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Alabama Football Film Room: Christian Miller explodes against Ole Miss

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The outside linebacker turned in a dominant performance.

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Kickoff-Alabama vs Florida State
Just pretend this is a picture of Miller playing against Ole Miss
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Miller had been having a relatively quiet 2018 through the first two weeks. That changed in Oxford against Ole Miss. Miller, a redshirt senior, had a career night. Going into the game, he had just 3 tackles on the year and had never recorded more than 3 in a single game.

Miller notched 5 tackles against the Rebels, including 2.5 sacks, also a career-high. And he had those 2.5 sacks before halftime. While there were plenty of standout performances (Trevon Diggs, Quinnen Williams, Deionte Thompson), Miller’s was enough to garner him SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

3rd and 5: Miller (#47) is standing up on the right side of the defense. He stunts inside; and, with the center focusing on Mack Wilson’s rush, Miller accelerates and slices right through the line. QB Jordan Ta’amu gets the ball out quickly, though (and Isaiah Buggs deflects it at the line); so Miller doesn’t actually affect the play.

1st and 10: Miller has his hand in the dirt this time on the left side of the line. He explodes off the snap and gets upfield quickly. Miller gets his arm right in his chest and turns the corner. Ta’amu gets the pass off quickly again, before Miller gets there; and Deionte Thompson (#14) picks him off.

2nd and 25: Miller is on the left again with his hand in the dirt. He swipes away the right tackle’s hands (reminding me of Ryan Anderson going against some poor right tackles), gets some nice bend, and is past the tackle. Miller wraps Ta’amu up and brings him down for his first sack of the year.

4th and 7: Miller is on the left. The right tackle blocks down on Raekwon Davis (#99), and they leave the running back to pick up Miller’s rush. Predictably, Miller has no trouble with this block and drives the back into Ta’amu’s lap. Ta’amu vainly tries to escape, but Miller sheds the block and grabs ahold of the Ole Miss quarterback. Anfernee Jennings, who whipped the left tackle initially, gets by a second blocker and comes in to help finish the sack.

3rd and 7: Miller is back on the right this time. He tries to swipe the hands of the left tackle - Greg Little, a former 5 star, #3 overall recruit - but he fails. Miller continues to move upfield, but Little stymies him once more. Dylan Moses (#32) rushed from the left side, and the running back does a terrible job of blocking him. Ta’amu has to step up to avoid the oncoming Moses and, in the process, trip’s over Little’s foot, sending him sprawling to the ground. Miller is credited with the sack, but Moses made it happen.