The top-ranked Alabama football team hosts down-on-its-luck Arkansas on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Coming off a road win at Texas A&M, UA has questions to answer. Here are four of them:
1. How will Alabama finish?
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban lamented his team’s ability to put away Texas A&M last weekend after building a 24-3 lead. Instead of pulling away, Alabama allowed the Aggies to get back into the game. Alabama will want to close out this game in more emphatic fashion.
2. What will the turnover margin be?
Arkansas turned the ball over four times in a loss at South Carolina last weekend, with three of those converted into defensive scores. Alabama has turned the ball over just once with 13 takeaways in six games. This looks like an opportunity for UA to further enhance its turnover ratio.
3. Will the Crimson Tide mount an effective pass rush?
Austin Allen torched Alabama’s defense for 400 yards last season in a Crimson Tide victory. The Alabama pass rush seems to be improving week after week, as evidenced by four sacks and a quarterback hurry at Texas A&M. UA will need to disrupt the Arkansas air attack, and it starts with the pass rush.
4. Can UA’s offensive line get it together?
Texas A&M made nine tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including three sacks. Alabama’s line did some good things, but the 5.3 yards per carry and 232 net rushing yards were deceiving considering 75 yards came on one of the Crimson Tide’s first runs of the game. UA wasn’t dominant up front, and has to find more physicality in the ground game and be more sound in pass protection to make this offense go.