Dallas Turner, LB
It goes without saying that Texas has to block standout junior Alabama linebacker/edge rusher Dallas Turner well to let Ewers maximize his ability in the passing game this weekend. Turner is Alabama’s most proven and productive pass rusher. He’ll be looking to take advantage of a Texas offensive line that had a lot of missed assignments and miscommunications out of the gates last weekend against Rice.
Yet, I expect Flood’s group to be more physical and buttoned up with their blocking assignments against Alabama than in the opener against the Owls.
Texas did a pretty good job blocking Turner in last year’s matchup. Turner was held to just two quarterback pressures, one QB hit, and no sacks against Texas last season. Texas held him a little more than one pressure and 0.5 sacks below his season average.
This season, Turner is stepping into an important role for Alabama’s defense, replacing what the Tide lost in standout edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. The two-time reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Anderson registered over 200 quarterback pressures and 35 sacks in his three years at Alabama (between 2020 and 2022).
"“Dallas Turner has been a very good player in his career here,. We want him to continue to develop of be the very best player that he can be. Create the most value he can for himself and the team. We want to do the same thing with Chris Braswell or whoever plays that position.”"
While he is careful not to compare Turner to Anderson, Saban has high expectations for the type of player the talented junior edge rusher/linebacker can become for the Tide this season and in the future.
Sophomore offensive tackle Kelvin Banks Jr. and redshirt senior Christian Jones will have their hands full this weekend with Alabama’s pass-rusher duo of Turner and senior Chris Braswell. But given what we’ve seen from Banks and Jones as the best pass-blocking duo in the Big 12 at offensive tackle since last season, they should be up to the task of protecting Ewers in the pocket against the duo of Turner and Braswell.