(1) Alabama Crimson Tide at (16) Arkansas Razorbacks
Alabama: When you saw Kentucky on their schedule this past weekend, you automatically assumed that they would dominate them from the beginning. It didn’t pan out that way. They were off to a sluggish start but found a way to wake up in the second half and get another win. Jalen Hurts has been a very solid player and when I watch him play, he shows the poise of a junior instead of a guy that was playing in high school around this time last season. The defense once again has been the rock of this football team. They only give up 254 yards a game and only 13 points a game. I really don’t see them losing a game until the playoffs potentially because it’ll take a non-SEC team to beat them. It’s onto Arkansas now for a Saturday night battle.
Arkansas: I’ve seen a few of their games this year and I’ve liked how they looked. Austin Allen has been very steady for them at quarterback but he can’t do it all by himself. The Razorbacks inability to run the ball has hurt them at times. When defenses pressure Allen non-stop, they need that second option in the offense. I look at their defense and I see a unit that can be really good but they can sometimes hurt themselves with the penalties and they can give up some big plays down the field. Some people have gone as far to say that Arkansas can be the biggest challenger to Alabama in the SEC and Saturday night, we get to see if that statement is true.
Alabama Player To Watch– ArDarius Stewart: He’s coming back from an injury and he’s a very nice complementary piece to Calvin Ridley on the other side and Alabama has been running defenses into the ground with their passing attack and normally, they’re known to be a football team that loves to run the ball and control the clock. I look for Stewart to be targeted quite a bit on Saturday.
Arkansas Player To Watch– Rawleigh Williams: He needs to show up for this one. He needs to be that guy that takes some pressure off Austin Allen and most importantly, keep Alabama’s defense guessing. If those big guys up front can bully that Tide defensive front and he can get into the open field, the Razorbacks have a chance.
Prediction: This has the makings to be a really good game. Alabama has shown once again they are the cream of the crop in the SEC and this could be a good chance for Bret Bielema to prove that his football team is good enough to be mentioned in the upper echelon of the SEC. I like the Tide to roll to another victory in this one. Alabama 35 Arkansas 24