Defensive dominance may have Tide rolling their way to Pasedena
OXFORD, Miss. -
On one, Alabama's inside linebacker made a rare mental error. He was assigned to spy the tailback, but he noticed Ole Miss speedster
McClain will study these plays dozens of times in the next six days to determine what he did wrong. Long after this season ends, he'll remember them. "If he makes a mistake," Alabama coach
Those two plays, by the way, didn't cost the Crimson Tide a win. Not even a touchdown. On a day when the offense stalled five times in the red zone, Alabama still crushed Ole Miss, 22-3. But McClain's reaction to them should help explain why Alabama might be the safest bet to get to Pasadena this season.
The Crimson Tide won't relax.
Alabama nose tackle/continent
In fact, Saban said, McClain effectively acts as a coach on the field, conducting Alabama's symphony of musical linebackers and defensive linemen. That front seven terrorized Ole Miss quarterback
Alabama's best player and its coach might be perfect complements, since neither seems capable in finding comfort even in the most lopsided win. Saban hopes that attitude rubs off on the rest of his players. He knows complacency is a sneaky foe, but he hopes they can stay on edge. "It's a challenge," he said. "It's not really human nature to do that." Fortunately for the Tide, neither McClain nor Saban is an ordinary human.
The same couldn't be said for Alabama's offensive players Saturday. The Tide rolled like a juggernaut over previous opponents, using a bruising running game to set up huge plays through the air. Saturday, Alabama's offense showed weakness for the first time. Quarterback
Still, Alabama's offensive players couldn't help but feel they didn't hold up their end of the bargain Saturday - especially in the red zone. "We just made a stupid error every time we got down there," Tide guard
But as long as Alabama gets it done on defense and special teams - Tide senior linebacker
Given Alabama's size on defense, that still could prove pricey. So McElroy has a plan, especially for the 354-pound Cody. "I'll want to limit him to about five," McElroy said. "We've got to watch his weight."
Hopefully, the offensive players can convince McClain to go. They'll have to tear him away from game film, though. He made two mistakes Saturday, and he has to make sure that never happens again.