Alabama Football: Defensive keys against Georgia

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Khyree Jackson (6) defends in the second quarter the NCAA Playoff Semifinal /

Alabama’s secondary injuries, which include starting corners Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis, just make this battle even tougher. Jobe has struggled for much of the season due to a nagging injury, and Armour-Davis was visibly hobbled in the Cotton Bowl before being replaced. The pressure is on true freshman Kool-aid McKinstry and JUCO transfer Khyree Jackson to man the corner spots and prevent big plays without committing penalties.

Alabama Football: Bend but don’t break

When these two teams played about a month ago, Alabama did very well to implement a “bend but don’t break” strategy in which it surrendered a lot of passing yards, but tightened up in the red zone and made some timely plays.

Georgia marched right down the field on its second drive of the game, reaching the Alabama 11-yard line before a Dallas Turner sack forced the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal.

Georgia’s first drive of the second half once again took them into the red zone. This time, a Demarco Hellams interception ended the scoring threat. On its very next possession, the Georgia offense drove into the red zone before stalling on 4th down. Just minutes later, Jordan Battle picked off Stetson Bennett and returned it for a touchdown, effectively ending the game and crowning the Tide as SEC champs.

The days of holding quality opponents to absurdly low offensive outputs are probably over, but a defense can still be effective at a championship level by making these types of plays that eliminate scoring opportunities.