Alabama Front Seven Looks to Elephant Stomp the Clemson Tigers

Alabama outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi is noted as a top echelon recruiter with West Coast ties. His task on Monday night requires coaching the unit to defend against the best dual-threat quarterback the Tide will face this season. Bama defensive line coach Bo Davis is in charge of the finest collective group at the position during the Nick Saban era.

Together, along with defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Kirby Smart, they have developed the edge pass rushers, middle backers and defensive line accounting for the nightmares created in the minds of opposing offensive coordinators.  The front seven has affected, chased, corralled, disrupted and essentially prevented the quarterbacks and running backs from having all-star performances.    

No PR firm is necessitated to promote the value or spread contrived superlatives about the dominating group.  The accumulative stat over the course of 14 games resonates with opponents.  A nation leading 50 sacks established a new standard for a Nick Saban team.  Preseason team rankings are fluid but the Bama versatile front seven is as good as advertised.   

The task on Monday evening is simple to state but difficult to achieve.  Stop the Heisman Trophy finalist and ACC Player of the Year, 6-2, 210 pound sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson and 6-1, 215 pound redshirted sophomore running back Wayne Gallman.  Averaging a healthy 5.5 per attempt, the prolific duo named to the 2015 Coaches’ All-ACC First Team, has rushed for 2,514 yards and scored a dozen touchdowns each on the ground.  Additionally, Watson, the 2015 Davey O’Brien Award recipient has flourished as a passer recording 31 touchdowns and throwing for 3,699 yards.

Linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn HS, AL) has speed to burn on the outside to bolster Bama’s defense against spread option teams.  The sophomore reserve anticipates a few more reps in this game to counter the swiftness of the celebrated Clemson signal caller.  The 6-3, 225 pound Evans is the prototype player to mirror an elusive quarterback frequently scrambling out of the pocket for big gains.  A running back intent on turning the corner shows up on his radar as well.  The Saban recruiting strategy of acquiring talent dedicated to nullify multiple offensive attacks will be on display.

Shaun Hamilton has started five times this season and seen action in every game.  The 6-0, 229 pound sophomore linebacker roams the interior for the Tide defense.  Containing the Tigers quarterback and running back are the prime concern for the Carver HS (Montgomery, AL) product.  Alabama’s defense is built to negate every type of offense.  Hamilton is part of the second wave of players called upon to sustain the defensive intensity.   

Searching for schemes to contain the Tigers, Tosh Lupoi and Bo Davis mentioned footage from a few opponents that have caught the attention of the Tide staff.  Watch and listen as visited with the two assistant coaches and linebackers on media day held Saturday morning at the Phoenix Convention Center.  They divulged the tendencies and challenges presented by the ACC Champions.  The Alabama Crimson Tide  (no. 2, 13-1, 7-1) faces the Clemson Tigers (no. 1, 14-0, 8-0) on Monday evening at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona at 7:30 PM CT on ESPN. 


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