The Bama Lighthouse made its way onto one of those fancy schmancy pay sites and I understand that a poster noted that our game review of the defense was full of hyperbole. Well folks, sometimes you just run out of adjectives for bad so you have to consult your thesaurus to come up with a different way to describe really, really, really bad plays. Because “really, really bad” doesn’t quite do these plays justice. Feel free to come up with adjectives of your own as you watch these tackling efforts. *Note – as long as Saban has been a coach, I have never seen this number of egregious missed tackles in one season, let alone one game. Ok, I think I’ve made my point (and hopefully without resorting to hyperbole)…
Let’s start with bad angles, shall we? Ole Miss repeatedly gashed Alabama’s defense on the flanks and this is a perfect illustration of how it happened. Notice the defensive end crashes down inside. That leaves the entire boundary to be defended by Reuben Foster, who is too slow to react, and Geno Matias-Smith (#24) who is clueless in run support and gets popped for his efforts.
Reuben Foster had a very bad game. Again, insert your own adjectives as you watch #10 attempt to tackle Chad Kelly on a critical 3rd & 11 play. And while Foster’s whiff is ugly, Marlon Humphrey’s efforts were downright putrid. Each had the opportunity to bring Kelly down well short of the first down…but then this happened….
The edge plays were a problem all night long. After another Bama turnover, the Rebels got the ball at the Bama 25. Ole Miss audibled to this play and then gashed the Tide defense down to the five yard line. This all but eliminated any hopes to hold Ole Miss to a field goal. Again, the end crashes down and the safety, corner and linebackers (look how slow they were to react) can’t shed blocks and can’t make the play.
Here’s another look – in the old schemes, the defensive end didn’t crash. He was asked to maintain the edge. Once Ole Miss saw this, they audibled to this play. Check it out – the eye in the sky don’t lie…
Speaking of containing the edge, this was on 4th & goal….
Again, there is no containment on the edge and that allows Kelly to get outside. Check out the attempted tackle by Eddie Jackson – his head is down and he’s clueless as to where Kelly is as he whiffs on the tackle.
As a converted corner, maybe we shouldn’t ask Jackson to be a hard hitting safety like Mark Barron or Landon Collins, right? Well, at least he (#4) should be good in coverage…or not…
Check out this edge run – the Bama defense never adjusted to this play. Notice the massive hole that is created by the end crashing down, the linebacker getting blocked and the corner’s inability to disengage from the wide receiver.
Insert adjective for really bad tackle or really poor effort by Geno Matias-Smith. Is Matias spanish for matador?
Lastly, with Alabama down 43-37 and four minutes left, the Tide desperately needs the ball back on offense. On 2nd & 11, Marlon Humphrey whiffs on a tackle and instead of having an opportunity to get the ball back with good field position, Bama got the ball back at their own 8 yard line. This tackle is as bad as it gets.
Listen, I get it. Alabama committed five turnovers. They deserved to lose the game. The fact that they twice had the ball with a chance to win the game was, frankly, unbelievable. But, the images above should show you that Alabama’s defensive effort was about as poor as it’s been around here in a really long time. Missed tackles, poor execution and the inability to adjust their schemes spelled doom for Alabama nearly as much as the turnovers did.
To close, when did Alabama fans start thinking that giving a team the ball in the red zone means giving up touchdowns? Four times Ole Miss started drives in the Alabama red zone but never closer than the 18 yard line. The Tide defense held the Rebs to one single, solitary field goal in four trips to the red zone. If this defense is supposed to be as good as the 2009 or 2011 defenses then allowing offenses to score red zone touchdowns 75% of the time should not be acceptable to anyone. These tackling efforts should not be acceptable, either. This can’t continue.
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