Alabama Football Secondary: A-
If the Bama linebackers are one of the best units in college football, the secondary is not far behind. Minus the early blown coverages I previously referenced, the Alabama secondary blanketed what is presumed to be one of the more explosive passing games in the country.
Ole Miss’ 244 passing yards were over 100 yards below their season average, and Jaxson Dart never threw a touchdown pass.
While All-American cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry draws a lot of headlines, redshirt sophomore Terrion Arnold was the star of this game. He finished with a team-high eight tackles, adding two pass-breakups and an interception, which he returned nearly 40 yards.
Senior leader Malachi Moore had six tackles, one TFL, and blasted Dart on Ole Miss’ final offensive snap of the game to slam the door on any hopes of a comeback.
On that last drive, the Alabama defense had sat back in coverage on two consecutive 4th downs and allowed the Rebels to convert. On the third 4th down try of the possession, DC Kevin Steele made the right call by sending a safety blitz that overwhelmed the Ole Miss offensive line before the play could even develop. That blitz felt like a statement by both Steele and the Alabama defense that they are here to stay.
True freshman safety Caleb Downs looks like a blossoming superstar in his own right. Downs had five tackles and a PBU in the game, and he quietly leads the Tide with 27 tackles this season.
McKinstry (three tackles, one TFL, one PBU) and senior safety Jaylen Key (five tackles) rounded out the secondary contributions in week four.