Ark vs. Alabama 12/12

Running back Trelon Smith working his way through defenders in the Razorbacks’ 52-3 loss to the Crimson Tide in Fayetteville on Saturday. Arkansas dropped to 3-7 while Alabama improved to 10-0 for the season.

The Arkansas Razorbacks fell 52-3 to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the final game of the 2020 regular season. The Hogs finished the season with an overall record of 3-7 on the year.

Arkansas put together its worst offensive performance on the season, recording just 188 total yards and turning the ball over four times. The Hogs also gave up eight sacks in the game.

The Razorback defense was no match for the Crimson Tide, who scored all six offensive touchdowns on the ground. Alabama ran for 216 yards on the day and added 227 yards through the air. Freshman running back Jase McClellan led the Tide with 95 rushing yards, 80 coming on a single touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“Some of the things that happened today were uncharacteristic for our team, and they capitalized on it,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said in the postgame press conference.

Alabama opened the second half with a long, methodical drive in which Arkansas redshirt freshman safety Jalen Catalon intercepted redshirt junior quarterback Mac Jones, but the play was called back when Razorback senior linebacker Hayden Henry was ejected for targeting. The Crimson Tide punched in a 4-yard touchdown on the next play to take a 45-3 lead.

The Hogs averaged just 3.8 yards per play in the second half. Most of the Razorbacks’ 118 total yards in the half came late in the fourth quarter as time winded down. Graduate senior quarterback Feleipe Franks finished the game 8-10 for 90 passing yards.

“Feleipe had gotten hurt,” Pittman said regarding the decision to insert redshirt freshman KJ Jefferson. “He had gotten hit, and so we were trying to let him catch his bearings a little bit.”

The cold weather seemed to slow the offenses at the start of the game as neither team could find room early. Arkansas sophomore kicker Matthew Phillips tied the game a 3-3 at the 7:18 mark in the first quarter.

Arkansas stopped the Tide on 4th-and-4 with 4:18 left in the first quarter, but a quick three-and-out resulted in an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown by Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith. The Crimson Tide did not look back in the first half, scoring 35 straight and taking a 38-3 lead into the break.

Though Franks started for the Razorbacks, Jefferson replaced him after Franks lost a fumble in the second quarter. Franks was 4-6 for 56 passing yards and took five sacks in the first half.

Alabama scored 28 points on 28 plays in the second quarter. All four scores came on the ground, two from Najee Harris and two from Brian Robinson, Jr.. The Hogs recorded -2 total yards in the quarter to go along with their zero points.

The Razorbacks managed to record just 70 total yards in the first half. They had seven penalties and lost two fumbles in the first 30 minutes of the game.

“Alabama did a good job of being disciplined,” junior running back Trelon Smith said. “They just did a good job of handling their business and just doing what they’ve got to do and not doing too much.”

Arkansas will await a possible bowl bid, but there is no guarantee it will receive one. Because of COVID-19, all Division 1 teams are eligible for a bowl game, so the Hogs will play the waiting game in the coming weeks.

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