Alabama Football: Defense can carry the load in SEC play

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Alabama Football
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Alabama Football: Linebackers remain a strength

Bama boasts one of the best linebacking corps in the nation. On the inside, redshirt sophomore Deontae Lawson is one of the leaders of the defense and has a team-high 25 tackles through three games.

Sophomore Jihaad Campbell is getting acclimated to playing next to Lawson in a full-time capacity following a minor knee injury. In Campbell’s absence, a pair of physical veterans have filled in admirably. Georgia transfer Trezmen Marshall and junior Kendrick Blackshire would be unquestioned starters on most other teams, and give Bama quality depth at inside ‘backer.

The edge rotation is just as good. Junior Dallas Turner and senior Chris Braswell were incredibly disruptive against USF, combining for 14 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. This was the type of performance that was expected from this duo heading into the season, and one they must be able to reproduce in league play.

For the season, Braswell leads the team with 4.0 TFLs while Turner holds team-highs of 3.5 sacks and five QB pressures. Senior Quandarrius Robinson factors in mostly on passing downs, and is no slouch in his own right.