The University of Alabama football team has a defense that college football must respect.
During its 15 spring practices, reports cycled on how scary good this year’s defensive unit could be for the Crimson Tide.
Last week, the players showed out at Bryant-Denny Stadium in its annual A-Day Game.
The first-team defense was without William Anderson, Christian Harris, and Malachi Moore, but it did not matter. DeMarcco Hellams (12 tackles) and Jordan Battle (seven tackles) ran the secondary, while Jaylen Moody (seven tackles, one fumble recovery) had the linebackers executing plays.
Alabama’s first-team unit had three sacks, five tackles for loss, seven pass breakups, three quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Despite two busted coverages, the Tide allowed one touchdown pass from Bryce Young.
Chris Braswell, an outside linebacker, had all three sacks.
He also forced a fumble that Moody recovered for a touchdown. Deontae Lawson, a true freshman, turned in a strong performance at weakside linebacker. He had four tackles, one tackle for loss, and two pass breakups.
The trio of Hellams, Josh Jobe, and Jalyn Armour-Davis (three breakups) combined for five of the seven breakups.
As for the second-team group, it had Paul Tyson running for his life.
Names such as Demouy Kennedy, Jah-Marien Latham, Tim Smith, Stephon Wynn, Ian Jackson, King Mwikuta, and Quandarrius “Que” Robinson kept coming at Tyson. Kennedy led the second team with seven tackles, and the group had three sacks, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, three pass breakups, eight quarterback pressures, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Defensive backs Ga’Quincy McKinstry (one fumble recovery) and Kristian Story each had one interception.
Kennedy, Latham, and Wynn were responsible for the sacks, while Latham and Smith each had two quarterback pressures.
The second-team defense (White) did not allow a touchdown. No matter who was on the field, Alabama had defensive players getting to the ball. For the first time since 2018, the defense is ahead of the offense going into the summer.
The Tide’s second-team offensive line had no answers for the pass rush and the first-team group allowed three sacks of Young in the pocket.
Alabama’s depth on defense kept Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams under 50 yards rushing.
The offenses for the Tide were 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) in converting third downs.
Fall camp is going to be fun, especially as Alabama returns Anderson, Harris, and Moore to action.
The defense is back to being fierce and it has some new faces ready to make plays.
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