5 defenses that will challenge the Alabama offense most in 2023!
A new era of offense in Tuscaloosa will be on display this fall as Nick Saban welcomes new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees to the stage. Rees comes over from his alma mater Notre Dame and at age 31, will have the weight of the premiere college football program on his shoulders.
Not only is there a new coordinator on the offensive side, but the Crimson Tide will also be breaking in a new starting quarterback with the departure of the legendary Bryce Young. The quarterback competition has yet to be resolved and it has a lot of fans and analysts concerned that Alabama might take another step back in 2023, but whether it’s Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson, Tyler Buchner, or even true freshman Dylan Lonergan, the Crimson Tide offense will look a lot different than the previous few seasons.
As we inch closer and closer to the kickoff of the 2023 season, it’s time to take a closer look at each opponent and how Alabama matches up with them. Today, we look at the five most formidable defenses the Alabama offense will face in 2023.
For whatever reason, Mark Stoops doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the job he has done at Kentucky. While they may never be a threat to win the SEC, the Wildcats consistently play a tough brand of football that causes headaches for its opponents. Defensively they are not elite by any stretch, but generally, they play sound, fundamental football and make their opponents earn everything they get.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Before being promoted to head coach following the unfortunate passing of Mike Leach, Zach Arnett was regarded as one of the brightest young defensive minds in the sport. The Bulldogs play an aggressive yet disciplined brand of football defensively and always seem to make things difficult for their opponents.
We all know that Texas is loaded with talent, so that is not in question. But for the longest, it seems like the Longhorns have failed to play consistently on the defensive side of the ball. Texas did show some signs of improvement last season and will likely continue that trend in 2023. Remember, the Longhorns held Bryce Young and Alabama to just 374 yards of total offense last season in Austin.
This all starts with super sophomore Harold Perkins Jr., who might be the best defender in all of college football. Not to say that LSU doesn’t have talent everywhere else, but this defense goes as Perkins goes. Maason Smith returns to the defensive line after missing most of last season with a knee injury, giving the Tigers a formidable front seven.
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M is flat-out loaded with talent on the defensive side of the football. A total of five linemen were five-star prospects according to at least one of the major recruiting services. The Aggie also return one of the better nose tackles in college football in veteran McKinnley Jackson. In the back end, star safety Demani Richardson returns for his fifth season of college football. The Aggies are deep at all positions and will cause a headache for the Tide offense when they travel to College Station this fall.