All in all, the Alabama defense gave up only twenty-two net points yesterday (twenty-four minus two created on the safety) against Houston. On the surface, twenty-two points seems like a fair amount. On the the other hand, Houston is essentially the definition of an offensive juggernaut.
So how does it stack up with how other teams have performed against the Cougars?
Quite well actually.
Of the last eighteen games, only once has Houston scored fewer than twenty-two points, and that was last year when the Miami Hurricanes -- which was one of the top defenses in the country -- held the Cougars to only thirteen points.
For some other decent-to-good teams, it didn't go that well. Last year Southern Miss gave up 27 and 34 points, respectively. Oklahoma State gave up 34 points a year ago. South Carolina gave up 36 points in the Liberty Bowl a year ago. In the season opener, Oregon gave up 27 points. You get the idea.
All in all, you have to give our defense a fair amount of credit. The probably aren't that talented, we really don't have any significant amount of depth, and we are playing a ton of freshmen and other inexperienced players. Nevertheless, despite the offense really hurting this unit on a consistent basis, these guys are getting it done.
Had these guys played like we expected them to in the pre-season, we wouldn't be where we are today. I don't know exactly where we would be, but we certainly wouldn't be 4-2.