Alabama’s defense absolutely smothered Kentucky in its 63-3 win last night. The Wildcats amassed just 179 total yards of offense in what was undoubtedly the Crimson Tide’s best showing of the season on the defensive side of the ball.
Speaking on SEC Football Final, former NFL and Alabama safety Roman saw a lot of improvement in yesterday’s win despite the Tide having two weeks off before the game.
“I see that they’re actually knowing what they’re doing,” he said. “They’re tackling better in space. I think the safeties are communicating better, and they’re making plays. And they’re not always sacking the quarterback, but they’re getting constant pressure and they’re disrupting the timing. They were able to fit the run a lot better after some early, shaky starts. But that’s just rust. You haven’t played in three weeks, so I think that playing against Kentucky’s style of offense gave them the opportunity to say, ‘Do some different things, face an unbalance (offense), facing the running quarterback styles, the pulls, the gap schemes, being able to fit the runs.’ That was a great testament for Alabama’s defense, and I think that’s gonna pave the way for them down the future; down the road when they have to play other running quarterbacks.”
It wasn’t all pretty from the start, as rust certainly showed. Alabama’s defense gave up 121 yards, eight first downs and a field goal to a short-handed Kentucky team in the first quarter. But the Crimson Tide settled down and limited the Wildcats to 58 yards, four first downs and no points over the next three quarters in what proved to be a convincing victory.
“We didn’t adjust properly, so they would hit a run and we would lose the edge, we wouldn’t be in our gap,” head coach Nick Saban said after the game. “I think as the game went on, the players got more used to the rhythm of the game, the shifts and the motions, making the adjustments. We were making corrections on the sideline and it really is a lot of the stuff that we worked on.
“It was just a matter of being a little bit apprehensive to just do what they knew was right in the game. When we fixed those things, we started to play much better and did a better job on third down. We started to play better in the second quarter, but they converted a couple third downs and kept drives alive. We did a better job all the way around in the second half.”
Top-ranked Alabama will look to keep things going next week when it hosts Auburn for the Iron Bowl.
BamaOnline contributed to this report.