De­fense is the key

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

It’s said that de­fense wins cham­pi­onships, and in 2009 that wasn’t just a cliché. The top five teams in to­tal de­fense — Texas Chris­tian, Alabama, Texas, Florida and Ohio State — com­bined to win 63 games while los­ing only five. The top five teams in to­tal of­fense — Hous­ton, Ne­vada, Troy, Texas Tech and Texas A&M — were a com­bined 42-24.

Last year, Alabama was 42nd in to­tal of­fense and stingy on de­fense. Only two teams, Cincin­nati and Ore­gon State, had fewer turnovers than Alabama, which yielded just 12. Quar­ter­back Greg McEl­roy might not have looked im­pres­sive against Texas, but for the year he threw only four in­ter­cep­tions to go with 17 touch­down passes. This year, the Bama of­fense will be much more ex­pe­ri­enced than the de­fense and might have to win a shootout or two to keep the Tide in the cham­pi­onship hunt.

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