Alabama Football: Vols wary of Crimson Tide cheetahs


Though the Alabama Crimson Tide is favored against Tennessee, expectations are higher in Knoxville than the tallest Smokey Mountain. Tennessee fans are confident this is the year the long Alabama Football win streak against the Vols, ends.

Tennessee fans are sure the Vols’ offense is better than the Crimson Tide’s offense. They also know that Alabama has the better defense. The Tennessee position group Vols’ fans view as their only, serious team flaw, is the defensive backfield.

Even so, the Tennessee faithful believe their team can win a shootout. They are sure Tennessee will win easily if Bryce Young cannot play or is less than fully healthy. The Josh Heupel, UT offense ‘kool-aid’ is so strong, many Tennessee fans are not concerned about Bryce Young being 100%.

What does sow doubt among the Orange Nation is the Alabama football Cheetah Package. The three, elite pass-rushing package was first used extensively by the Crimson Tide against Texas A&M. The official Crimson Tide stats from Saturday credited the Tide with 14 hurries and three sacks. The cheetahs; Will Anderson Jr., Dallas Turner and Chris Braswell created 12 of the 14 hurries.

Alabama Football Goal: Affect the opposing QB

Nick Saban says affecting the opposing quarterback is more important than sacks. In that context, ‘Quarterback Pressures’ is the best measurement. The count for QB pressures includes quarterback knockdowns. The knockdowns are when the quarterback is hit cleanly and goes down after a pass attempt.

The unofficial pressure counts from Saturday night credit the Crimson Tide with 21 pressures. Haynes King threw 46 passes for the Aggies. The Crimson Tide defense pressured him on almost half of those throws. That, and the Alabama football crowd, is why the Crimson Tide won the game.

The Vols are worried something similar could happen to them. Based on NCAA Sacks Allowed stats, Tennessee is the 7th best SEC team and better than Texas A&M. Of course, the Aggies have played the Crimson Tide and the Vols have not faced a pass rush comparable to the Tide’s.

There is no discounting the fact that Hendon Hooker is an outstanding player. The Vols, especially with Cedric Tillman back have a strong receiver group. Ramel Keyton has only caught 10 passes, but his receptions have averaged over 20 yards. Jalin Hyatt is one of the top receivers in the SEC. Bru McCoy is not far behind. Tillman might not be 100% after his ankle injury recovery, but in the preseason, he was chosen for some All-SEC and All-America teams.

The Vols also expect to get starting left tackle, Gerald Mincey back. Mincey did not make the trip to Baton Rouge.

Note: Player stats in this post were from

Next. Against Aggies, Tide had more Studs than Duds. dark

Tennessee, with considerable offensive talent, has good reason to be confident. But the Crimson Tide has a strong defensive team – including the Cheetah Package.