Alabama Football: Defensive report card vs LSU


Alabama football lost its second straight road game to fall to 7-2 and 4-2 in the SEC. The Alabama defense could not get stops at critical junctures of the game, and allowed LSU to implement a balanced attack en route to 367 yards and 32 points.

Alabama Football Defensive Line: C

The Alabama defensive line has not been as stout against the run in the last month as it was earlier in the season. Led by quarterback Jayden Daniels and running back Josh Williams, LSU racked up 185 yards rushing on the Crimson Tide. Daniels and Williams combined to average just under six yards per carry. When a defense struggles to stop the run, it impacts every other facet of the team by allowing the opposing offense to dictate the terms of the game.

Senior Byron Young had four tackles and a sack while junior Tim Smith had three tackles and a half sack. DJ Dale also notched a half sack. On paper, Alabama rushed the quarterback well, tallying six sacks as a team. Most of these sacks were the result of Daniels trying to scramble before he was corralled by the Bama front.

Alabama Football Linebackers: C+

The Alabama linebackers also played a role in the Tide’s inability to stop the run or consistently contain Daniels.

Jaylen Moody had eight tackles and two tackles for loss and Henry To’o To’o had six tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. Outside backers Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner, and Chris Braswell combined for eight tackles and three sacks. While they are still probably the SEC’s best edge rushers, it’s safe to say this trio has not had the impact that Alabama fans would’ve liked.

Alabama Football Secondary: B

Alabama was good against the pass, but gave up some plays at inopportune times. For the game, Jayden Daniels threw for 182 yards on 5.7 yards per attempt, hardly impressive passing numbers. Kayshon Boutte and Malik Nabors were the top targets for Daniels, combining for 13 catches. The Alabama secondary tackled well and did not let the two speedsters get loose, as Boutte and Nabors had just 100 yards between them.

DeMarcco Hellams had 12 tackles and a TFL, Brian Branch had nine tackles and a pass breakup, and Jordan Battle had seven tackles. Cornerbacks Eli Ricks and Kool-Aid McKinstry maintained good coverage for most of the evening against LSU’s rangy outside receivers.

Alabama Football Special Teams: A

Special teams blunders were not what cost Alabama this game. The Tide special teams units did not turn the ball over, nor have kicks blocked, nor allow momentum-shifting returns. Will Reichard has quietly worked his way back into a groove after a nightmare of a stretch against TAMU and Tennessee. Reichard went 4-4 in this game, including a clutch 46-yarder to send the game into overtime.

The Alabama defense started off the season strong but has faltered as the schedule has gotten more difficult. Attrition in the front seven has not helped matters, and a general lack of physicality at the point of attack seems to plague this unit more and more as the year goes on.

Next. LSU's improved pass rush. dark

The defense has major adjustments to make before it takes on Lane Kiffin and the top rushing offense in the SEC next week.