April 22, 2017
Coming into the season, Alabama believed its secondary was one of the strongest parts of the team. However, in the first half of the Crimson Tide’s spring game the secondary allowed 499-yards through the air.
Sophomore Treveon Diggs was the main target. He allowed 175-yards on three plays, two of which resulted in touchdowns.
“Everyone gets beat,” defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said. “It’s not about how you got beat, you just have to learn from it. I’m going to talk to him and make sure he is in the right frame of mind.”
Diggs was a receiver last year before making the switch to defensive back at the start of spring.
The secondary turned it around in the second half, allowing just 162-yards.
“There’s not one part of our team, that when I watch film on it, I’m going to be satisfied with the way they played,” head coach Nick Saban said. “There were plays that we could play better. I think that how you self-correct is what I’m talking about, in terms of learning on things they got beat on. That’s what I expect of guys in the secondary.”
With 4:03 left on the clock Jalen Hurts threw a pass to Calvin Ridley to tie the game at 24. With under a minute less on the clock Hurts was leading the Crimson Tide offense again. On third and 14 Hurts fired a pass at Ridley. Ronnie Harrison lit up Ridley, but a targeting penalty was called, keeping the game alive.
JK Scott would end up kicking the game winning field goal at the end of the drive.
“We wanted to treat that whole situation like the Clemson game,” linebacker Rashaan Evans said. “We [the White team] came up short, but going into summer workouts we are going to work on finishing.”
The Alabama defense ended up coming up with four interceptions. Sophomore linebackerTerrell Hall finished with an interception that went back for a touchdown.
“We got to see what we need to improve on, and where we can go from here,” Da’Ron Payne said. “Just a lot of little things like the little technique stuff.”
The defense stopped the run game, like it did for most of last season. Najee Harris was the leading rusher with 70 yards. The two teams combined for 69-yards on the ground.
The pass rush sped up in the second half to help minimize the time the quarterbacks had to throw the deep balls. In the second half, the two defenses combined for eight sacks, compared to the four in the first half.
Linebackers Keith Holcombe, Evans and Christian Miler all finished with a pair of sacks each.
On his way to winning Dwight Stephenson Lineman of the A-Day Game Award,Raekwon Davis took quarterback Mac Jones to the ground on his sack, even though quarterbacks weren’t supposed to be hit in the game.
The younger players made their presence felt all day. Along with Hall’s pick-six, Diggs and freshman Kyriq McDonald both finished with interceptions. Digg’s interception was in the end zone to stop a long drive by the Crimson team. McDonald’s was on the White’s own 23-yard line.
“I’m so proud of them,” Evans said. “I knew they were going to play good, because they got the fact to showcase their talent.”
Alabama takes on Florida State in Atlanta on Sept. 2
Source:: The Crimson White Sports