© Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

After losing quarterback Tua Tagovaialoa for the season, the Alabama Crimson Tide needed a spark in Week 13. Junior safety Xavier McKinney provided it early with an interception and just came through again with a pick-six in the first quarter.

McKinney’s first interception of the game put his lightning-quick reflexes and instincts on display. After starting to move to cover one receiver, the junior flipped back towards the throw on his opposite side and jumped the route for an interception.

Clearly, McKinney wasn’t done showcasing his playmaking abilities. After Western Carolina’s offense drove inside Alabama’s 35-yard line, McKinney took advantage of a deflection by snagging the football mid-air and then strolling down the sideline for the 81-yard touchdown.

The Crimson Tide needed someone to step up given all of the injuries they’ve experienced this season. McKinney seems ready to be that player and it’s going to make Alabama’s defense a lot better.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick