Alabama ranks top 10 in the country in numerous statistical categories. Scoring offense, interceptions and third-down conversion percentage are some of the areas where the Crimson Tide pace the nation.
However, Alabama is ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard in one particular statistic: fumbles recovered. In that category, Alabama is tied for last, having only recovered one of two forced fumbles.
“That’s a major issue because we pride ourselves in forcing turnovers,” outside linebacker Christian Miller said.
Alabama’s lone recovery was made by defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, who fell on a ball fumbled by Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu. Safeties Deionte Thompson and Xavier McKinney delivered the hit that jarred the ball loose.
Last season, Alabama forced 13 fumbles, recovering five. In 2016, a historically good Crimson Tide defense forced 26 fumbles and recovered half.
“I remember two years ago, we used to score every game on defense,” Miller said. “I don’t remember the streak of defensive touchdowns, it was crazy. We’re trying to get back to that. Our DBs are doing a great job of getting interceptions. That’s one way of getting turnovers, but getting the ball out, that’s something we need to do better.”
Defensive lineman Raekwon Davis believes getting the ball out of opponents’ hands is something that will come naturally.
“I feel like it’s going to come when it comes,” Davis said.