TUSCALOOSA – Properly, that didn’t take lengthy.
Oh, positive, the official time of the Alabama-Arkansas recreation ended up being three hours, 12 minutes. Anybody who noticed it is aware of the end result was determined so much faster than that.
If you happen to’re going to attract up a recreation plan when you already know you’re going through the highest-ranked workforce in the nation at their place at night time, the prime goal could be to remain in the sport so long as doable, give your self a shot in the second half and perhaps make the favorites must make a play to beat you.
That didn’t occur Saturday night time.
Alabama’s Damien Harris went 75 yards untouched on the sport’s first play. That was simply the beginning of a nightmarish first quarter for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas then trotted out a primary-time beginning quarterback in redshirt freshman Cole Kelley – all 6-foot-7, 268 kilos of him. Three-and-out.
Then Razorbacks punter Blake Johnson fumbled the snap on fourth down, panics, ran to his proper and fired a desperation cross to … anyone. It fell incomplete and Alabama began its second drive on the Arkansas 25.
That led to an Andy Pappanastos subject objective for a 10-Zero lead. One other three-and-out adopted by Arkansas.
This time, Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts led an eight-play, 65-yard drive that required only one third-down conversion. Hurts carried for 4 yards on a keeper on third-and-2 for a primary down on the Razorbacks 34.
Hurts threw a stupendous deep out cross to freshman receiver Jerry Jeudy for 29 yards and a primary-and-objective on the four-yard line.
On the subsequent play, Harris ran round left finish on a play Arkansas appeared to have defended. Harris powered by way of 4 arm tackles on his technique to the tip zone.
Halfway by way of the primary quarter, Alabama led 17-Zero. Simply. That. Quick.
The Crimson Tide has now outscored its opponents 100-9 in the primary quarter this season. The Tide’s 24-Zero halftime lead raised its first half scoring benefit to 169-26.
There’s extra. Nick Saban is 112-7 at Alabama when main at halftime. So the Razorbacks weren’t following any dependable blueprint for an upset.
Neither is working the soccer 29 occasions for 27 yards, which was Arkansas’ output final night time. Against this, Alabama had 308 yards on the bottom on 43 carries.
“It appears we weren’t getting any motion,” Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema mentioned. “Clearly, we had some new guys in new positions and we knew there could be some rising pains there. I felt at halftime that we couldn’t do something in the run recreation, so let’s simply try to see what we are able to do in the throw recreation and play with a bit of bit of tempo.”
This collection has gone from toss-as much as positive factor. Alabama received its 11th straight recreation over Arkansas.
I keep in mind when the 2 would meet in an early SEC contest that usually served as indicators of how that specific season would go. A win over Arkansas normally meant the Tide might contend deep into the season for an SEC title. A loss would imply pack a coat for the bowl journey.
That's now not the case – and it hasn’t been for years. It’s not completely on Bielema, however Razorback followers are clamoring to see enchancment.
Saban hasn’t misplaced to an unranked workforce for the reason that Auburn recreation in the 2007 season – his first in Tuscaloosa. Since then, Alabama has received 71 consecutive video games against unranked opponents.
What’s subsequent? Butch Jones brings his unranked Tennessee Vols to city subsequent Saturday. Get there early.