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Alabama Football Film Room: Dylan Moses excels in first start

The talented freshman had himself a day against Mercer.

LSU v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Alabama linebacking corps has been a little banged up as of late. With the loss of Shaun Dion Hamilton and Mack Wilson against LSU, Keith Holcombe and Dylan Moses had their numbers called. After what can generously be called a bad game from Holcombe, Moses got the start next to Rashaan Evans against Mercer.

And boy did Moses have a good game.

3rd and 1: The Bears are actually threatening here on their first drive. They’re facing third and short and are operating out of the shotgun with trips right. Moses is on the weakside, and he’s coming on the snap. The right tackle and guard try to block Anfernee Jennings (#33), who was lined up as the left defensive end; but he slices in between them and gets pressure in the backfield, forcing the running back to stop almost immediately. Moses has come around the line unblocked and is in perfect position to make the stop, notching his first of four tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

1st and 10: Moses is lined up on same side as the running back. He takes a step forward and sees the QB Kaelan Riley toss it to the left, and he turns towards the sideline. Tony Brown (#2) does a fine job of fighting through his block and sets the edge, forcing the back to turn upfield. There’s the tiniest sliver of a lane; but Moses and Jennings are both in position and dive at him, taking him down for a minimal gain.

1st and 10: Mercer is in shotgun with the running back on Kaelan Riley’s right hip, and Moses is on the weakside. It’s an inside handoff, and Moses reads it well. He heads towards the right gap while watching the running back. Moses waits for the right moment before bursting forward to hit the back at the line of scrimmage. He stands him up and, with a little help from his teammates, brings him down.

2nd and 9: Mercer is once in the gun with two wide receivers to the right and the running back, CJ Leggett, to the right of Riley. Leggett swings out to the right on the snap, and Moses immediately takes off after him. The slot receiver on the right turns to block Moses, who side steps him, all the while keeping his eyes on Leggett. He then cuts straight through the right tackle and guard and is already behind the line of scrimmage before Leggett has even caught it. Moses makes the easy tackle for loss.

3rd and 5: The Bears toss the ball right, and RB Alex Lakes takes off on the third and medium. Moses is on that side and makes a beeline for him. It’s a bad angle, however; and Lakes gets the edge. With Moses’s athleticism, it doesn’t matter; he adjusts and still ends up making the tackle. It is a four yard gain, though.

2nd and 7: Mercer busts out the diamond formation, and they run playaction. Moses bites and steps forward, and he’s picked up by an offensive lineman. He sees the fake and moves back out of the block into coverage. This leaves him right in the path of the pass, and Moses makes his first career interception look easy.

1st and 10: Nothing fancy from Moses on this play. Mercer fakes the end around; and Moses cheats up a little, watching but never letting his feet stop moving. When he identifies the fake, he begins dropping back and drifting to his left. Moses sees the running back, who has made his way through the line and is going out for a pass. So Moses turns and runs with him, completely shutting down the possibility of Riley going his way.