Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama’s offense shows no indications of slowing down in 2020. Mac Jones is more than capable of taking over for Tua Tagovailoa. The skill positions and the offensive line are loaded with elite and experienced players. The Crimson Tide averaged 47 points per game last season and never scored any less than 35 points. The 2020 team should post similar numbers. But…
Is the defense back to the classic Alabama form?
This isn’t to say Alabama’s defense is mediocre. It’s not, nowhere close to that. But, Alabama’s defense isn’t as good as we’re used to seeing and the defense has become a growing problem over the last two years. The Crimson Tide couldn’t even slow down LSU or Auburn last year. Even South Carolina, Texas A&M and Ole Miss had drives where they roughed up Alabama’s defense.
For comparison, from 2009-to-2017 Alabama only allowed 30 or more points in 11 games. The Crimson Tide have allowed 30-plus points six times in the last two seasons. Alabama’s defense is becoming more of a weakness than a strength in big games and that has to change if the Tide are to compete for a national title in 2020.
Part of this is coaching. Kirby Smart was the coordinator of Alabama’s defense during its glory days and Jeremy Pruitt kept those glory days going in his two seasons as defensive coordinator. The defense under Pete Golding hasn’t performed up to par. The Tide aren’t as deep and they don’t seem to defend the passing game as well.
The Georgia/Alabama game on September 19 is a huge contest. The winner will be whichever team answered their critical question first. If Georgia’s offense progresses faster than Alabama’s defense, the Bulldogs will finally have that elusive win over the Crimson Tide. If Alabama’s defense is better than Georgia’s offense, the Tide’s streak over the Bulldogs will increase to six games.