Alabama Football Defensive Line: B+
The Alabama defensive linemen did about as much as one could ask in this game. While they were unable to contain Jayden Daniels, no one expected the 300-pounders to do so; that is largely the responsibility of the back-seven. Even when the defensive line was properly positioned in its pass rush lanes, Daniels was slippery enough to get skinny through a gap and escape.
While there were busts, a lot of his scrambles were just examples of an elite player making a great play. The good news is I don’t think there is another QB in the country that poses a similar threat, with the exception of the one Bama has on its own sideline.
In the traditional running game, the defensive line was as good as advertised. LSU running backs Logan Diggs, Josh Williams, and John Emery Jr. combined for just 43 yards on 13 carries (3.3 YPC). Williams and Emery Jr. both hurt the Tide defense last year, but were non-factors in this one.
Justin Eboigbe led the defensive line with six tackles and a sack while Tim Keenan III added three stops.
Alabama Football Linebackers: C
The Bama linebackers were put in a bind this week. While they didn’t perform up to the standard they have set all season as a dominant group, this is likely the toughest test they will face for the remainder of the year.
Daniels’ speed and elusiveness in combination with his ability as a prolific passer put the linebackers in constant conflict, and they expectedly struggled to corral one of the best athletes in college football in wide-open space.
Still, the linebackers found ways to impact the game. Let’s take Dallas Turner, for example.
Alabama couldn’t get to Daniels, recording just one sack all night. Chris Braswell was limited with an injury on one side, and Dallas Turner failed to record a sack for the first time since the Texas game. So, how did college football’s premier pass rusher respond?
He recorded four tackles and made arguably the play of the game, deflecting a Jayden Daniels pass at the line of scrimmage that ultimately led to a Terrion Arnold interception. At that point in the game, stops were hard to come by and Turner helped to force the game’s only turnover.
Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell had quiet nights but notched three tackles apiece for the Tide. The inside ‘backers for Alabama had trouble breaking down against Daniels in one-on-one situations, but played well otherwise.
As I said earlier, I am content to just give Jayden Daniels his credit as an elite player, and I am confident the Bama linebackers will not face another player as elusive (regardless of position) for the rest of the season.