The Age of Dominant Alabama Defense Has Returned
Alabama's 2021 defense forced its way through the Miami Hurricane's intentions, drawing the fear of the college football world and the joy of Crimson Tide fans everywhere.
It shouldn't come as any surprise, seeing as the defense is headed up by leaders such as Christian Harris, Phidarian Mathis and Jordan Battle, features highlight reel players like Will Anderson and Malachi Moore, and more depth than several Power 5 programs combined.
D'Eriq King and the Hurrican'es came into the game with noteworthy experience too. King is older than six NFL starting quarterbacks. The Miami offensive line came into the game with a college football record 190 combined starts. Head coach Manny Diaz's offense returned starters and contributors at wide receiver, running back and tight end too.
But Alabama's defense proved it's standing right where it's expected to this season: at the top.
In the first half, Alabama held the Hurricanes to just three points, collected three sacks and forced a fumble courtesy of Christopher Allen recovered by Phidarian Mathis. It was a dislay that put the entire world of college football on notice.
Alabama bringing a dominant defense on Saturdays will be a regular occurance once again.
Miami battled early in the third quarter, but was crushed by the Crimson Tide front at the goalline when the Hurricane's opted to quarterback sneak from the shotgun with a 5'11"-200lb quarterback.
King managed to find some success over the middle on sophomores Malachi Moore and Brian Branch, ultimately finding Restrepo for a touchdown over Branch, who left the game with an injury on the play.
Still, the dominant factor remained as Alabama tallied another sack and a couple of interceptions, one from Moore and another from senior linebacker Jalen Moody.
No doubt, moving forward, Alabama will have to contend with some unfortunate injuries. Chris Allen left the game after his strip sack with a foot injury. Henry To'o To'o left in the third quarter with an elbow injury. Branch's injury was labeled as "upper-extremety."
None of these players returned, however, each had reserves waiting to make plays. Moody recorded a tackle and his pick which he returned 13 yards.
Drew Sanders and Chris Braswell stepped in for Harris and six and one tackle(s) each and played their roles well.
In the end, Alabama held Miami's starters to just 250 total yards and 13 points, which defensive coordinator Pete olding mentioned as a goal for the team at the start of training camp. The three total takeaways played into the plans for the defense just the same, resulting in 10 points for Alabama's offense an average of five points, just as Golding said.
Fans have clamored for it for years, but the time has fianlly come.
Dominant Alabama defense is back.