Alabama vs.Middle Tennessee State

 
  Date: 8/31/2002  
  Score: 39-34  
  Alabama vs. Middle Tennessee State Alabama would score 22 first quarter points in this contest, but the Blue Raiders would not go away. The Tide would escape Legion Field with a very close 39-34 victory over MTSU to open the 2002 season. Bama would score a trio of first quarter touchdowns on a 4 yard Santonio Beard run, a 35 yard Tyler Watts pass to Sam Collins, and on a 15 yard Watts pass to David Cavan. Bama would be held scoreless in the second, and would finally visit the end zone again in the third on a 32 yard Ahmaad Galloway touchdown run. In the fourth, the Raiders brought the score to 29-27, but a 28 yard Michael Ziifle field goal and a 41 yard interception return for a touchdown by Freddie Roach provided the Tide with the winning margin. The 2002 squad would finish the season with a record of 10-3 for coach Dennis Franchione in his final season at the Capstone.