Alabama returns to SEC play traveling to Fayetteville to play Arkansas. The Tide (5-0, 2-0) haven’t lost to Arkansas during the Saban era and haven’t lost outright to the Razorbacks since 2006 (the 2007 win was vacated).
Alabama currently sits anywhere from a 34-36 point favorite.
How can Arkansas stop Alabama?
Apart from the Heisman-leading quarterback, the eight players at running back and receiver who will play in the NFL, and a top-rated offensive line, Arkansas shouldn’t have much to worry about from the Tide. Except the Razorbacks rank 57th in the nation in total defense giving up an average of 362.4 yards per game with a 5.05 yards per play average through five games.
The Tide will want to establish its rush offense early and the Razorbacks rank 22nd in the nation in run defense, allowing 105.8 yards per game and 3.02 yards per carry; that’s pretty good.
Arkansas should avoid Jaylen Waddle
Arkansas has already given up one punt return for a touchdown this year and are giving up an average of 15 yards per return. Jaylen Waddle had his first return for a touchdown last week and is averaging 20 yards per return; the freshman’s average would be higher if not for penalties two weeks ago that negated big returns.
The Razorbacks better figure out a way to kick it away from the freshman phenom.
Alabama kicking woes
Speaking of kicking, Alabama has its own kicking issues to figure out. Joseph Bulovas missed two field goals last week and even though Nick Saban says he still has confidence in his kicker, you have to imagine his leash his short.
As for the Tide punting game, last week couldn’t have gone much better as Alabama had no need for a punter. Nevertheless, Skyler DeLong needs the practice as the freshman is averaging just 36 yards per punt. DeLong’s ability to flip the field will be vital once the Tide run into more formidable defenses.
Jalen Hurts, the passer
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