Impact Players

Defensive end Isaiah Buggs pacing Alabama’s pass rush through six games

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

He got everyone’s attention with 10 tackles versus Texas A&M in 2017, and commanded all players to respect Alabama football head coach Nick Saban on ESPN’s Training Days, but now Isaiah Buggs has turned up his level of play in affecting the passing game of opposing teams. 

The senior defensive end and former junior college transfer plays with a high motor and a burning passion. While Saban said he wants to see more consistency from him, Buggs has become the Crimson Tide’s leader in both sacks and tackles for loss since his second straight dominant performance against the Aggies.

Hailing from Ruston, La., he carries six of the team’s 19 sacks and 6.5 of its 43 tackles for loss.

Buggs is seventh on the squad in tackles (21) and his four quarterback pressures tie him for third on the roster. The 6-foot-5, 286-pounder made his presence felt in Alabama’s 65-31 win over Arkansas, despite the defense having some issues. 

He assisted on three tackles, while sharing a sack and a tackle for loss.  

Buggs would also force a fumble off Razorbacks’ quarterback Ty Storey and recover the turnover, to set up Tua Tagovailoa and company with a short field to strike. Despite the production on his end, Buggs is not happy with the 134.3 rushing yards surrendered (average) from this group through six games. As he prepares for his final homecoming at Alabama this weekend against Missouri, Buggs intends on guiding the Tide’s defense back to be balanced.

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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