Defense Remained Coy

Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines was proud of his defensive unit's effort in Alabama's 30-21 win against Southern Miss Saturday night, but he might have been almost as proud of the opponents as the game wound down.

"We can't even imagine what it's like for those players from Southern (Miss) to have to play this game," Kines said in his post game comments, "to turn around and go home and some of them don't even have a home to go to. Our hats are off to Coach Bowers and his staff and those players. They've been kicked out in the street here for a couple of weeks."

Alabama played a base defensive package for most of the night for the second week in a row, and quarterback Dustin Almond was able to hit for 190 yards on 15-of-30 passing with one interception and two touchdowns.

"They had a heck of a plan against us and a heck of a quarterback," Kines said.

The Alabama defense didn't allow much on the run, however. Taibacks Larry Thomas and Cody Hull netted a combined 44 yards on the ground, and Southern Miss finished with nine net rushing yards, a number skewed by four Alabama sacks on USM quarterback Dustin Almond.

"The front was able to get to him early and then late in the game," Kines said. "We hit a spurt where they threw and caught the ball on us and we have to go to work to get that corrected, but I can't imagine what those guys have to go back to, and I hope and pray that they'll be fine."

Mark Anderson was the Tide's tackling leader, with six total tackles, including four solo stops, one and a half sacks and two and a half tackles for loss along with two quarterback hurries.

Freddie Roach didn't show any ill-effects from the elbow injury that kept him out of most of last week's game. Roach finished with two tackles, a quarterback hurry and a pair of pass break-ups; one that nearly was an interception.

Jeremy Clark and DeMeco Ryans each had sacks in the game, and Roman Harper was the second-leading tackler with five stops, including half of a sack.

Kines said Southern Miss was a good ramp up for South Carolina next week, and among the most physical teams the Tide plays.

"No question. They're always physical," he said. "When you come out of a game with Southern you're going to be bruised up the next week or two."

Kines' defense ran every blitz known to man a year ago, and obviously left something in the bag for the SEC opener in Columbia, S.C. next week.

We're going against one of the best offensive minds in the world (next week). They've moved the ball against everybody he's ever played. We'll have a heck of a week's work to see what we can do against them.


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