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Alabama Football Film Room: Reuben Foster is unstoppable

Reuben Foster cares not about injuries.

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Alabama Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s game against Chattanooga was not exactly the high point of the season. The team started slow and never really got into a sustained rhythm. Still, the defense allowed less than 200 yards again and didn’t allow a touchdown for the third straight game.

Reuben Foster, recently named as one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, had another solid performance with five tackles, two of which were for a loss. He briefly exited the game due to injury, but he wasn’t about to let a chipped bone in his hand take him out for long.

1st and 10: Foster has returned to the game. Shaun Dion Hamilton moves outside to cover a late arriving receiver. Foster remains in the middle. Da’Ron Payne is left unblocked and goes inside to take the running back, so QB Tyler Roberson keeps it. Roberson runs to the left, but he has nowhere to go. Foster reacted quickly on the snap, easily running right after the center, who had moved up to block him. Foster is untouched and, by the time Roberson has taken his first step to the left, Foster has already reached the line of scrimmage. He drops Roberson for a three yard loss.

1st and 10: Foster and Hamilton are the middle linebackers again with Hamilton lined up on the strong side. The Mocs motion the slot receiver from left to right, and this is where their troubles begin. Hamilton stays where he is instead of following the receiver outside. With both Foster and Hamilton still in the box, the center is left with two men to block instead of just one. He takes Hamilton, leaving Foster with an unobstructed shot at RB Derrick Craine.

1st and 10: Foster is to the right of Hamilton just inside the hashmark. Chattanooga running back Richardre Bagley is lined up as an H-back on the left, and he comes across to the right on a jet sweep. Bagley is angled backwards and has to loop before he can get upfield. Hamilton gets taken out by one of the blockers, but this leaves Foster free. Ryan Anderson also does an excellent job of setting the edge and funneling Bagley into the hole that Foster is filling. Foster smashes into him behind the line of scrimmage; but the back stays on his feet and powers forward a yard. Dalvin Tomlinson is right there, though; and Foster and Hamilton both join in the tackle.

1st and 10: Chattanooga has trips right, so Hamilton is off covering a receiver. Facing only five in the box, the Mocs probably feel pretty good about their odds on the upcoming handoff. The center snaps it and moves to block Foster; but Foster, who has taken a couple steps to keep his feet moving, sidesteps the block and is clear to make a play. However, Tomlinson fights through his block; and Ronnie Harrison has come charging down from his safety position. Even though Foster doesn’t end up being involved in the play, he set himself up to if his teammates hadn’t stopped it.

3rd and 2: Alabama’s in nickel with three down linemen and three linebackers. Ryan Anderson is standing up on the left side directly next to Dalvin Tomlinson. Foster (right) and Hamilton (left) are the two middle backers. Foster reads this all way. He isn’t fooled by the pulling left tackle and guard and explodes into motion, heading to intercept the running back. Trotter has absolutely no shot on his only rush of the game, and Foster takes him down for a seven yard loss.