While the Alabama Defense has received praises this season, it has also been an inconsistent year for its secondary. This year, there were high hopes for a young secondary returning in its entirety, another year wiser, and with a national championship under its belt. These statements are true, but the secondary play has not quite lived up to these expectations.
Cornerback Josh Jobe passed up the opportunity to enter the 2021 NFL draft and teammate Patrick Surtain II to stay for another year. Like Anderson and Mathis, Jobe has adopted a veteran status on the team and has been instrumental in bringing on the likes of freshman Kool-Aid McKinstry who played in his first Iron Bowl last weekend.
This relationship will reap benefits if, as suspected, Jayln Armour-Davis, who is still nursing a rib injury and likely to be a game-time decision, doesn’t make the starting line up in the SEC title game. Therefore the chemistry between Jobe and McKinstry is vital.
Jobe is a physical corner who can be prone to inconsistency which was evident during the Arkansas game when Alabama head coach Nick Saban pulled Jobe from the game. The Razorbacks Treylon Burks terrorized Jobe and Saban decided enough was enough. Conversely. However, in the Iron Bowl, Jobe made the telling interception on TJ Finley in the fourth quarter to set up the thrilling finish. As they say in Alabama, Jobe is like a box of chocolates.
As Jobe heads into the SEC Championship game, he has 26 total tackles, compared with 55 in the 2020 season. To put this in context, Jobe has played three-less games so far. However, it highlights the monster season No. 28 had last season. By comparison, Jobe has two interceptions in 2021 but zero in 2020, demonstrating his further position evolution.
The Georgia wide receivers will present a huge challenge to the Bama secondary, their biggest test of the season. How Jobe and his secondary teammates cope with this challenge will have a significant bearing on the outcome of this game.
One issue that Alabama has suffered from this season is the level of penalties incurred, both offensively and defensively. With Jobe’s aggressive style of play, he can draw penalty flags, especially when he becomes isolated against a speedy wide receiver. Something Todd Monken should try to exploit with the talent at his disposal.
With a defense keen to limit a rampant Georgia offense to as few yards gained as possible, any penalties are liable to play a massive part in this game, so exploiting Jobe could reap dividends for the Dawgs.