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Alabama defense on a roll

HaHa Clinton-Dix AP

How good has the Alabama defense been of late?


Really good.

Maybe even historically good.

It didn’t seem like this was going to be the case way back on Sept. 14. That’s when Johnny Manziel shredded the Tide for 562 yards of total offense while laying 42 points on the scoreboard in ‘Bama’s 49-42 win in College Station.

But since then, Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has his talented troops playing at a very high level.

Since giving up those 42 points against the Aggies, Alabama has allowed just 26 points over the past six games, with shutouts of Mississippi and Arkansas to its credit. The Tide hasn’t allowed a single point in the first half during that stretch, which means a good chunk of the points are coming late in the game, with reserves on the field.

Alabama is allowing just 9.8 points per contest, which leads the nation. Take away that blip against A&M and the Tide is allowing 5.1 points per game and six total touchdowns on the season.

Could this be the best Alabama defense of the Nick Saban era? The 2011 unit allowed just 8.2 yards per contest, but SEC offenses were considerably less potent a couple years ago. Only two SEC teams that year averaged over 35 points per game and one of them — LSU — scored nine points against the Tide in two head-to-head meetings.  But six teams are doing so in 2013 and that makes what Alabama is doing even more impressive.

There’s no secret to why this is happening. The Tide have been recruiting elite defensive talent at an alarming rate. And Saban and Smart are two of the best defensive coaches in the game. This is certainly one of the more impressive defensive runs of the modern era, as the Tide has allowed 14 points or less for six-straight seasons.

Indeed, if Johnny Football had never graced the SEC with his presence, we’d probably be talking about this Alabama defense as a historic unit.

Instead, it will just have to be content with being the best in the country in 2013.

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9 Responses to “Alabama defense on a roll”
  1. bralinshan says: Oct 27, 2013 11:02 PM

    I’m an Alabama fan and this defense can’t compare to 2011. Not even close…

    An irony is that the injury to Vinnie Sunseri enables Landon Collins to start at SS and he’s a beast. Honestly, he’s simply better than Vinnie…although Sunseri could be a great “rover”.

    Collins was 2nd on the entire team in tackles as a backup and now is all over the field. He’s not coming off again…this year or next.

  2. Walk says: Oct 28, 2013 12:22 AM

    Small error, bama was good but not that good.

    “The 2011 unit allowed just 8.2 yards per contest, but SEC offenses were considerably less potent a couple years ago.”

  3. irishdodger says: Oct 28, 2013 12:36 AM

    I picked Bama to repeat before the season started & I still feel that way. They’ll beat whoever they play in the NC game by at least ten points. Their the only team in the SEC that plays any defense this year. As usual of late, it’s Bama & everybody else.

  4. louhudson23 says: Oct 28, 2013 5:04 AM

    Please pardon my rudeness and crudeness,but it will be exciting to see them kick Oregon’s ass up and down the field.

  5. dickroy says: Oct 28, 2013 8:04 AM

    @ Deb

    Congrats on your huge win. We stunk. So did our Steelers. Friends again!!

  6. kansas531 says: Oct 28, 2013 11:43 AM

    The only team they have played that is in the top 25 is A&M and they scored over 40 points against them. Bama won because A&M can’t play defense. Guess what, both Oregon and FSU have better offenses than A&M and better defenses. Heck, even Baylor has a better offense & defense than A&M. So, if Bama doesn’t get lucky, like it has for the last 2 NC’s, they had better be careful when they meet a good team, the likes of which the SEC hasn’t seen in quite a few years.

  7. dhardy8207 says: Oct 28, 2013 11:56 AM

    Kasas531 says:

    “So, if Bama doesn’t get lucky, like it has for the last 2 NC’s, ”


    Oh yes, they’ve won 3 out of the last 5 National championships but it was ALL luck……

    Every stat known in college football would disprove your luck theory, but nice try…..

  8. dannygjay says: Oct 28, 2013 1:56 PM

    This defense is really good, if the opponent doesn’t have a Mike Evans at 6’6″. The last few years though, they have had a really good offense to keep the ball away from other teams. We have no idea how they could hold up if the offense struggles. This may be the most complete team, but certainly not the best defense.

  9. dhardy8207 says: Oct 28, 2013 2:57 PM

    Considering what BAMA lost to the draft and the # of new youngsters on the roster, I think their doing quite well. The offense seems to be working better together as a unit. More time and momentum as an undefeated team just fuels Saban’s fire for a 4th National Championship. The more play time these youngsters just coming in get the easier it is to prepare them for their role in reaching that game…

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