes seeing Jesse Williams on the goal line," Warmack said. "He's big. He can bench 600 pounds. He brings a tremendous job as far as just executing on the goal line. We really love him for doing that."