Alabama's Nick Saban: 'Good Defense Doesn't Beat Good Offense Anymore'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 24, 2020

Alabama head coach Nick Saban is shown in an NCAA football game against LSUSunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Tuscaloosa , Ala. LSU won 46-41. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Nick Saban originally built Alabama into a powerhouse program thanks to an intimidating defense, but the Crimson Tide head coach concedes the way to win in 2020 is with offense.

Speaking to ESPN's Chris Low, Saban explained why "good defense doesn't beat good offense anymore" in college football: 

"It's just like last week. Georgia has as good a defense as we do an offense, and we scored 41 points on them [in a 41-24 Alabama win]. That's not the way it used to be. It used to be if you had a good defense, other people weren't going to score. You were always going to be in the game. I'm telling you. It ain't that way anymore.

[...]

"I don't like it. But we just have to make sure we have an offense that's that way and that explosive, which we have."

Those comments come as Alabama's defense is off to a rough start in 2020. The unit has given up at least 414 yards in each of its last three games and is allowing an average of 28.8 points through four games. The Crimson Tide have never allowed more than 22 points per game in a season since Saban took over in 2007. 

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Despite those issues, Alabama is 4-0 because the offense ranks second in the nation with 48.5 points per game. Quarterback Mac Jones has thrown for 1,518 yards and 12 touchdowns with a 78.3 completion percentage. 

Saban's team still has the talent on defense to wreck opposing teams. That group came up huge last week against Georgia by shutting out the Bulldogs in the second half after giving up 24 points in the first two quarters. 

Jones, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Najee Harris are so good that Alabama doesn't need an elite defense to compete for a national championship in 2020.