By Tommy Deas
Alabama had some offensive line issues last weekend, but Damien Harris has been a steady force in the ground game and Jalen Hurts is a bona fide playmaker. Arkansas is struggling in all areas, but Jonathan Nance is a threat at wideout.
The Crimson Tide hadn’t allowed a touchdown in SEC play before Texas A&M rallied a bit last weekend. This unit will want to make a statement, and Isaiah Buggs adds some punch to the lineup. The Hogs are so-so against the run, and that’s the good news for Arkansas.
Alabama hasn’t been perfect in the kicking game, but Arkansas has been downright woeful, with just one field goal made and a poor return game to go with average punting. Andy Pappanastos has been perfect on extra points, and has made a few key kicks.
Arkansas seemed to have made a good hire in Bret Bielema, but he has gotten away from the physical, power-oriented football that he brought from Wisconsin. Bielema is a funny guy, but there’s nothing funny about how Nick Saban approaches the game.
If anything, Alabama letting Texas A&M off the hook will probably give the Crimson Tide some needed motivation against an inferior opponent. Arkansas is reeling after being throttled last week, and has shown little promise this season.
Alabama 42, Arkansas 10
Arkansas did battle on even terms with a Texas A&M team that gave Alabama a good fight, but that’s about the only thing upon which Razorback supporters can hang their hats. Alabama seems superior in every phase of the game, and has more big-play threats.
Alabama 45, Arkansas 3
Alabama’s ground game rolls over Arkansas in front of its home crowd. Bama puts on a dominating performance over the Razorbacks, getting its 11th straight win in the series. This one is out of reach by halftime.
Alabama 41, Arkansas 20
The Aggies found a way to keep the game close last week, but things are different inside of Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama shouldn’t struggle with the Razorbacks, and will have extra motivation this week after the offense failed to move the ball in College Station with ease like it has all season. The Crimson Tide running game will get the job done once again.
Alabama 42, Arkansas 6
Even if anyone in Tuscaloosa can remember the 1998 Alabama-Arkansas game, I doubt they choose to relive it. A disaster of a day for the Crimson Tide which shows how things can change over the years and how sometimes you don’t what you’ve ‘til it’s gone, as Joni says.
Alabama 44, Arkansas 18
If quarterback Austin Allen plays, he’ll help the Razorbacks score some points. But it’s hard to imagine the Hogs with a win regardless of his availability.
Alabama 41, Arkansas 6
This may be feeding Alabama rat poison, but the Crimson Tide should be more focused against Arkansas after struggling in the second half last week at Texas A&M.
Alabama 49, Arkansas 3
Arkansas is coming into a hostile environment with questions at the quarterback position and a weak running game. Throw into the mix all the talk about Bret Bielema’s job security and that all adds up to disaster for the Hogs.
Alabama 45, Arkansas 10
Arkansas is not a great football team. If Austin Allen isn’t 100 percent healthy, and reports are he isn’t, it makes the job all the more difficult for the Hogs.
Alabama 42, Arkansas 13
Last week’s game was the reality check Nick Saban wanted his team to have. So, how does the Crimson Tide respond? Well, it’s going to come out and stomp all over the Razorbacks, a team that is only ranked No. 1 in the SEC for time of possession.
Alabama, 38, Arkansas 7
After Texas A&M it is clear that Alabama needs to go back to the drawing board with decision-making. Poor judgment and failure to read surroundings lead to a lot of missed opportunities both defensively and offensively.