Arkansas to measure its progress against new-look Alabama


Ole Miss enjoys a bye week this Saturday and resumes play on Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. (CT) against Arkansas in Fayetteville. The duo combined for more than 300 yards of total offense and a handful of big plays to propel the top-ranked Crimson Tide to a definitive 49-30 victory over No. 16 Arkansas. Tennessee almost completed another miraculous comeback against Texas A&M on Saturday but fell short in double overtime, 45-38. The Crimson Tide have been a brick wall against opposing ground attacks this season, as teams are only managing 2.3 yards per rush and 68.4 yards per game. “But Coach Saban, he ain’t having it”.

This one was over before halftime with Bo Scarbrough essentially providing the death blow late in the second quarter, rumbling in from 21 yards out to stake the Tide to a 35-10 lead. That would be the closest Arkansas would get the rest of the game. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley said he thought Jackson could play receiver if he had to. He also picked up two receptions for 60 yards, one of them a 56-yard touchdown.

Passing defense – A: Arkansas just doesn’t have high-level talent to really take advantage of what is a great passing scheme. Alabama reloads and this year is no different. With the defense allowing just 13 points per game thanks to Foster’s leadership, that shouldn’t be an issue. Arkansas junior quarterback Austin Allen has already emerged as one of the SEC’s top signal-callers in his first year under center. The signal-caller has accumulated over 1,200 yards on 94 completions for 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Saban’s team easily dispatched USC in the opener and rallied after an early deficit to beat Ole Miss 48-43 on September 17.

The Crimson Tide even left the door open for the Razorbacks to upset them the last time they visited Fayetteville in 2014.

Needing only to kill the clock and finish off the undead Vols for good, Texas A&M handed to Williams (28 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown), who busted down the left sideline toward the end zone, only to have Tennessee defender Darrell Taylor race from behind to punch the ball through the end zone.

Alabama leads the nation in defensive touchdowns with five through the first five weeks of the season. This is a very underrated unit that Bama will have to contend with. If the Razorbacks manage to run the ball and complement Allen in the air, the Razorbacks could force the Tide defense to struggle. Defensively, Alabama football is yielding 188.0 yards in passing and 68.4 yards in rushing against the opposing teams.

Bielema said as best you can, you must prepare your offense instantly to play defense. Unfortunately, their weakness is also Alabama’s strength.

If No. 1 Alabama’s game at No. 16 Arkansas was supposed to be a test, it was one the Crimson Tide passed.

5A: No. 2 Beauregard (5-0) travels to No. 9 Central-Clay County (5-1) for a big game in Region 4.

Freshman Fullback Hayden Johnson will play Saturday, but will not start following his minor-in-possession arrest last weekend.

“Unfortunately, it’s a stat that is very, very important in winning games”, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said.

Alabama’s defense scored for the sixth and seventh times this season and forced a season-high five turnovers Saturday night.

The over/under at 49 might scare some folks because the Tide’s defense is hard to bet against. Bielema’s history at Arkansas suggests they will improve as the year goes on, but Arkansas just doesn’t have the tools to beat Alabama right now. Take the Razorbacks, who will play inspired at home, to cover the +14.

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