Posted: 11:03 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Two weeks ago I looked at the 2012 offensive stats and using those same numbers, predicted the Over/Under on the 2013 offense. In the end, some not so outlandish but possibly bold predictions were made. Today, we will do the same for the defense and see if any real prognostications can be made for a 2013 unit that has to replace it's top corner, safety, nose tackle and role players at linebacker and defensive line.
Avg Per Carry
Average Yards Per Carry: Over
Yards Per Game: Over
Explanation: 'Bama allowed 2.43 yards per carry in both 2011 and 2012 but in 2010 you'll notice that number rises to 3.29 (which would have been good for 10th last year nationally.)
I just don't see the 2013 defense being as dominate up the middle as the last two seasons, so I took the over.
Same goes for yards per game. However, I feel we'll actually allow less total rushing TD's. Why? Well, oddly enough only two defenses during the Saban era have allowed more than 6 rushing TD's. 2012 (10) and 2007 (14).
Yards per Game
Yards per attempt: Under
Yards Per Game: Under
Explanation: If you were to ask any random 'Bama fan where the 2012 defense struggled the most, the answer you'd receive would most undoubtedly be our pass defense. However, the numbers just don't prove that to be the case. Sure, if you compare 2012 to the ridiculous 4.3 yards per attempt set in 2011, 6.12 is struggling. But if you remove 2011, and look at 'Bama defenses historically under Saban, somewhere in the high 5's is much more reasonable.
Yes, last year the defense struggled at times in the passing game but given the talent that returns in 2013, this unit has a chance to improve on that number.
Pass Efficiency D
Yards Per Att
Completion Percent: Push
Explanation: This one was tough for me to pick because historically QB ratings under Saban have been a tad inconsistent (103, 83, 103, 87, 106, 117). I picked the Under here because again I believe this years pass defense to improve.
And again, outside of the silliness in
2011 2009 (46%) Bama has averaged somewhere in the low to mid 50's for completion percentage. I think if they duplicate that in 2013, we are likely celebrating #16 this time next year.
Total Yards Against: Over
Average per play: Push
Yards Per Game: Push
Explanation: Have you looked at averages for Saban defenses lately? Taking out 2011 (the best) and 2007 (the worst) Bama has averaged 3586 in total yards against, 4.3 yards per play and 261 yards per game. Do you see them bucking this trend? I don't.
If we continue to be "average" I think we'll all be pretty dang happy come January. Also, I feel SEC offenses will most likely improve from 2012. Arkansas, Tennessee, Auburn can't all get worse, can they? Add to that an improved Ole Miss and it'll be much harder for our defense to improve all that much from 2012.
Points Per Game
Field Goals: Over
Total Points: Over
Points Per Game: Over
Explanation: See my reasoning above in that SEC offenses will improve in 2013 as to why our scoring D will take a slight dip. Honestly, I don't see it changing all that much. 11-13 points per game seems about right.
Tackles For Loss
Total TFL: OVER
Per Game: OVER
Explanation: CAPS LOCK EMPHASIS MINE. Look, I know we love to say Bama likes to "Affect the Quarterback" (see sacks below) but we need to get MOAR tackles for loss in 2013 and I think with this group that indeed is a possibility.
86 isn't necessarily a low number but I wouldn't say we should aim for it either. Always strive to be better, right? Just for reference sake, Stanford had 124 TFL's last season. Now THAT's a number we should tackle, amiright?
Per Game: OVER
Imagine an Alabama defense that not only "affects the quarterback" but also puts him on his ass as well. Again, for reference sake, 35 is the most sacks in a single season for a Saban led Alabama defense. Thirty. Five. Even the infamous 2011 defense only had 30 sacks.
Can we do better in 2013? I believe so. Pagan, Stinson, Hubbard, CJ et al seem better fit to rush the passer. Add Duval and Anderson and we'll hopefully see more sacks in 2013.
3rd Down D
Explanation: If you were to ask Coach Saban where the 2012 defense struggled the most, his answer would probably be in 3rd Down defense. If you look back at the Alabama's two worst defensive performances from 2012, you'll see exactly what he'd (possibly) be referencing. -. (LSU 50% and A&M; 61% respectfully)
If you remember correctly even Ole Miss had an above 50% conversion rate on 3rd down (8 for 17). And just so you know, the worst defense on 3rd down in 2012 was Kentucky's 52.3%. In my opinion, if you wanna know how good this defense will be in 2013, pay attention to how they perform on 3rd down against Va Tech and A&M.;
Explanation: In 2011 it seemed as if no one could score on that defense (they only gave up 10 pts a game) let alone in the red-zone (an insane 58%). The #1 team in 2012 was Utah St. at 64%.
At this point, what logical conclusion can be made other than that the 2013 defense will be just as good, if not better, than its predecessors? History tells us that at the very least they'll maintain the current level of success. I do believe this years D will look different than what we're use to seeing. We'll be slightly smaller up front and will be quicker at the point of attack. This change is largely out of necessity due to the growing number of HUNH offenses in the SEC.
Like it or not, the speed of the game is only going to get faster and in the end, Saban must adapt with the times much like SEC defenses had to adjust to Spurrier's offense in the 90's. Our defensive philosophies won't change and our coaching staff has proven over and over again that they constantly look at OUR teams weaknesses and proactively look for ways to stay ahead of the curve.