Will Anderson Jr.’s Up and Down Day in Texas
Will Anderson, Jr. had an up and down day against the Texas Longhorns in Alabama's 20-19 victory over Steve Sarkisian's program. While the Bronko Nagurski trophy winner recorded two tackles for loss and his first sack of the season, he also accounted for four penalties for 30 yards.
That comes out to roughly one third of the flags thrown against the Crimson Tide in Austin. Three of the flags were for offsides and one was for a late hit.
The late hit call came in the third quarter and pushed the Longhorns into field goal range. After the defense held them to eight yards on the following three plays, Texas kicked it between the uprights to go up by six points.
However, despite the lapses in mental discipline pre-snap and the show of frustration in the third quarter, Anderson was a major contributor to the Tide's narrow victory.
On the first quarter play where Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers was knocked out of the game by Dallas Turner, Ewers was desperately scrambling in order to avoid the immediate pressure brought by Anderson. Additionally, Turner went completely unblocked on this play as the right tackle attempted to come inside to help block Anderson.
The game completely changed from that point on. Texas struggled to score with backup quarterback Hudson Card under center whereas Ewers had been nine for 12 on attempts for 136 yards in just the first quarter.
Just before halftime, Texas attempted a 20-yard field goal that would have put them up by three heading into the half. Although it was called missed, video appears to show Anderson getting a hand on the kick, sending it wide to the left. Anderson was not credited for the block.
Anderson's first sack of the season came on a critical third down in the fourth quarter. Texas was driving down the field while down 17-16. Andersons sack may not have put them out of field goal range, but it did force them to go for three instead of pressing on for a touchdown, allowing Bryce Young the opportunity to take the ball back down the field to set Will Reichard up for his first game winning field goal.
After the game, Anderson called the crowd at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium one of the loudest environments he's ever experienced.
"To be honest, since I've been here these last three years, this is probably the loudest environment I've played in, probably the hardest game I've played in since I've been in college football," said Anderson. "Their fans were super loud and they had a lot of energy."