The Crimson Tide’s defense, which has struggled in its last two SEC games, hopes to make Auburn’s true freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace’s first experience in Bryant-Denny Stadium an unpleasant one.
LSU wasn’t using a no-huddle attack exclusively Saturday night, but it played at a fast enough pace to get off a season-high 85 plays. No wonder Alabama’s defense looked a little tired in the fourth quarter. Previously, the most plays run against the Crimson Tide this season were the 68 run by Ole Miss.
The defense wasn’t perfect Saturday night. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s first-quarter public dressing down by Nick Saban on the sideline provided proof of at least one busted coverage in the secondary. The results on the whole, however, were decisive. Alabama unleashed its pass rush, with Adrian Hubbard and Quinton Dial creating havoc in the Mississippi State backfield, stymied the run and forced turnovers. The Crimson Tide dialed up another overwhelming defensive performance worthy of its No. 1 ranking in a 38-7 win.
When it is full, Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., is one of the loudest venues in college football. Alabama sophomore Trey DePriest will experience the noise for the first time at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday when the top-ranked Crimson Tide meets Tennessee. As a middle linebacker, DePriest is in charge of communicating many of the defense’s calls.
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips’ team will face the 12th-ranked defense in the country this week, and the Wildcats’ SEC opener is still a week away. The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers lost 35-0 to Alabama last week, but they have allowed the 12th-fewest yards per game in the country in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Alabama’s defense must: make good decisions, push the pocket, avoid reaching, stay on their feet and keep shifty Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson contained. Otherwise, as Nick Saban said, “This guy will ball fake you like Michael Jordan and take …
Nick Saban believes his Alabama defense is capable of putting pressure on quarterbacks, particularly Michigan’s Denard Robinson.
Usually there are many stars on the Alabama defense, but there is only one Star. Last season, that player was cornerback DeQuan Menzie. In 2009, cornerback Javier Arenas was a star as the Star. Huh? Alabama calls its standard 3-4 alignment its “regular” defense, but the Crimson Tide regularly lines up with more than three linemen and less than four linebackers.
With nearly a week of fall camp under their belts, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2012 depth chart still has a long way to go before it’s set in stone, particularly when it comes to defense. This week, al.com returns with an all new episode of the Alabama Football Podcast. Each week, al.com sports producer Matt Scalici will bring you conversations with journalists, experts and fans about Alabama football.
The Alabama football team is replacing three starters in its secondary, but the defensive backs who are competing for spots have impressed junior wide receiver Kevin Norwood. “They’re looking great,” he said Monday. “Coach (Nick) Saban’s dealing with them.”
Before Alabama football players can run drills, they have to learn what to do. Before they can run the Alabama defense, they have to know who goes where and who does this and that. That foundation is being poured now. It’s not as if there was more talk than action Sunday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, but people who attended Fan Day would see more action if they could watch a practice one week later. Especially if the Crimson Tide would be in full pads.