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Alabama 2014 defense fueled by dismal Sugar Bowl performance

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma v Alabama

Don’t make Alabama angry. You might not like them when they are angry.

To say Alabama’s end of the 2013 did not go well is a bit of an understatement. After one of the biggest surprises in college football history knocked Alabama out of the SEC Championship Game and BCS Championship Game picture, the Crimson Tide we left for dust by Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama allowed 35 points to be scored off of five turnovers in the game, and that defensive performance has not been sitting well since January.

“It wasn’t the way we play,” linebacker Trey DePriest said to ESPN.com. “We don’t get that many points put up on us. That’s way more than what our goal is — 13 points or less. It didn’t seem like us. We were ready, we just didn’t go out and leave it on the field like it was our last game. It’s definitely been a driving force.”

The holes in Alabama’s defense were visible long before the Sugar Bowl though. Texas A&M racked up big yards and plenty of points against the two-time defending BCS champions last September in College Station as Johnny Manziel once again went wild on Alabama (although he did have a couple of turnovers as well). Alabama’s defense was able to get through most of the season on their overall talent alone last fall, but the holes were there all along. Oklahoma capitalized on it, giving Nick Saban and his program plenty to work on and fix this offseason.

Have opposing offenses found  formula that can overcome Alabama, or will the Tide rise again as they make adjustments to slow down quick-tempo offenses designed to wear down physical defenses?

Alabama will very likely be one of the top teams in the country next fall, and fine tuning on defense will be key.

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7 Responses to “Alabama 2014 defense fueled by dismal Sugar Bowl performance”
  1. Deb says: Apr 17, 2014 5:29 PM

    “Alabama 2014 defense fueled by dismal Sugar Bowl performance.” I certainly hope so.

    Bama fans expect two things: Great defense and smashmouth running. Losing is one thing, but losing with poor defensive play is something else altogether. Glad to hear the players are as frustrated as the fans. Looking forward to seeing a proud, angry Tide defense next season.

  2. liverpoolred04 says: Apr 17, 2014 5:43 PM

    Who cares, if you have to use shitty performance(s) as motivation then you’re not that good, people have figured them out, you’ll see.

  3. be4bama says: Apr 17, 2014 6:24 PM

    Don’t you wish Red!!! LoL

  4. gorilladunk says: Apr 17, 2014 6:31 PM

    If you saw ‘Bama play last year, they struggled mightily trying to stop offenses with quality talent and up tempo styles. Their style of D worked well against inferior opponents or slower offenses because they could just bludgeon those teams to death. Nick has to figure out a way to keep his monsters form getting winded and “out -quicked” by the up-tempo styles, especially when those teams possess quality players across the board.

  5. bralinshan says: Apr 17, 2014 9:04 PM

    Actually, Alabama’s defense was bad all year. They played a weak schedule last year by their standards. After beating a mediocre VT team, they gave up 42 against Texas AM. The SEC rotation left them with as easy a schedule as they’ve had. LSU wasn’t great last year.
    It’s not up tempo that hurt them. They couldn’t stop regular offenses. In a number of games, they gave up a slew of yards but the opponent would self destruct. The Auburn game was not a surprise.
    To the “genius” that said if you have to use a bad performance as motivation then your not that good??? Yeah, you only learn from success right? Nobody could ever learn a thing from a poor performance.
    It’s kind of pathetic that somebody is actually that ignorant…try to have a cogent thought before you make a post. It makes it so much more interesting to the reader.

  6. my2sense2014 says: Apr 17, 2014 10:11 PM

    Sooner fan here that had the good fortune of being at the game. Even though I believe the performance of both teams was somewhat anomalous (OU not consistently that good, ‘Bama normally not that bad) I did feel a déjà vu for the Alabama program. The “vibe” was that the Tide players could flip a switch at any point of the first 3 quarters and win as so many expected. At some point in the 4th I truly believe the inevitability hit both the players and fans that it wasn’t going to merely happen.
    OU had that happen against USC in the NC game a few years ago, it happens to every quality team. Getting to the top is difficult but maintaining the status at the top is monumentally harder. Young players feel entitled, fans expect everything or the season is a failure. I wish the Tide well because it’s a mindset that can rock a program. I hope NS and his staff can light a fire because I didn’t sense their team playing with a chip on the shoulder as I’ve noticed in years past.
    BTW: always have had/always will have respect for the legendary programs that do things the right way. Nicest treatment I’ve ever received attending a road game (save Nebraska in the old Big 8 days) came at Tuscaloosa. Classy!

  7. normtide says: Apr 18, 2014 2:59 PM

    Thanks for the post my2sense. I said before, I hated the narrative going into that game. Oklahoma was being treated like a Mac team by the media. A proud and talented program will always buck that. Knight surprised me. Bama prepped for the option and Joe Montana suited up for Oklahoma. In the end, I don’t mind losing to great programs. It’s going to happen, Bama isn’t omnipotent.

    To a prior poster, Bama struggled against every decent offense? Research before posting. Bama shut out a great ole miss offense. One that best Texas. It’s like 2sense says, it’s hard to stay at the top. If you’re saying eleven wins is a bad season, please tell me what team you root for. You know you’re very successful when you lose one or two games and are considered “done”. Bama is the most talented team in America. They just landed what most experts are calling the greatest recruiting class ever.

    If you think Bama’s success is over, be prepared for a long season, and years to come. Those people said the same thing after 2010. Bama won the next two national titles. I’m not promising a title this year or next. I don’t do that. I am saying Bama will be a top team the next three years. That is all you can ask for, then hope the chips fall your way.

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