Alabama Crimson Tide: Nick Saban and Defense Do It Again

By Tim Letcher
John David Mercer, USA TODAY SPORTS

During his tenure as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Nick Saban has proven to be a defensive mastermind. The Crimson Tide perennially have one of the nation’s top defensive units, and they always seem to have a game plan to stop an opponent, even when that opponent has been scoring a lot of points against other teams.

Another example of this came on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa when the Tide faced the Ole Miss Rebels and their high-powered attack. The Rebels entered the game averaging 38 points per game, and they had high hopes of pulling an upset against the nation’s no. 1 team.

However, Saban did it again, scheming his defense to slow down quarterback Bo Wallace, running back Jeff Scott and the Rebels. Alabama made it look easy, winning 25-0 despite another lackluster effort from the Tide offense.

The amazing thing about Saban is that he continues to put an outstanding defense on the field each and every year despite annual losses on defense, generally to the NFL ranks. Saban is able to groom his defensive players and he gets them to play within his general principles, producing outstanding results on the field.

This year’s Alabama defense is not one of Saban’s better defensive units to this point, but they are still able to shut down opponents for the most part due to Saban and his ability to break down opposing offenses.

Sure, this is the same defense that gave up 42 points to the Texas A&M Aggies and Johnny Manziel, but this unit continues to improve and will continue to do so throughout the season. That can be directly attributed to Saban and his defensive coaching staff.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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