Before all the madness of college football began much was made of the 2015 Alabama Crimson Tide defense. Some said that the secondary had too many holes and would be the downfall of the Tide. Others said that too many great player were lost to be successful in the SEC
Half way through the season the Crimson Tide rank sixth in total defense and rank in the top ten in forced turnovers.
One of the main factors for all the defensive success has to be attributed to a coaching staff that has some new faces with a multitude of experience at many levels.
Entering the 2015 season the only sure thing known about the Alabama defense was that the front seven was going to be nasty. Led by linebacker Reggie Ragland this group ranks third in rush defense allowing only 70 rushing yards per game.
Defensive line coach Bo Davis and linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi have done an excellent job at preparing their players each and every week.
Davis was the defensive line coach for 2009 National Title team for the Crimson Tide, and after leaving for the University of Texas for a few years he returned to Alabama in 2014. After Davis’ return to take over the defensive line, Alabama ranked No. 4 in the nation at stopping the run.
Lupoi is in his first full season as linebackers coach but has already been highly acclaimed for his ability to recruit and his intensity as a coach and it certainly shows on the field.
The defensive has 22 total sacks this season with defensive tackle Johnathan Allen leading the team with five sacks the same amount he had in all of 2014. The Tide only need 11 more sacks to surpass the mark of 32 sacks set in 2014.
After a poor showing in the defensive backfield in 2014 it was apparent that changes needed to be made in the secondary. With the hire of former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and Ohio State defensive backs coach Mel Tucker it was apparent changes were coming. Tucker also won a national championship in 2002 with the Buckeyes.
So far in his first season in Tuscaloosa the Tide rank fifth in passes intercepted and rank first in the country in interceptions returned for touchdowns. The Crimson Tide have 12 total interceptions this season, in all of 2014 the Tide had 11 interceptions. Led by Eddie Jackson who has five interceptions this season two more than Cyrus Jones’s team leading three interceptions in 2014.
The 2015 Alabama defense has the talent to be one of the best defenses in Crimson Tide history. So whenever the Tide make a big play on defense just know that yes the talent on the field is apparent, but it’s the talent on the sidelines that makes this defense so dominant as well.