This week, the No.1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide visit Fayetteville to take on the No. 19 Arkansas Razorbacks, in the Tides second true road test of the season.
The Crimson Tide roll into the game fresh off a dominating 34-6 win over the Kentucky Wildcats, but showed some vulnerability on the offensive line. The Cats limited the Tide to 174 yards on the ground, its second lowest game total of the season.
The Razorbacks just finished off a 52-10 thrashing of Alcorn State last weekend, and are led by Austin Allen, who leads the SEC with a 167 Quarterback Rating.
Although the Hogs haven’t beaten the Tide since 2006, Bret Bielema’s squad has kept it competitive the last two seasons; losing by a combined 14 points.
As is the case in any Arkansas Alabama game, this year’s matchup is expected to physical, as both teams are ranked in the top five in the conference in rushing.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has been the talk around Tuscaloosa, and more than deserves the high praise. The true freshman signal caller has thrown for 989 yards, seven touchdowns and has thrown only one interception so far on the season. And in his lone road start against Ole Miss, he threw for 158 yards and rushed for 146.
To go along with a very talented tailback in Rawleigh Williams, the Razorbacks have a trio of wide receivers that have given defenses fits. Drew Morgan, Keon Hatcher and Jared Cornelius have all collected over 260 yards receiving and have pulled down a combined eight touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Crimson Tide yet again have flexed its muscle and is one of the country’s best. Through the first five games, the Tide is giving up less than 70 yards a game on the ground, and has forced eight turnovers.
The Razorbacks may not have the pedigree as an Alabama defense, but don’t tell that to their defense. The Hogs have picked up 13 sacks on the season, and lead the SEC in defensive touchdowns.
Just like the games in the last two seasons, expect a hard-hitting, physical, old school matchup when Alabama and Arkansas strap on their pads this Saturday at Razorback Stadium.