TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 08: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide yells to his team during the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
At the halfway point of Alabama's 2011 regular season, the Crimson Tide arguably boasts the best defense in the nation. Not only does Alabama currently have the No. 1 rushing defense and scoring defense in college football, the Crimson Tide is also in the top four for passing defense and total defense.
Obviously, there's a lot of football left to play and some major challenges awaiting the Tide in the remaining schedule, but we thought it might be instructive to see where Alabama's other Nick Saban-led squads were at after six games. And, since this defense has been repeatedly compared to some of the best in the program's history we've included the same info for the legendary 1992 and 1961 National Championship-winning teams.
Defensive Yards Allowed through 6 Games
Judging by these numbers, so far this season The Crimson Tide defense is playing at a level far above any of Nick Saban's previous teams - including the 2009 National Championship squad. Furthermore, the 2011 unit's rushing defense is shaping up as one of the best Alabama has ever seen historically. They may not be playing like it's a sin to give up a point quite yet, but they certainly seem to feel that way about allowing opponents to accrue rushing yards.
(After the jump you'll find the game-by-game breakdown for defensive yard allowed for each of these Crimson Tide teams.)
As welcome as all this news may be, it's worth keeping things in some perspective. The likelihood of the Alabama defense finishing the season with a sub-200-yards-per-game total is pretty slim. Even the legendary 1992 squad fell just short of that mark (200.15). Yet what is clear is that the performance of the defense under Nick Saban era is substantially better than years past and the 2011 is following that trend with a vengeance.
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