Alabama Rolls Over Arkansas for a Shutout
On an already dreary day, the Razorbacks lost their first Southeastern Conference football game of the season to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 52-0.
Alabama more than tripled Arkansas’ yardage Saturday, with 438 total yards in 65 plays to Arkansas’ 137 yards in 62 plays.
Alabama won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half, making Arkansas receive the first kickoff and defend the north goal.
The Razorbacks looked to have a chance of scoring midway through the first quarter when Alabama was given two penalties: one for roughing the passer by safety Vinnie Sunseri, and another for a face mask by linebacker Xzavier Dickson.
Though the penalties gave the Razorbacks extra yards, they couldn’t manage to make a run or catch for a touchdown, leaving the scoring up to junior kicker Zach Hocker. His 41-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright and ricocheted off, leaving the Hogs scoreless.
The Razorbacks were off to a rocky start, especially at the end of their second possession when the deep snap for senior punter Dylan Breeding went over his head for a fumble, forcing Breeding to kick the ball out before Alabama could grab it. This resulted in a penalty for Arkansas for an illegal kick, placing Alabama at the Arkansas 6-yard mark.
Alabama’s first touchdown came with 9:40 left on the clock with a rush by running back Eddie Lacy for six yards. Place kicker Jeremy Shelley’s kick attempt was good, setting the score to 7-0, Alabama.
At the top of the second quarter, Lacy tried to rush, but had no gain due to a tackle by senior linebacker Alonzo Highsmith. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s next pass was incomplete, and place kicker Cade Foster attempted and scored a 51-yard field goal in the first 50 seconds.
In five minutes, Alabama was back at the Arkansas 20-yard mark. McCarron completed a 20-yard pass for a touchdown. Shelley’s kick attempt was good, boosting the score to 17-0.
With 4:29 left in the first half, redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Allen threw for an interception by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, whose run was cut short by senior wide receiver Cobi Hamilton.
McCarron’s next play was a fumble recovered by himself for a loss of two yards to the Arkansas 5-yard mark. Lacy rushed five yards in the next two plays to score a touchdown once again. The kick attempt succeeded, earning the Tide a score of 24-0.
The second half started with a kickoff to Alabama for a touchback. McCarron’s next three passes were complete, pushing Alabama to Arkansas’ 10-yard line. Lacy rushed for 10 yards and a touchdown with 12:10 to go. Shelley’s kick was good.
Foster sent the kickoff to senior kickoff receiver Dennis Johnson, who returned the ball 22 yards. Alabama’s Alec Morris forced a fumble to be recovered by Foster. After a completed pass to wide receiver Amari Cooper for 26 yards, running back T.J. Yeldon rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. Shelley kicked the field goal for a score of 38-0.
Arkansas possessed the ball for the next seven minutes and 24 seconds and made it to Alabama’s 17-yard line Alabama before safety Nick Perry recovered a fumble by junior running back Knile Davis.
Alabama remained in possession until a rush for 12 yards for a touchdown by running back Kenyan Drake with 11:32 left in the fourth quarter. Shelley’s kick attempt was good, and the Tide went up 45-0.
Alabama linebacker Denzel Devall recovered another forced fumble from Davis, who had just rushed three yards. Quarterback Blake Simms rushed for 27 yards to score Alabama’s final touchdown of the game. Shelley kicked for the extra point and received it.
Arkansas scrambled to make working plays in the last five minutes, but junior quarterback Brandon Mitchell’s last four passes were incomplete, turning the ball over to Alabama, who kept the ball until the time ran out.
The stadium was filled with 74,617 people, the sixth-largest crowd in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium history.
The Razorback’s next game is 6 p.m. Sept. 22 against Rutgers at Razorback Stadium.