Nick Saban breaks down what Alabama needs to do to stop Mississippi State's Air Raid offense
This week, Alabama will be looking to stop Mississippi State’s Air Raid offense. The Bulldogs got off to a big start in 2020, scoring 44 points in their season-opening win over LSU in head coach Mike Leach’s debut with the team, but they’ve scored only 30 total points over their past three games against Arkansas, Kentucky and Texas A&M, all losses.
It appears that Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has an idea of what works against Mississippi State’s passing attack from seeing what some of the other SEC teams have done to be successful. The key? Playing strong zone defense.
Saban broke down what Alabama’s defense needs to do well Saturday when he spoke with the media during his Monday press conference.
“I think that people who have played really good zone against them break on the ball,” Saban told the media. “I mean, you have to tackle well in space when you do that, you have to break on the ball and you’ve got to force them to sort of take some of the shorter throws and not make explosive plays, which they’ve shown the capability of doing when you’re playing man-to-man concepts. …
“When you’re that spread out on the field and they’ve got five guys going out for a pass all the time and you’re horizontally stretched like you are, when you play man-to-man, somebody gets beat and you have an issue. When you play zone, you have a better chance to play inside out and break on the ball.”
The Crimson Tide are coming off a solid defensive performance against Tennessee. They limited the Vols to 17 points and 302 total yards, forcing one turnover on a fumble recovery.
Alabama and Mississippi State are set to kick off on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.