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The Five Most Pleasant Surprises of 2007: #5 - Leigh Tiffin

After a week's worth of negative (Possible new RBR Slogan: 100% NEGATIVE ALL THE TIME BS), it's time to accentuate the positive with a countdown of the five most pleasent surprises of the '07 season, starting with a young man in desperate need of redemption this year, Mr. Leigh Tiffin.

Finally living up to the name...

After the now infamous performance against Arkansas in '06 that included two missed chip shot field goals, one of which would have been the go ahead score late in regulation and another that would have sealed an Alabama victory in OT, and a missed extra point in OT that wound up being the margin of victory for Arkansas, Tiffin became the butt of many a joke among Bama fans and SEC observers alike while the hero of '05, Jamie Christensen, who was ostensibly on the sidelines with an injury (though he had been handling kick off duties), regained his starting job in the wake of that spectacular meltdown. But then, a new day dawned for young Tiffin, as the new coaching staff put their faith in him, allowing him to not only handle the field goal and PATs, but also all of the kick off duties. The results were far better this time around:

FGM-FGA PCT 01-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 LONG BLK
25-34 73.5% 0-0 12-13 3-6 8-13 2-2 51 1

While 73.5% isn't exactly automatic, it's a great improvement and showed that young Tiffin didn't allow the '06 Arkansas game and subsequent benching to get into his head and ruin him forever. He came through with several clutch kicks this year, most notably the field goal that brought the Tide to within a TD of taking the lead late in the fourth against his old nemesis Arkansas, and another late game field goal in the Independence Bowl to give the Tide a 30-17 advantage over Colorado and help hold off a Buffalo victory.

Further, Tiffin made all of his PATs and led the team in scoring with 111 points on the season, while Christensen handled only two kick offs on the season and didn't attempt any FGs or PATs.