5 Keys for Razorbacks
1. Forget Last Week
The cliché “just take one game at a time” has been used for years in sports. Most often, it is used for teams that have big games in the weeks ahead, but it can also apply to teams coming off bad losses. Arkansas should not have lost to the University of Louisiana-Monroe, and everyone knows it. The Razorbacks must completely put the ULM game out of their minds in order to compete against Alabama.
2. No Needless Penalties
Two weeks in a row, Arkansas has been penalized for hitting a player after he was out of bounds. These penalties give opponents a first down and move them up 15 yards. Arkansas can’t afford to give Alabama any second chances. Likewise, if the Hogs are moving the ball on Alabama’s stiff defense, they can’t afford to lose yards with false starts.
3. Offensive/Defensive Line
The Crimson Tide are known for their physical play on both sides of the ball. On the offensive line, Alabama is led by reigning Outland Trophy winner Barrett Jones and potential first-round NFL draft picks (D.J. Fluker and Chance Warmack). They provide quarterback A.J. McCarron ample time to find receivers. On the defensive line, Alabama averages 6 feet 4 inches, 299 pounds and will challenge Arkansas’ relatively inexperienced offensive line. Both Arkansas lines must step up their game if Arkansas is to have a chance.
4. Wrap Up on Defense
Several plays against ULM almost resulted in sacks, but Arkansas defenders couldn’t bring down quarterback Kolton Browning. They got a hand on him but never wrapped him up, allowing him to escape and make plays. Also, when the Hogs hit ULM’s running backs and wide receivers, it usually took a couple players to tackle them. If Arkansas gets past Alabama’s stellar offensive line, they must capitalize and sack McCarron or tackle their running back.
5. Fan Support
Arkansas is coming off it’s most embarrassing loss since losing to The Citadel in 1992. Fans are not happy, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t support the team. As much as players say they don’t listen to negativity, they still hear it. If Arkansas fans pack Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, it becomes a very hostile environment for the visiting team. Fans need to come and encourage the team so that the Razorbacks can make the most of the home field advantage.