Alabama Football: Defense not yet a finished product

Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News
Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News /
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Coming off of a week five road win over Mississippi State which saw Alabama Football improve to 2-0 in the SEC, the Crimson Tide defense has plenty of room to get better.

That should be a terrifying notion for the rest of college football, as this is already one of the best defenses in the country.

The Crimson Tide put on an exemplary defensive performance against Ole Miss, one that was only made more impressive by the 55-point, 700+ yard onslaught the Rebels put on LSU just a week later.

Alabama Football: Assessing defensive performance vs Miss State

Alabama’s own week five performance showed that it has some things it needs to work on defensively, while reinforcing how elite the unit can be. In the 40-17 victory, the Tide did not always defend the run well and gave up three long scoring drives on which it could not get off the field.

Outside of these drives, the defense was largely stellar against Mississippi State. Bama allowed just 261 total yards for the game and forced quarterback Will Rogers into three turnovers.

It surrendered some big runs to running backs Woody Marks and Jeffery Pittman, and allowed reserve quarterback/gadget player Mike Wright to score on a read option that was a little more predictable than the Tide made it look.

For the game, Alabama allowed 154 yards rushing on 4.4 yards per carry. Given that this number factors in 22 lost yards on four sacks, the Bama run defense really wasn’t impressive at all (176 yards, 5.7 YPC on traditional running plays).

Through the air was a different story entirely. Alabama limited Rogers, Mississippi State’s all-time leader in passing yardage, to just 107 yards on an abysmal 3.96 yards per attempt. The Bama defense once again displayed its proficiency in rushing the passer, notching four sacks and five quarterback hurries.