Alabama Football: Texas Longhorns Defensive Scouting Report

Sara Diggins/Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK
Sara Diggins/Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK /

Alabama Football quarterback Jalen Milroe will take the field on Saturday for just his third career start, and it could be his toughest test yet against the no. 11 Texas Longhorns.

Milroe has the luxury of a massive offensive line and countless weapons to whom he can distribute the ball. He will also have his own ridiculous athletic ability to lean on, as well as a raucous home crowd behind him.

So what kind of resistance can the Texas defense offer against Alabama Football?

The unit was slightly above average last season, ranking 54th nationally in total defense and 28th in the country in scoring defense. It played very well against a Bryce Young-led Alabama offense in Austin, limiting the Tide to 374 yards of total offense and 20 points in a narrow win for the road team.

In the Longhorns’ first game of 2023, it held Rice to just 176 yards of offense and 27 yards on the ground.

Texas could give Alabama Football some problems up front. The defensive line consisting of seniors Alfred Collins and T’Vondre Sweat, as well as junior Byron Murphy, is a massive veteran group with a lot of talent.

At linebacker, seniors Jaylan Ford and David Gbenda can be game-changers. The disruptive Ford is a sideline-to-sideline player who was one of college football’s best linebackers last season. He was named an AP third-team All-American for his efforts, and will be one of the best defenders Alabama Football sees all season.

While it has talent, the Texas secondary is the most vulnerable unit on the defense. This speaks more to the strength of the front seven rather than a glaring weakness in the secondary, but I believe Bama can capitalize on some vertical shots in this early season matchup.

Texas returns a physical corner in former Ohio State transfer Ryan Watts, who played well against Alabama Football last season. Veteran safeties Jahdae Barron and Jerrin Thompson also return, giving the Longhorns plenty of experience on the back end.

In the offseason, Texas added Arkansas transfer safety Jalen Catalon. Catalan was one of the best defensive players in the SEC during his time in Fayetteville, but he is coming off of a shoulder injury that cost him the 2022 season. Will he be ready to go against a surging Alabama receiving corps?

Overall, I think Texas has a really good defense that is underrated nationally due to disappointing performances from past units. The 2023 Texas defense looks like a seasoned and physical group that could compete in the SEC right now. We saw a glimpse of Texas’ defensive ability last season, when it came out against Alabama with a point to prove and a roaring crowd behind it.

This time around, the Horns must come into Bryant-Denny Stadium and will not be catching anybody off guard.

This will be one of the better defenses Alabama Football plays this year, particularly in the front seven, but it could be an opportunity rather than an obstacle.

Scouting Texas' offense. dark. Next

If the Alabama offensive line is as good as advertised, this could be a statement game for the unit.