You guys already know about the three pick sixes that the Alabama secondary recorded so want to focus on a few other plays from the Bama DBs.
First, we start with Marlon Humphrey defending the fade pass. In today’s new “basketball on grass” kind of football, the fade pattern has become a nearly unstoppable play. Bama has struggled with this pass in recent years (but who hasn’t?) but this season new defensive backs coach Mel Tucker seems to have helped the Tide solve the riddle of the fade. Exhibit one show’s Humphrey doing it about as well as it can be done.
The second clip not only shows Humphrey defending the fade but damn near picking the thing off. We would have liked to have seen a review of this play (but, an astute Twitter follower noted that the play could have been waved off because the wide receiver was out of bounds while he was touching the ball) – it was a heck of an effort.
Next, we see Cyrus Jones blowing up a screen play. Watch as he reads that the wide receiver is engaging in a block instead of going into a pass pattern. This tells Jones the screen is coming his way – excellent recognition.
Lastly, we see much improved run support from Geno Matias-Smith. When you move a corner to safety, you worry about the willingness of the player to come up and make a tackle. Here, Matias-Smith (24) is fearless – watch him come down the near hash to make the tackle.
The interception returns for touchdowns are awesome but, as you can see, that is just one component of a much improved secondary this season.