Countdown to kickoff: 24

From now until kickoff in Arlington, Texas, we'll be counting down the days before Alabama and Michigan get the season started. Today, we move to No. 24 and what it means to UA football. See all the previous editions here.

The University of Alabama defense was historically good. We've gone over that, but it goes beyond stopping the pass or stuffing the running game. When a play needed to be made, the Crimson Tide were there consistently. On third down -- crunch time -- the Alabama defense allowed the offense to convert and make a first down 24 percent of the time.

In another area wrought with pressure, the UA defense held its own and more. Inside the red zone, Alabama surrendered just six total touchdowns.

So where did the Crimson Tide rank in red-zone and third-down defense. Let's take a look:

Third-down defense

1. Alabama: 24.46 percent conversion

2. Florida: 27.27 percent conversion

3. Georgia: 28.93 percent conversion

Red zone defense

1. Alabama: 55 points, .59 scoring percentage

2. Houston: 213 points, .67 scoring percentage

3. Michigan: 169 points, .69 scoring percentage