Arkansas Razorbacks v. Alabama Tide Predictions
This is a very interesting matchup of what could be two of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. This all hinges upon Tyler Wilson’s status for the game. Backups Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell are taking the snaps in practice while Wilson still isn’t cleared to play. A.J. McCarron has emerged as a playmaker with weapons on the outside to get the ball to. I would have to give Alabama the edge with the uncertainty of Wilson.
Alabama returns a very talented runner in Eddie Lacy who has looked very strong the first two weeks of the season. Arkansas has talented runners in both Knile Davis and Dennis Johnson. Arkansas needs to be able to run the clock to give the defense time to rest so Alabama won’t wear them down in the second half. Alabama has a game plan that sticks with their talented backs.
Arkansas will be without its best cornerback, Tevin Mitchel, due to an injury suffered against ULM. Alabama’s secondary seems to be loaded with top talent each year, but some analysts say that the level of talent may be lower this year than in the past. Alabama will have a good game plan. Arkansas needs to match with a good performance against the pass to keep pace.
Arkansas is still working out some bugs in the linebacker core, but they have the talent to put pressure on McCarron. Arkansas will have to play strong on the offensive line to slow down the talented pass rush of Alabama. Both teams will look to stop the run to establish their respective game plans, but Arkansas has yet to prove they can get the job done and Alabama has been dominant in stopping the run.
Arkansas’ punter Dylan Breeding and kicker Zach Hocker have been very efficient in special teams so far this year. Johnson has also done a good job in the return game this year as well. Alabama has some playmakers that Arkansas will have to contain to avoid the momentum-changing plays. Both teams are pretty even in this category.
Alabama has a proven winner in Nick Saban, who has won two national titles with the Tide and is in contention year in and year out. Saban keeps his team disciplined every year. Arkansas is still searching for a formula that will work for them. Interim head coach John L. Smith is letting the coordinators coach, but at times there seems to be confusion on the sideline. Arkansas is hoping for everything to click this Saturday in Fayetteville.
Alabama has lost few games over the last several years and has not lost to Arkansas since 2006. Arkansas is searching for an answer that will rally everyone together to play a complete and solid game. Alabama is very disciplined and well-coached and they will be focused on Arkansas on the road.
Arkansas is hoping the home crowd can will them to a victory to get them back on high hopes to ride the rest of the season.
Final Score: Alabama 35, Arkansas 21.