Alabama Team News

Alabama LB Rashaan Evans expects ‘smash-mouth’ football from Arkansas

Rashaan Evans
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Are you ready for some smash-mouth football? Rashaan Evans is, and he’s pretty sure Alabama will get exactly that on Saturday against Arkansas.

Evans said the Crimson Tide is prepared for the Razorbacks’ ground game when the teams meet Saturday night at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa during an interview posted by the athletic department.

“They’ve always been a smash-mouth team that likes to run the ball,” the Alabama linebacker said.

Arkansas has certainly lived up to that designation this year, even without star running back Rawleigh Williams III after the junior was forced to retire with recurring neck injuries.

Under head coach Bret Bielema, Arkansas has called 204 rushing plays this year compared to 135 passes, with those carries split almost equally among Chase Hayden, Devwah Whaley and David Williams. All three have carried the football 50 or more times.

Fortunately for Alabama, Evans believes the Crimson Tide will be well equipped to deal with the Razorbacks’ offense after last week’s action against Texas A&M.

“Going against a team like that, they pretty much show similar tactics as Texas A&M,” Evans said. “They always want to spread you out in a way, and also they’ve got athletes as well. You can definitely see the similarities to those guys.”

One of those similarities could be a problem for Alabama.

Last week, Texas A&M freshman quarterback Kellen Mond caused the Crimson Tide defense trouble with his athleticism, moving around in the backfield and throwing for 237 yards. Evans sees similar traits in Arkansas senior Austin Allen.

“He showed some great ability to escape the pocket, just like we faced last week with Texas A&M,” Evans said. “I think that’s the number-one thing for us to get better at, just to make sure we get the quarterback down and contain the pocket.”

Alabama has dominated the series with Arkansas over the last decade and hasn’t lost to the Razorbacks since Nick Saban took over the program in 2007.

RELATED: Alabama’s close game against Texas A&M bad news for the rest of the SEC.

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