The Arkansas Razorbacks (3-4) travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium and take on the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) on Saturday. Kickoff for the game is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
It has been an awful four game losing streak for the Razorbacks and that mark has a very good possibility to go to five in a row after this weekend.
For six games straight, Alabama has beaten the Hogs and they also lead the overall series 16-7. The Arkansas football team lost in one of the most embarrassing games in Razorback Stadium history last year to Bama, 52-0.
Alabama, while maybe not as dominant as they have been in years past, is still showing why they are the top-ranked team in the country.
They have essentially dominated their opponent in every game so far this season except against Texas A&M when they had another impressive comeback victory to stay undefeated for the year.
The Crimson Tide defense is ranked second in the country only giving up 11.3 points per game. Texas A&M racked up 42 points against Bama, but other than that, the Tide haven’t given more than 10 points in any other game this year.
This does not bode well for the Arkansas offense that has had trouble scoring in SEC play, averaging only 16.7 points per game.
A.J. McCarron is the longstanding quarterback for the Tide and is looking for his third straight national title appearance. McCarron is consistent as ever, completing nearly 69 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns.
T.J. Yeldon has taken over running back duties for Bama and, as expected, has carried the offense well, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
Arkansas’ offense has struggled tremendously the past two weeks and if no adjustments are made, this game will be no different.
Alex Collins, despite the struggles, still averages just over 100 yards a game, and his running partner Jonathan Williams is averaging 80 yards per game.
A concern this week for Nick Saban and the Tide is that this will be the most physical game that they have played all year and the offensive line for the Hogs will have to make some holes for these two backs if they want to move the ball.
This type of ground and pound running attack is something that the Alabama defense hasn’t seen yet so far this year and maybe something that the Razorbacks can take advantage of.
As stated time and time again, quarterback Brandon Allen has to play mistake-free football if the Razorbacks want to have any shot at staying competitive in this game and any turnover may put the game completely in Bama’s hands.
This young Arkansas team may have the toughest schedule in the country, but right now there is no time for excuses and another blowout victory for the opposition may just send this season completely down the drain and fans right over the edge.
Honestly, you cannot expect this team to go out and get the victory on Saturday, but oh what a monumental upset it would be. A few turnovers here, a couple of key stops there, and you never know how the game can turn out in the end, that’s why it’s settled on the field.
Is it going to happen? Probably not, but crazier things have.
The new fad of ‘moral victories’ has become common in the sports world and while it may be considered ignorant by many, if the Hogs keep this one within a couple of touchdowns, you would have to think of it as being positive takeaway.
Bret Bielema may finally get his guys to play SEC-caliber football and at least stay competitive in this game to quiet some of the critics. There would be no better time or place than in Tuscaloosa against the seemingly unstoppable Crimson Tide.
Overall, Alabama is Alabama and they should have no trouble taking care of the struggling, young Hogs on their own turf. I just don’t see anything that could make me believe that Arkansas can move the ball on offense or stop the Tide on defense.
Saban calls off the dogs midway through the third and gets some of his bench players some quality playing time while Arkansas is lucky to score.
Arkansas- 7 Alabama- 49