Alabama vs Arkansas Preview and Prediction for Week 5
Looking ahead to Alabama vs Arkansas in the next chapter of this SEC West rivalry.
How To Watch Alabama vs Arkansas
When: Saturday, October 1st
Time: 3:30pm Eastern
TV: CBS Network
Betting Lines for Alabama vs Arkansas
Line: Alabama -17
Why Alabama Wins The Game
Simply put, Alabama is the better team. However, there are still some concerns plaguing this team that if left unchecked, could lead to an upset. Alabama’s receivers will look to build on their best game of the season last week against Vanderbilt. If their success continues, this will open up the running game for Gibbs and McCllelan. When Bryce Young has a clean pocket and receivers in single coverage, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone better in football. Alabama will also have to clean up the penalties if they want to leave Fayetteville with a win. Saban will fix this problem sooner, rather than later. This team seems to be getting better every week and I would expect their game in Fayetteville to be their most complete game so far.
Why Arkansas Wins The Game
Arkansas is going to have a large task ahead of them Saturday when the Crimson Tide come to town. One of the biggest challenges when facing Alabama is handling their front seven, specifically Will Anderson. The Razorbacks might be up to the challenge. They boast one of the nation’s most experienced lines and advanced blocking formations, thanks to their head coach Sam Pittman being an offensive line coach for several years. If they can handle the Tide’s front seven, they will hang in this game. Arkansas will also look to create big plays. Look for the Hogs to test the Tide’s secondary early and often with KJ Jefferson trying to put some pressure on them. If he’s successful, this will open some lanes for the Razorbacks dangerous rushing attack, creating a long afternoon for Alabama’s defense.
Alabama’s Biggest Advantage
Alabama has been a fantastic second half team. They have outscored their opponents 76-9 in the second half. All 9 of those points were scored by the Longhorns in week 2. If this game is close at halftime, can Arkansas match the adjustments the Crimson Tide will make and keep it close? Alabama’s defense has been an elite unit all season, even with all of the penalties they have seen. There’s no one better out of halftime than Coach Nick Saban.
Arkansas’s Biggest Advantage
Arkansas has 20 sacks on the season, good enough to put them in 1st place nationally. If Arkansas is able to disrupt the Crimson Tide backfield, it could be a long afternoon for Heisman hopeful Bryce Young. The Hog’s defense is lead by linebacker Drew Sanders, who is a former Crimson Tide transfer. He leads the country with 5.5 sacks. Expect Arkansas to dial up tricky formations and blitzes all afternoon to try to throw Young off his game. As Young goes, so does the Tide.
- Alabama has won 15 straight over Arkansas
- Alabama is 14-1 in SEC road openers under Nick Saban
- Arkansas is 15-0 when allowing 21 or fewer points under Pittman
- Arkansas is 1st nationally in sacks
Alabama is 2nd in total defense and 3rd in scoring defense (7.2 ppg)
The Arkansas secondary is one of the worst nationally against the pass. Their DBs are allowing 303 ypg and almost 15 yards per catch. The Tide have looked suspect at receiver at times, but look for them to have their best day of the season so far. They should be able to find themselves behind the Razorbacks’ secondary and Bryce Young is sure to find them. Alabama’s front seven is too good against the run for Arkansas to rely heavily on it throughout the game like they want to. With this being Alabama’s first CBS game of the week, I would look for Anderson to take full advantage with the entire country watching. Arkansas will be playing catchup for most of the day.
Final Score: Alabama 45, Arkansas 21
Related: Alabama vs Vanderbilt
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Really good to see a prospective from both side.