Dallas coaches discuss Bama defense

Published 11:03 pm Friday, November 25, 2011

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal


When the Auburn Tigers’ offense takes the field Saturday afternoon in its annual showdown with rival Alabama, it will have the seemingly insurmountable task of outplaying the nation’s best defense.

Finding yardage, let alone points, against the Tide defense has often been a fruitless endeavor for opposing offenses, as Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense, holding opponents to an average of 195.9 yards per game, and has only allowed 10 offensive touchdowns all year.

Besting an Alabama defense that is littered with future NFL first-rounders is a quandary local football minds have offered a game plan for if they were in Tigers’ head coach Gene Chizik’s shoes.

“I’d try to control the football, try to get first downs and limit Alabama’s touches of the football,” said Leroy Miles, head football coach at Selma High School.

“I’d run the ball just like LSU did. I think LSU probably passed the ball seven times in that whole game … to keep their (Alabama) offense off the field and keep the ball out of Trent Richardson’s hands.”

Miles said the Auburn offense is just going to have to take what it gets and aim to win the field position battle.

“You’ve just got to be patient enough and settle for the three yards and a cloud of dust,” Miles said. “Just be patient enough to take the three yards. A punt is a good play in a game like this. You look at if Alabama would have punted the ball against LSU instead of trying to kick those field goals, which LSU did and won the field position battle.”

Keith High School head football coach Harry Crum said the key for Auburn should be to try and turn Alabama’s aggressiveness against it.

“First of all, I know Alabama would be trying to do a lot of attacking against me,” Crum said. “Looking at it from that standpoint, against a team that’s that physical and flies to the ball in that manner, I’d try to use their speed and quickness against them and run a lot of misdirection. I’d try to run a lot of reverses and counters just to try and offset that speed. I’d also run some play action passes to kind of try and freeze those linebackers at the point of attack and just hope we can get somebody open down field.”

Morgan Academy head football Brian King said the Tiger attack should start through the air.

“You’ve kind of got to start out seeing what you can get away with on the pass and target your big receivers because Alabama destroys guys as soon as they catch the ball,” King said.

“You’ve got to try some slip screens and a lot of misdirection.”

Like Crum, King said misdirection plays could stem the Tide’s speed and quickness.

“Auburn, with where they stand, they can get away with trying whatever they can because they’ve got nothing to lose playing a defense that good,” King said. “So I’d look for a lot of reverses and plays like that that kind of go off your tendency plan because Alabama’s going to stop your best five run plays and best five pass plays. I’d try to do some stuff I hadn’t run very much, try to hit some big plays and hope you can score fast.”

Dallas County head football coach Willie Moore said the Tigers only hope might just lie in being themselves.

“If I were Gene Chizik, I would just play within their (Auburn) team philosophy and play to their strengths,” Moore said.

“I’d just try to not turn the football over and minimize the mistakes. That’s the only chance I think they have to win.”