It is not everyday that a player makes 18 tackles in a game, and Karl Joseph did not even realize this big accomplishment until the coaches mentioned it to him during film study of the Alabama game on Monday.
Joseph was not paying too much attention to his own statistics during the game, he said he just wanted to do what he could to help the team win.
Now playing as the bandit safety instead of his old position, free safety, Joseph is in the box and around the ball more often, which led to a lot of tackles.
“I like being around the ball like that,” said Joseph. “But at the end of the day it is whatever coach Gibson wants me to do to help the team.”
There was little more Joseph could do to help the team. He was involved in play after play, showing his ability to both support the run and cover against the pass. A ‘do-it-all’ kind of guy, Joseph knows he is going to be put wherever there is a need for his undeniable talent; whether that be in the box or playing back and covering the deeper parts of the field.
“I like to think I can do both,” said Joseph when asked about his preference between being up front or playing back. “I am a versatile player, I feel comfortable in both areas.”
That's as good a description as any for the 5-10 junior, who also bring a tackling punch to the field. Last year, he was named NFL Network’s ‘Biggest Hitter’ in college football for the 2014 season.
Although he made his share of takedowns against the Crimson Tide, Joseph noted that during the game against Alabama, players were missing tackles, which did not allow the defense to get off the field.
“We just have to play our roles,” Joseph said. “We gave up a lot of rush yards, and that comes down to us doing our job.”
Looking forward, the speed of the game should dramatically slow down next Saturday against the Towson Tigers. The game will serve as a good learning point for players to execute better in the tackling phase, although Joseph seems as if he is already in midseason form in that regard.