Paul Finebaum says Alabama's issue on defense comes down to Lane Kiffin 'outscheming them'
Was it Pete Golding’s fault, or does Nick Saban take responsibility for the defense’s production? Those are issues Alabama fans are wrestling with in the wake of the Ole Miss offensive shootout. But Paul Finebaum believes it may have simply been Lane Kiffin outscheming the Crimson Tide.
Ole Miss QB Matt Corral passed for 365 yards and the Rebels put up 647 yards on that defense. The teams combined for an SEC-record 1,370 yards in the 63-48 Alabama victory.
In the wake of the defensive struggles, Finebaum struggled to put his finger on the one issue facing the Tide. He explained his thoughts on his regular appearance on “The Roundtable” on WJOX-FM in Birmingham, Alabama on Monday morning.
“I don’t know what to say other than, is it coaching, is it the right players, it’s hard to tell sometimes,” Finebaum said. “As you guys know, I’ve never been a fan of Pete Golding, I made those comments a couple of months ago and I’m still not really a huge supporter. I’ve yet to see much improvement in the Alabama defense since he took over, a couple years ago midway through the season and I still don’t. As soon as you say that, others will point out, it’s Nick Saban’s defense ultimately, and it is, but he’s the head coach, he’s not the coordinator.”
Finebaum understands the argument that Saban is involved, and may, in fact “run the defense.” But that may have told the whole story.
“In this case, I think it was a classic case of Lane Kiffin outscheming them,” Finebaum said. “That was noticeable to someone sitting at home or in the last row at Vaught-Hemingway, there wasn’t much doubt about that, had nothing to do with signals, it had nothing to do with anything. Other than the fact that the Alabama defense from top to bottom literally got out-maneuvered almost the entire game.”