RTI Film Study: Alabama’s Dominance

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    Jeremy Pruitt’s Blitz Packages

    (Image via Sporting News)

    Alabama’s defense hasn’t slowed down since Kirby Smart left for Georgia.

    The Crimson Tide brings a lot of pressure. That’s not too uncommon. But they never use the same look twice in a row. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will bring blitzes from everywhere, and that spells trouble for Jarrett Guarantano and Tennessee when he makes his second ever start and first career road start this weekend.

    Alabama overloads the right side of the offensive line, and the protection slides over to account for an extra rusher. But the overcorrection is costly.The right guard ends up sliding to the left, meaning the center has no one to block. That leaves the running back to pick up two pass rushers, and Arkansas has no chance of getting a successful play off.

    Bama also delays the linebacker’s outside blitz, which means the quarterback can’t step up in the pocket or try to escape. The timing is perfect, and the Tide force an easy incompletion.

    On the flip side, even when you have the right protection, Bama’s linebackers are just faster and stronger.

    The running back is in great position, but he’s blown up for an easy sack. That’s why offenses will often overcorrect against the blitz. Because you need all the help you can get against an Alabama blitz.

    John Kelly will play a pivotal role in giving Jarrett Guarantano time to throw. But Guarantano also needs to realize that he’s going to get hit. He has to stand in the pocket and get rid of the ball quickly in these scenarios, because scrambling to the outside is just going to cause a big loss more often than not.

    Tennessee needs ways for him to get the ball out quickly over the middle. I expect Kelly to block the linebacker then sprint out to the flat for a check-down route. That’s going to be UT’s best way to move the ball if Saban brings pressure.

    But even when you rely on the screen in the flat, Bama’s defense is just faster.

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