Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Defense Will Exploit Turnover-Prone Tyler Bray

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 29:  Deion Belue #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates an interception against the Mississippi Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama's defense has been on the prowl again this season, allowing less than 7.5 points per game. They're fast, ferocious and extremely well-coached, which will cause problems for the Tennessee Volunteers in Week 7.

Among college football quarterbacks, you won't find many with a better arm than Tennessee's Tyler Bray. However, he's also extremely prone to turnovers. A gunslinger's mentality will get him in trouble against a disciplined, Nick Saban-led Crimson Tide defense.

On the year, Bray has 16 touchdowns. He also has seven interceptions. After starting the year with two interception-free games, he's thrown one or more in his last four games.

Tennessee needs Bray to play well for its team to have a chance, and he knows that. Oftentimes he tries to do too much with that idea in mind.

Rajion Neal has been solid out of the backfield for the Volunteers, but not enough to take the pressure off of Bray. Outside of Neal, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is the team's second-leading rusher, relying on his dynamic playmaking to break big runs rather than his consistency.

Allowing Alabama to key on Bray is going to be tough. He's only been sacked three times this year, but the Crimson Tide will find a way to get to him. This will prompt bad decisions and worse results.

Bray's physical ability isn't, and won't ever be, the issue. At 6'6'', 215 pounds, he throws the deep ball as well as anyone you're going to see this season. With Patterson and Justin Hunter working the outside, the Volunteers' passing attack can get down the field on you very quickly.

But this Alabama defense has been on a different level this season. Its front seven loves to play aggressive, in-your-face football, and the secondary boasts several physical athletes to mess with a receiver's timing.

Tennessee is a sneaky team, but things don't quite add up most of the time. Bray makes one or two excellent throws, then leaves you scratching your head. He's a bit of an enigma, due to his sketchy decision-making.

It's hard enough to beat Alabama when playing a perfect game. Making mistakes is fatal against the Crimson Tide, and that spells trouble for Bray and the Volunteers.