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Nick Saban will not slow offense to help defense

The Alabama football defense is less stout than normal but Nick Saban will not stretch out offensive drives to help keep the defense off the field.

Nick Saban made it clear on Monday. He will not adjust the explosive Alabama football offense to chew up more clock and keep his defense off the field. Even though Saban has always relied on time-of-possession as a key weapon, he will do nothing to make the Tide’s offense more pedestrian.

Arguably the most successful coach in college football history has long cherished game management as a quarterback’s most essential skill. Only now, Nick has a game manager unlike any who came before him. Tua Tagovailoa does not wield body blow after body blow until the opponent succumbs. Instead, he zaps his foes surgically and often quickly. Which means the Alabama football defense has to toil with short rest breaks.

The 2018 Alabama football defense needs longer intervals to rest and more importantly to correct its too frequent assignment errors. Nick Saban will not hamstring the offense for the defense to rest and regroup. Check out what Nick said below.

One reason Nick Saban will not slow down his offense is that he knows the defensive opposition so far this season has not been at a high level.

We’re going to play better and better defenses as we go, so that’s going to get more challenging.

The other reason is Nick Saban has learned to use tempo to make Alabama football harder to defend. The Crimson Tide will go fast whenever and as often as is needed to press opposing defenses. Considering the full array of offensive weapons, going fast makes sense. Plus there is the added value if the Tide ever trails and needs to go fast, it has experience doing so.

Some very interesting Alabama Crimson Tide offensive stats are provided by

  • The Tide’s national-best 40 offensive touchdowns are on pace to break the school record of total touchdowns (74) in 2016 that included 16 non-offensive scores.
  • Those 40 drives average just 5.4 plays to reach the end zone.
  • In terms of time, touchdown possessions average 2 minutes, 6 seconds with an average distance of 63.5 yards.

In terms of scoring defense, Missouri at No. 84 in the FBS, has the second stingiest defense among the Tide’s first seven opponents. The best so far among Crimson Tide opponents is TAMU (No. 30) at 20.2 points per game. Missouri gives up 28.8 points per game. ASU (No. 85), Louisville (No. 98), Ole Miss (No. 106), Arkansas (No. 112) and Louisiana (No. 114) surrender respectively 29.2, 32.7, 35.5, 36.8 and 37.2 points per game.

How much challenge awaits the Alabama football offense after the Tennessee game? In scoring defense, LSU is No. 15, Mississippi State is No. 1, Auburn is No. 6 and Georgia is No. 2. No wonder Nick Saban is not pumping any offensive brakes.

Next: Tua strengthens Heisman position

How good is the LSU defense? Florida averaged five yards-per-rush. Feleipe Franks, who is No. 60 in passing efficiency, threw for 161 yards against the Bengal Tigers. The LSU defense is very good, but the defensive line is below LSU standards. They will be tougher in Tiger Stadium.



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