Alabama vs. Arkansas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the matchup between the Crimson Tide and Razorbacks.
Alabama vs. Arkansas Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 8 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
TV Broadcast: ESPN
After a sluggish first quarter, Alabama finally woke up in its game against Kentucky to put the Wildcats away with ease to stay undefeated. Quarterback Jalen Hurts continued to play way beyond his years, while the defense continued to be a force, holding Kentucky to a scant 161 yards of total offense.
The Razorbacks responded after their to Texas A&M with a rout of Alcorn State to prepare for the showdown against Alabama. Arkansas came close to defeating the Crimson Tide in Fayetteville in 2014, and will look to close the deal this year with the upset.
What To Know About Alabama
Hurts has been a revelation for the Crimson Tide offense, playing like he is a veteran instead of a guy that was in high school this time last year. Alabama hopes that wide receiver ArDarius Stewart will be back this week to join Calvin Ridley and a talented offense that hurt a defense on the ground and through the air.
The defense has been a rock for Alabama, allowing only 256.4 yards per game and surrendering just 13 points per game. Linebacker Reuben Foster has been a stud, making 35 tackles while the defensive line has stuffed the run and forced opposing quarterbacks to beat them. That isn’t going to happen against a secondary full of NFL talent.
What to Know About Arkansas
Allen has been steady at quarterback, but the Razorbacks will need running back Rawleigh Williams III to have a big game so the Alabama defense can’t pin its ears back. The big guys up front for Arkansas are one offensive line unit that have a chance to push the Crimson Tide around.
The Hogs will have to put some pressure on Hurts to stop the young quarterback from hurting them with his arm and legs, but stopping the Alabama run game will be key. Defensive linemen Deatrich Wise Jr. and Jeremiah Ledbetter will have to plug the holes so linebackers Brooks Ellis and Dre Greenlaw can stop the Tide running backs from reaching the second and third levels.
Offense: Alabama. When you have a weapon like tight end O.J. Howard waiting to be used, you are deep on offense.
Defense: Alabama. Not counting the Ole Miss game, the Alabama defense has given up 22 total points in four games.
Special Teams: Alabama. Adam Griffith has become one of the best legs in college football.
Coaching: Alabama. If it came down to personalities, Bret Bielema would win in a landslide. This is not about personalities though. No one beats Saban.
Intangibles: Arkansas. Home crowd and a chance to make a statement in the SEC.
Matchup To Watch
Alabama defensive line vs. Arkansas offensive line
Both are a major strength for their respective teams, so this game could easily be decided in the trenches.
Alabama vs. Arkansas Betting Odds
Spread: Alabama -14
Alabama vs. Arkansas Prediction
This has all of the makings of a classic written on it, as Arkansas and head coach Bret Bielema want to prove that they belong in the upper echelon of SEC teams. They are playing Alabama, however, and as lackadaisical the Tide might have looked against Kentucky, you know that Saban will have his boys ready. Arkansas will keep it close for a while, but Alabama’s overall talent and experience in big games will be too much to overcome. Tide keep rolling.
Alabama vs. Arkansas Score Prediction: Alabama 38, Arkansas 23