Three things to know as SEC West champ Alabama football ends regular season at Arkansas
Alabama football travels to Arkansas having already clinched the SEC West championship, primarily hoping to retain its undefeated season going into the SEC Championship Game against Florida on Dec. 19.
Here are three things to know going into Alabama’s regular-season finale against the Razorbacks (11 a.m., ESPN).
Sticking the Hogs
Arkansas’ defense is on a three-game streak of giving up more than the average SEC defense, leading to losses in all three games.
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On Nov. 14 against Florida, the Razorbacks allowed 593 yards to a Gator offense averaging 511 yards at the time, Two weeks later, against Missouri, Arkansas allowed 653 yards to an offense averaging 403 yards per game entering the game. In between, the Razorbacks became one of just two teams to allow two or more touchdown passes to LSU since the injury to quarterback Myles Brennan.
The Razorbacks allowed 140 combined points over the three games.
A chance at record dominance
Alabama is riding a five-game streak of wins by at least 29 points, having beaten Tennessee by 31, Mississippi State by 41, Kentucky by 60, Auburn by 29 and LSU by 38. It is just the third such streak in program history joining five-game streaks from the 2018 and 1920 seasons. Beating Arkansas by at least 29 points (as 31½-point favorites) would make it a record streak.
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This streak is something UA has only rarely come close to in recent history. The 2018 and 2020 five-game streaks and a four-game streak in 2013 are the only times a Nick Saban-coached UA team has compiled a streak of more than three wins of at least 29 points.
Najee Harris close to SEC lead
The SEC’s rushing leader in South Carolina’s Kevin Harris with 1,138 yards, and Alabama’s Najee Harris is not far behind at 1,038.
South Carolina has already finished its 10-game season, giving Najee Harris one game against Arkansas to tally 101 yards and finish the regular season as the SEC’s rushing leader.
He is certain to finish the season as the SEC’s leader in rushing touchdowns — he has 20, Kevin Harris is second with 15 — and could also work his way up UA’s record book in the next two weeks.
Najee Harris is two touchdowns from tying the school record for career rushing touchdowns, shared by Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram. Harris has scored multiple rushing touchdowns in six of UA’s nine games this season and three or more scores in four games.
He is also 176 yards from tying Henry’s record for career rushing yards. His average of 115 yards per game would see him conclude the Arkansas game 35 yards away from second place in school history and 61 yards away from the record.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson