TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's defense is finally starting to show the effects of losing all those stars.
The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide's defense has had trouble in the past two games against No. 8 LSU and No. 9 Texas A&M with missed tackles and making third-down stops. Those two teams have managed more yards and points against Alabama than anybody else this season while converting 55 percent of their third-down attempts.
Before those games, the Tide had been leading the nation in all the major categories just like last season. That defense had four players selected among the top 35 in the NFL draft.
Coach Nick Saban says this team doesn't have a dominant pass rusher like linebacker Courtney Upshaw last season.
Safety Robert Lester says "it's tough to keep giving up touchdowns."