It’s no secret that Alabama’s defense has been excellent this season. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in total defense, run defense and opponents’ yards per passing attempt.
But that unit faces a tough test Saturday afternoon against Tennessee, which features dual-threat quarterback Josh Dobbs running a tricky spread offense. Appearing on the set of SEC Nation in Tuscaloosa, coach Nick Saban was asked whether his secondary’s ability to play man coverage has given his defense more flexibility up front. Here’s his response:
“I really think what’s allowed us to do more this year,” Saban said, “is the fact that we have a really good front and they’ve affected the quarterback with four guys rushing. And we really haven’t had to pressure a lot… We play a lot more split safety coverages, (which) leaves more guys roaming around to be able to break on the ball and make plays. I think that’s been the biggest difference, we haven’t had to put as much pressure on those guys.”
Saban later mentioned the importance of freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick, the “fifth” cornerback who comes in on passing downs. Fitzpatrick picked off Kyle Allen twice in last weekend’s win over Texas A&M.
Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.