Alabama’s defensive coordinator Pete Golding developed a dangerous pressure package in the offseason.
The “cheetah package” is nothing short of scary, and it features Will Anderson, Dallas Turner, and Chris Braswell.
All three edge rushers were five stars out of high school. They bring speed, quickness, explosiveness, power, leverage, and technique to affect quarterbacks. The trio was critical in the Crimson Tide’s close win over Texas A&M last week inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Haynes King tossed two touchdowns, but the Aggies quarterback was also running for his life on the field.
Anderson, Turner, and Braswell combined for four tackles for loss, three sacks, and 12 quarterback pressures.
Anderson totaled a team-high and career-high eight quarterback hurries. Alabama travels to Neyland Stadium on Saturday to face an undefeated Tennessee squad in Knoxville, Tenn. College football has a top-10 matchup on its hands at 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS and ESPN’s College GameDay will be in the mix. The Tide must have its pass-rush package affecting Hendon Hooker all game long. Hooker enters the contest with 1,432 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and 13 total scores. He has the Volunteers averaging 46.8 points per game. Hooker sees this opportunity as a ‘championship game,’ and one to make Tennessee’s season special if it wins. The Vols could position themselves for the College Football Playoff if it upsets No. 3-ranked Alabama.
Tyler Steen, an offensive tackle for the Tide, spoke Monday about how difficult it is to block the pressure package.
“It is a tough task,” Steen said about blocking Anderson, Turner, and Braswell. “Those are three really good edge rushers, and they are in the game at the same time. It puts a lot of stress on the offensive line, but it has made us better. We have to go against that in practice, so there is nothing in a game that will be harder to go against. It is tough to go against.”
Henry To’oto’o, a senior linebacker, loves the cheetah package. He said playing with Anderson, Turner, and Braswell makes his job much easier.
“It is fun for me,” To’oto’o said about having Anderson, Braswell, and Turner on the field together. “I just do my job and let them do their thing. We have our cheetah package and that is the package when they are in. I let them get sacks, and they help us on the back end too. So if we are covering, we know we will not be covering for long because they are going to get back there.”
Alabama’s cheetah package has 8.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 18 quarterback pressures in six games.
Anderson, Turner, and Braswell have to make things difficult for Hooker and Tennessee.
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