Alabama has destroyed its opponents’ third-down conversation hopes so far this season.
In the season opener, Louisville converted just 4 of 14 attempts. Last weekend, Arkansas State converted the same amount but on 19 attempts. Both shake out to be less than a 30-percent success rate.
“It’s just an attitude thing,” UA defensive lineman Quinnen Williams said. “It’s a really big moment that we live on, like third downs. Some people may say it’s second downs for the defensive line, or some people will say it’s an interception down. But we really look at it as it’s our time to really buckle down and give our offense the ball back.
“Like this is our moment.”
Three of Arkansas State’s conversions came from runs that went for 10-plus yards. The other was an 8-yard pass.
Louisville split its conversions, two rushes and two passes. All were for more than 10 yards.
“You just have to want to get off the field on third down,” defensive back Deionte Thompson said. “That’s one of our goals every week, and we have to do a good job of doing it this week if we want to win the game.”
This week’s game at Ole Miss marks the start of Alabama’s SEC play.
In its two games so far, Ole Miss has converted 43 percent of its third downs, finishing with a combined 10 of 23 against Texas Tech and Southern Illinois. Its offense has averaged 9.4 yards per play, which is more than double what Alabama allowed against its first two opponents.
“We haven’t really focused on what we’re doing right,” Williams said. “We’re just focusing on everything we’re doing wrong and all the mistakes and errors we had so we can be better on the end part of the season.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.