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Opponent preview: Alabama’s defense

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Defense no longer wins championships?

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State football team will be clashing with the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide inside Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised by ESPN.

The Bulldogs are facing an Alabama program that has historically prided itself on having the most feared defense in college football. However, this year’s team boasts a defense that has been questionable, to say the least.

It used to be said that defense wins championships, but Alabama head coach Nick Saban says that college football has officially become an offensive game.

“It used to be that good defense beats good offense. Good defense doesn’t beat good offense anymore,” Saban said.

The Crimson Tide defense has allowed 427.0 yards of total offense, which ranks 64th in the nation. Alabama has allowed 279.80 yards passing per game, which ranks 80th, and 147.20 yards rushing per game, which ranks 47th.

The defense has shown some signs of hope after a solid performance against Tennessee last weekend, though. Alabama held the Volunteers to 302 yards, which is the lowest total Alabama has allowed since last November when the Crimson Tide gave up 270 to Mississippi State. Saban deemed the performance to be the best by Alabama in 2020.

The Alabama defense is led by senior linebacker Dylan Moses, who has recorded 43 tackles, including 5 12 tackles for loss and 1 12 sacks. Sophomore linebacker Christian Harris is second on the team with 36 tackles.

A quartet of Alabama defensive backs have all recorded at least 20 tackles. Sophomore Jordan Battle has recorded 28, redshirt junior Daniel Wright has recorded 27, sophomore DeMarcco Hellams has recorded 22 and freshman Malachi Moore has recorded 20.