The Alabama Crimson Tide and the Arkansas Razorbacks have done their part so far to make this game what we all wanted it to be. These two undefeated SEC West teams square off in a game that could decide who plays in Atlanta for the SEC championship, and possibly a shot at the BCS national championship game.
Ryan Mallet has met the high expectations that everyone had for him this year. He is the first quarterback to throw for 1,000 yards, and his 40-yard touchdown pass against Georgia with 15 seconds left won the game last week. Defense was a weakness for the Razorbacks a year ago. The 2010 edition appears to be better, but has it improved enough?
Alabama has improved on offense. Greg McElroy has a pass efficiency rating of 200. The Crimson Tide have three running backs with over 150 yards rushing. The new defense has looked very strong, however, it hasn’t really been tested.
Last year, Alabama overwhelmed Arkansas 35-7. Neither Mark Ingram nor Trent Richardson had a big game running the ball. It was McElroy having the best game of his short career throwing for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide shutdown the Arkansas offense that had averaged over 500 yards per game in the first two games of 2009.
Alabama has won its last 18 conference opening games. This is Arkansas’ best opportunity to get a win against Alabama. Ryan Mallet may be gone next year, the game is in Fayetteville this year, and Alabama has an untested defense. I expect this game to go down to the wire.
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