As the Tide rolled over the Bulldogs, questions were answered, behinds were kicked and names were taken. Only four weeks into the season and  Alabama has laid the proverbial gantlet down as the best team in the nation.

Most Alabama fans had already decided to show up to with tiki torches and pitch forks and march down to the stadium if the defense had gave a similar effort as it did in the Ole Miss Game. I may or may not have been the head culprit of these demands but non the less Golding deserves credit for fighting with his back against the wall and may have just avoided that pink slip with Alabama’s defensive performance on Saturday night.

The line would set the tone as they continued to harass and bother Stetson Bennet with timely deflections and pressures that threw Bennet out of his comfort zone and forced him to play right into the hands of the Tide defense.

Schematically Golding used a couple stunts to set pass rushers free on the outside, allowing for the penetration of the pocket which resulted in two sacks and four pressures.  The 145 rushing yards usually isn’t acceptable but with an interception, forced fumble, and four deflections coming directly from the defensive line it’s something you can live with.

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The linebackers matched the line's level of effort by flowing sideline to sideline and making tackles. Outside of a handful of plays the linebacking core did a good job of sealing the edges and forcing the ball carriers inward to the teeth of the defense. In a perfect world you would still like to see them be more comfortable in space and defending the pass, but these issues can be alleviated with game and practice reps.

The secondary continues to shine and may be the strongest group within the defense. With Patrick Surtain continuing to lock down his side of the field, Josh Jobe was an unsung hero as he established himself on a national stage.

With timely deflections on third downs and a deflection that led to interception Jobe also played with level of physicality that made things tough for Jermaine Burton.  Malachi Moore is also developing into a special player and nabbed an interception that led to a touchdown drive and continues to build on what’s been a spectacular freshman campaign.

As the season matriculates the offense continues to diversify itself  by keeping playmakers in open space, attacking all parts of the field, and keeping the ball in playmakers hands. Mac Jones continues to challenge Trevor Lawrence for the Heisman as he continues to rip the SEC apart with another 400-yard game accompanied by four touchdowns and one interception.

Waddle and Smith both accounted for 160+ yards receiving and are finding themselves playing rock paper scissors to see who gets the next touchdown at this point.

However, this is all set up by a dominate performance by the offensive line and Najee Harris who went off for 152 yards on 5 yards a carry, placing the time of possession in Alabama’s favor. Exposing what was the number one run defense in the country in almost every statistical category.

The list could go on and on but it’s simple. If Alabama continues their dominance on both ends of the ball the championship is already in route to Tuscaloosa.

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Alabama 2020 Defense Contributors


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