Alabama Football: Defense must be much better in 2023

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

The college football media world is heavily populated by talking heads trashing the Alabama Football future. A disappointing season by the Crimson Tide provides opportunity to profess the sky is falling in Tuscaloosa.

None of the many claims about Nick Saban’s and Alabama’s demise are worth quoting here. Generally, the theme is Saban has lost his magic touch and is in fact, actually out of touch with the rapid changes in college football.

Also feeding the flames are the player and coach exits from Tuscaloosa. Charles Kelly who is a strong recruiter is also now claimed as a major loss for his defensive coaching skills. Alabama football starters hitting the Transfer Portal is the other claimed proof.

Admittedly, Tyler Steen and Javion Cohen are good offensive linemen. JoJo Earle is a talented player with still unrealized potential. Christian Leary is another now former Crimson Tide player who could prosper with a new team.

Nothing against the four players mentioned above and the seven other scholarship players choosing to transfer, but Alabama’s overall roster talent will not take a big hit from their departures.

The 2023 Alabama football team will not be made weaker by roster depletion or assistant coaches moving on. It could, however, face considerable challenge for other reasons.

Alabama football fans will celebrate when Bill O’Brien’s two-season stint ends. The Crimson Tide’s next Offensive Coordinator may well be an upgrade. But the next OC will have to reinvigorate an Alabama football offense without a Bryce Young. Young was a generational talent, with big-game experience. The Tide’s 2023 quarterback room will not be short on talent, but it will be almost bereft of big-game experience.

At the least, in the first half of the 2023 season, the Crimson Tide offense will be a work in progress. A schedule to expect a QB game-changer next season must look beyond September games against Texas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. A new starter will be required to mature rapidly in back-to-back road games in Starkville and College Station. By October and no later than Oct. 21, Alabama must have a proven leader at quarterback.

2023 Alabama Football Defense

While the offense finds its footing, the Crimson Tide defense must be better than it has been in 2022. Repeated rumors are Nick Saban is content with Pete Golding, even if few Crimson Tide fans agree. So that is the duo that must make the Tide better.

In the 2022 season, against ranked teams, Tennessee averaged 292.5 passing yards. Against Alabama, the Vols passed for 385 yards. In the 2022 season, against ranked teams, LSU averaged 126.6 rushing yards. The Bengal Tigers rushed for 182 yards against the Crimson Tide.

In the two games, the yardage differences disfavoring Alabama, are not huge. Neither are they small and they were enough in both cases to cause two Alabama losses.

Note: Tennesee and LSU stats from and

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The Alabama football defense must be better in 2023, because a rebuilding offense will need more support in the first half of the season.