TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Da’Ron Payne isn’t letting teammates forget.
Payne made an athletic play as he scored a defensive touchdown in Alabama’s win over Ole Miss.
Payne bent down, scooped the ball and rumbled in for the 6-yard score. Payne stretched his left arm and the ball over the line as an Ole Miss offensive lineman jumped on his back.
Payne, who checks in at 319 pounds, constantly reminds teammates about the scoop-and-score.
“I’m tired of hearing Da’Ron Payne. He scored a two-inch touchdown,” Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. “He’s thinking that he ran 100 yards or something. One linebacker has got to get in the end zone.”
“He’s just hatin’,” Payne said.
Ryan Anderson strip sack, Payne recovery leads to a sad Ole Miss fan pic.twitter.com/dQnl7K2VTf
— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) September 17, 2016
Hamilton isn’t the only linebacker who’s heard Payne’s jokes.
“He brags about it sometimes,” Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans said. “He almost acts like he’s been there in a way, but at the same time, it’s some cockiness behind it. The D-Line and the DBs are the two squads that have scored on our defense.”
The competition among teammates has made Alabama the best team in the country at scoring non-offensive touchdowns.
Alabama has scored a non-offensive touchdown in seven straight games dating back to the 2015 College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Michigan State.
Payne is one of five Alabama defenders who has scored a defensive touchdown. Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, safeties Ronnie Harrison and Eddie Jackson as well as cornerback Marlon Humphrey have reached the endzone this season. The linebackers are the only unit on Alabama’s defense that hasn’t scored.
“Yeah it does (stick with us),” Evans said. “We talked about that as a group. ‘Why haven’t we scored yet?’ Hopefully this week we’ll get a chance to do that.”
Alabama’s defense has scored the same number of touchdowns (5) it has allowed this season.
Four of those touchdowns came against Ole Miss in the Tide’s 48-43 victory, and the other came vs. Western Kentucky. That means three of the Tide’s opponents have failed to score touchdowns.
Don’t expect the streak to come to an end any time soon.
“Yeah, it’s kind of a thing right now,” Harrison said. “We have to get one on defense every game.”