The Alabama Defense Leads College Football in These 11 Stats
When Jeremy Pruitt took over the defensive coordinator position from long-time assistant Kirby Smart, some wondered whether we'd see any drop off from an Alabama defense that consistently ranks near the top nationally. But after a 12-game regular season, it's clear to see that this unit might be the best ever under Nick Saban.
Take a look through the many statistics kept by the NCAA and it won't take long find the Crimson Tide on the list. In fact, Alabama has been so dominant in 2016 that it leads the nation in 11 different categories. This team isn't just really good, it's really good in practically every area.
Let's take a look through the list of stats where Alabama sits atop college football as it heads into the SEC Championship Game against the Florida Gators.
This is the lowest average in college football over the past five seasons and the best for Alabama since 2011 (183.6 ypg).
Most programs would slap that number on a recruiting pamphlet and send it out, but this is actually just the third best average in the Saban era. That's not to take anything away from 2016 but rather to point to how stingy Alabama defenses have been.
This is the lowest average over the past eight seasons of college football and the best of the Saban era if it can hold. The only other season Alabama gave up fewer than 75 yards rushing per game was 2011 (72.15).
Alabama's streak of non-offensive touchdowns has been well-documented throughout the season. For the year, the defense has scored in 7 of 12 games.
Alabama enters the postseason on a streak of 267 minutes, 54 seconds without allowing a touchdown, which dates back to the third quarter of the Texas A&M game in October. Eight of the 12 total offensive touchdowns were scored in two games (Ole Miss, Arkansas).
Only three teams (Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee) have managed to find the endzone on the ground against Alabama this year. Even more impressive, the defense didn't allow a single rushing touchdown inside Bryant-Denny Stadium for 2016.
The Crimson Tide is on track to have the fewest first downs allowed since - you guessed it - the 2011 Alabama team that gave up an average of 12 first downs per game.
Nearly every other possession ends in a 3-and-out for teams facing the Alabama defense. 74 out of 155 drives have finished without a single first down this season.
This stat obviously has a small sample size compared to the others but Alabama has only allowed four 4th-down conversions on 19 attempts.
Alabama opponents are averaging just 1.5 red zone attempts per game, which means it's been difficult enough just getting into scoring position on the Crimson Tide this season.
As you can imagine, the lack of red zone attempts led to low scoring totals, but you have to give the defense credit for limiting the damage when teams get close. Only one out of every three red zone attempts ended in a touchdown, which is the 2nd-best percentage in the country and resulted in just six total touchdowns.