Alabama Football Defense: Biggest Areas of Concern
This defense has gotten progressively better all year, but where does it still need to improve?
It may be facing its most difficult test so far in LSU, who is led by Heisman-contending QB Jayden Daniels and top receivers Malik Nabors and Brian Thomas Jr.
Nabors and Thomas Jr. will present a must-see matchup for Alabama’s stacked secondary, which I believe to be the best in the country. The LSU receivers will get their catches and yards, as they are too good to shut down completely. However, Bama is capable of limiting this receiving corps that has thrived on big plays this season and making LSU drive the field.
In my opinion, LSU will also struggle to run the ball in a traditional sense. Running back Logan Diggs has been the bellcow with 611 yards and six touchdowns, but Alabama Football is by far the best defense he has seen all year. The Tide gave up just 46 yards on 19 carries last week to a more potent running back duo in Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small.
In fact, the most rushing yards Alabama has allowed to a running back all season is 68 (Woody Marks, Mississippi State).
When Bama has struggled against the run, it has been hurt by mobile quarterbacks. USF’s Byrum Brown (92 yards), Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson, and Tennessee’s Joe Milton (59 yards) all gave the Tide issues with their legs.
LSU’s Jayden Daniels won’t hesitate to take off. He has long strides and is deceptively fast, and has run for 521 yards and five touchdowns this season. He ranks seventh in the SEC in rushing yards, and is first amongst quarterbacks.
In my opinion, Daniels’ running ability is the biggest X-factor in this game. It is an underrated aspect of the LSU offense, and has even kept the unit afloat in some games. Conversely, it has been the greatest weakness of the Bama defense over the past two weeks.
What adjustments will Alabama Football make to keep Daniels contained? It could very well decide the game, and, ultimately, the SEC West.