Statistical Snapshot: Yards Allowed through Six Games

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
Rush Yd/Gm Pass Yd/Gm Tot Yd/Gm
2011 39.83 151.50 191.33
2010 102.50 193.00 295.50
2009 63.17 154.83 218.00
2008 50.83 211.33 262.17
1992 47.83 107.00 154.83
1961 46.17 75.67 121.83

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.

To give a sense of how much things have changed we've put together a graph showing the final yards allowed per game (Total Defense) figures for every Alabama squad in the past 13 years.

Defensive Yards Allowed per Game 1998-2010
2011

Rush Yds Tot/game Pass Yds Tot/game Total Yds Tot/game
Kent State -9 -9.00 99 99.00 90 90.00
Penn State 107 49.00 144 121.50 251 170.50
N. Texas 68 55.33 101 114.67 169 170.00
Arkansas 17 45.75 209 138.25 226 184.00
Florida 15 39.60 207 152.00 222 191.60
Vanderbilt 41 39.83 149 151.50 190 191.33

 

2010
  Rush Yds Tot/Game Pass Yds Tot/Game Total Yds Tot/Game
San Jose  89 89.00 86 86.00 175 175.00
Penn State 127 108.00 156 121.00 283 229.00
Duke 146 120.67 156 132.67 302 253.33
Arkansas 64 106.50 357 188.75 421 295.25
Florida 79 101.00 202 191.40 281 292.40
S. Carolina 110 102.50 201 193.00 311 295.50

 

2009
  Rush Yds Tot/Game Pass Yds Tot/Game Total Yds Tot/Game
Va Tech 64 64.00 91 91.00 155 155.00
FIU 1 32.50 213 152.00 214 184.50
N. Texas 61 42.00 126 143.33 187 185.33
Arkansas 63 47.25 191 155.25 254 202.50
Kentucky 133 64.40 168 157.80 301 222.20
Ole Miss 57 63.17 140 154.83 197 218.00

 

2008
  Rush Yds Tot/Game Pass Yds Tot/Game Total Yds Tot/Game
Clemson 0 0.00 188 188.00 188 188.00
Tulane 86 43.00 232 210.00 318 253.00
W. Kentucky 42 42.67 116 178.67 158 221.33
Arkansas 92 55.00 217 188.25 309 243.25
Georgia 50 54.00 274 205.40 324 259.40
Kentucky 35 50.83 241 211.33 276 262.17

 

1992
  Rush Yds Tot/Game Pass Yds Tot/Game Total Yds Tot/Game
Vanderbilt 138 138.00 72 72.00 210 210.00
So. Miss 28 83.00 26 49.00 54 132.00
Arkansas 28 64.67 164 87.33 192 152.00
La. Tech -8 46.50 125 96.75 117 143.25
S. Carolina 43 45.80 148 107.00 191 152.80
Tulane 58 47.83 107 107.00 165 154.83

 

1961
  Rush Yds Tot/Game Pass Yds Tot/Game Total Yds Tot/Game
Georgia 48 48.00 64 64.00 112 112.00
Tulane 84 66.00 27 45.50 111 111.50
Vanderbilt 57 63.00 77 56.00 134 119.00
N.C. State -5 46.00 123 72.75 118 118.75
Tennessee 38 44.40 23 62.80 61 107.20
Houston 55 46.17 140 75.67 195 121.83
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