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Alabama’s defense sends a message in first half of A-Day

Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore (13) warms up during practice at Thomas-Drew Practice Fields in Tuscaloosa, AL on Monday, Nov 21, 2022.
Photo comes via Alabama Athletics

Kevin Steele’s impact as a defensive coordinator was on display in the first half of A-Day.

Alabama’s defense is flying around, playing fast, making hits, and forcing turnovers.

Crimson holds a 17-7 lead over White, but several defensive players are making plays. Malachi Moore, a senior, is back to his freshman form. He has been all over the field, totaling seven tackles, three stops for loss, three sacks, a quarterback hurry, and a pass breakup. His pressure off the edge at ‘Star’ has made Jalen Milroe uncomfortable. Moore’s pressure on Milroe forced one of his two interceptions. Caleb Downs, a five-star freshman, has five tackles and an interception. Kristian Story has four tackles and a pick. Trezmen Marshall and Justin Jefferson, both transfer linebackers, have been impactful. Marshall has four tackles and Jefferson has four tackles and a breakup. Earl Little II made an impressive interception for the White team while Dezz Ricks had three pass breakups. Jake Pope has a game-high eight tackles, including a tackle for loss and a sack. He also had one pass breakup.

Both defenses have combined for seven sacks.

Dylan Lonergan, a true freshman quarterback, has the lone touchdown pass of the game. He found Justice Haynes in the second quarter for a 6-yard score for Crimson. Milroe had a 35-yard touchdown run to get White on the board, but he struggled in the passing game. Ty Simpson made some good plays, but Little’s interception off him ended a big drive for Simpson. Eli Holstein, a freshman, had a big play to Ja’Corey Brooks. Alabama’s defense has been the story in the first half as the offensive line needs to protect better. 

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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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