Heading into the season, many were predicting this Alabama defense would be the best Nick Saban has had in his five years in Tuscaloosa. Through four games, it certainly appears to be.
This is a suffocating defense that doesn’t give up big plays, doesn’t give up many points, first downs or yards, and doesn’t give up many third-down conversions.
I thought I’d throw these numbers out there to illustrate just how dominant this Saban defense has been this season . My intent is not to depress Florida fans, but these stats might just do that:
* The Tide is giving up only 184.0 total yards a game and ranks in the top three in the nation in pass efficiency (74.70 passer rating), scoring defense (8.8 points a game), rushing defense (45.75 yards a game) and pass defense (138.25 yards a game).
* Alabama’s defense has been the best in the nation in limiting pass completions. The Tide has held opponents to 43.95 completion percentage (67 of 157) and leads the nation in fewest yards per attempt (3.52) and is second in yards per completion (8.01).
* Opponents are averaging a mere 2.82 yards per play against the Tide.
* Opposing offenses have driven across midfield against Alabama only 13 times this season.
* The Alabama defense is giving up an average of only 11.75 first downs per game this season.
* The Tide defense has been its smothering best early in games. Alabama has given up only 10 first-half points all season.
* The Alabama defense leads the nation in three-and-outs with 30 through four games.
Statistically, this is the best defense in the nation — and the best Saban has had at Alabama (and maybe anywhere else).
Yards and first downs and points are going to be hard to come by for the Gators on Saturday.