Alabama football’s report card vs. Cincinnati
Inside Linebackers: B+
Henry To’o To’o and Christian Harris have gotten better all season, and it is easy to see how their leadership has helped the Tide defense. To’o To’o seems to be in the right place at the right time. On the first drive, he tipped a pass that kept a touchdown off the board.
The inside linebackers blitzed well, and the middle of the field was well-defended. Alabama didn’t have a perfect game, but credit the inside linebackers with staying tough in the middle of the field.
Outside Linebackers: A-
Will Anderson has to be the focal point of every drive when you try to stop him. He can’t be stopped with one person, and you have to scheme around his ability to rush the passer. Anderson can pressure the quarterback and stop the run. He can also drop back in coverage and pursue the quarterback when he scrambles.
Anderson’s impact goes beyond the stat sheet. He can get other players free because the offense is focused on stopping him. This was seen when Dallas Turner got a sack near the end of the first half. Anderson got a sack on the next play.
Considering the fact that Turner was the fourth OLB on the depth chart to start the year, he has blossomed. He will be a key returner for next year’s defense alongside Will Anderson.