Alabama football: Dylan Moses, Keith Holcombe step up in wake of injured linebackers

Alabama football drives the conversation here at  the Rammer Jammer SEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Filling the gap

Alabama lost two linebackers on Saturday. Shaun Dion Hamilton will miss the rest of the season, while Mack Wilson will be out 4-6 weeks. That means Alabama needs its backups to step up and fill their roles. Two of those players, Dylan Moses and Keith Holcombe, are ready for the challenge. Moses received increased playing time on Saturday following the injuries, and was a force. Moses had 1.5 sacks. The Crimson Tide will need him to be just as dominant in the coming weeks. Holcombe, who has mostly played dime linebacker, will also see an increased role. Holcombe is looking forward to the opportunity.

Still, even with the talent behind them, Alabama has a big gap in the middle of the defense. The Crimson Tide will need to solve its linebacker problem on the fly.

In other headlines …

  • Alabama is ranked No. 2 in the second College Football Playoff rankings. Georgia remained No. 1.
  • Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts was named a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback.
  • Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd said New England making the Super Bowl is more certain than Alabama winning the national championship.
  • Hurts had the best grade among SEC quarterbacks, according to Pro Football Focus.
  • SEC analyst Greg McElroy said he never took any money while at Alabama.

More than one connection?

Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton was held out of the Crimson Tide’s exhibition game because the NCAA had not reinstated his eligibility. This was most likely due to Sexton’s connection to the resignation of staffer Kobie Baker and the FBI’s probe of college basketball. A report posted by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman showed that Sexton may have more than one connection to the FBI investigation. Coach Avery Johnson spoke with reporters about the situation following Alabama’s win over Alabama-Huntsville on Monday.

“The NCAA informed us late this afternoon that he has not had his eligibility reinstated by the NCAA,” Johnson said. “We don’t have any other further information at this time. We will continue to cooperate with the NCAA. We’ve been proactive throughout this whole process and work towards a situation that results in Collin’s timely reinstatement.”

Offensive line

Alabama’s offensive line is banged up after a tough performance against LSU. The team allowed 4 sacks and 7 tackles for loss. That backed up Alabama a total of 34 yards. Alabama also only gained 116 yards rushing against the Tigers. This week, Alabama coach Nick Saban detailed what went wrong with Alabama’s offensive line against LSU.

The Crimson Tide will need to correct its mistakes when it faces Mississippi State on Saturday. That may not be easy. Alabama could be missing one of its starters on the offensive line. Left tackle Jonah Williams was off to the side for the second straight day in practice. Freshman Alex Leatherwood replaced him.

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The post Alabama football: Dylan Moses, Keith Holcombe step up in wake of injured linebackers appeared first on SEC Country.

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