After a 3-1 start to the season, Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea and his team now face SEC action. Their first task? Stopping Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr.

It is no secret that Anderson is one of the best players in the country. Lea acknowledged the fact in Wednesday’s teleconference ahead of his matchup with the No. 2 Crimson Tide.

“He’s a game-changing player,” Lea said. “Obviously, his pass-rush abilities are well-documented. He’s got a physical style in the run game. And he really allows them to do some things in coverage that – through gap cancellation, his ability to play through the tackle and cancel the B gap and also hold the C gap and slash off and make plays on the ball – allows them to commit more of their secondary to coverage and take those guys out of conflict.”

The real secret, however, is how to stop or even contain him. While he hasn’t jumped out to the heisman-esque start this season that many thought he would, he is still a force that needs to be game planned around.

Anderson is a factor even when he is not the one making plays for the Tide, and he responded to his penalty-riddled Texas performance with a sack and a pick-six against Louisiana Monroe.

“So we’re gonna be aware of him and aware of where he is, and I think every team that plays against Alabama has to key on him and know that, each snap, he has the ability to make a difference on his own,” Lea said.

Anderson strikes fear into his opponents, and he will only get better as the season rolls on.