Stats are deceiving sometimes.
It’s a difficult task to compare two sets of numbers and formulate some type of deep analysis.
In the case of Alabama’s pass defense last season, the numbers are pretty clear.
The first 12 games of the 2018 season were not too bad with Alabama allowing 165 yards per game with 12 total touchdowns and 9.3 yards per completion.
The last three games saw Alabama give up an average of 318 yards for 15 yards per completion with eight touchdowns allowed.
The national title game with Clemson clearly stood out with Alabama giving up 347 passing yards, three touchdowns and two plays over 60 yards (62, 74).
You don’t have to remind senior defensive back Trevon Diggs.
“It happened. You learn from your mistakes,” Diggs said on Monday.
Diggs and the rest of the Crimson Tide secondary have put the bad finish in the past and there is no reason to review the film.
We know what happened in that game,” he said. “The only thing you can do is fix it and get better from it. I feel like we are doing that.”
Diggs is one of three seniors (Shyheim Carter, Jared Mayden) leading the Crimson Tide in the backfield this season, along with junior Xavier McKinney. After such a big drop-off over the last three games, Diggs and Company just want to prove they have what it takes to be an elite secondary unit.
“I feel like we are going out there to just earn our respect,” Diggs said. “That is as simple as I can put it. We just have to show everybody that we can play.”
There are several younger players Alabama is counting on to provide depth at defensive back, including Nigel Knott, Josh Jobe, Jalyn Armour-Davis and a talented group of freshmen in Daniel Wright, Jordan Battle, Scooby Carter, Brandon Turnage and DeMarcco Hellams.
But one of the biggest returning players is Patrick Surtain Jr., who played a big role as a freshman last year.
“I’ve seen Pat grow tremendously,” Diggs said. “This year he’s proven that he knows the plays, the calls, the adjustments and he knows how to re-route (receivers). I’ve seen a big improvement.”
Surtain Jr. stepped up as a freshman and contributed with 37 tackles and seven pass break-ups.
“It takes a lot of heart,” Diggs said of Surtain stepping in as a freshman. “He was able to do some of the things the older guys can do and even better.”