Arkansas Razorbacks tussle with the Alabama Crimson Tide - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas Razorbacks tussle with the Alabama Crimson Tide

ARKANSAS at ALABAMA
2:30 p.m. CT
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Bryant-Denny Stadium(92,138)
Overall: 1-1
SEC: 0-1
XM: NA
Sirius: NA
LIVE TV: CBS Sports
[Vern Lundquist, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, color analyst; Tracy Wolfson, sideline reporter]
Overall: 3-0
SEC: 0-0
XM: 200
Sirius: 219


THE COACHES

Bobby Petrino is in his second season at Arkansas with a record of 6-8 (.429) and seventh overall with a record of 50-27 (.654). The Razorbacks' offensive coordinator is Paul Patrino and the defensive coordinator is Willie Robinson.

Nick Saban is in his second season at Alabama with a record of 22-8 (.733) and 16th overall with a record of 128-67-1 (.656). The Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator is Jim McElwain and the defensive coordinator is Kirby Smart.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN ARKANSAS HAS THE BALL

Ryan Mallett was 21-of-39 for 408 yards and five touchdowns against Georgia. His 408 yards were a UA single-game record as were his five passing touchdowns. Mallett has passed for more than 300 passing yards in each of his two starts as a Razorback. Mallett is one of the 13 quarterbacks nationally and the only starting quarterback in the SEC who has not thrown an interception this season. Michael Smith led all rushers against Georgia with eight carries for 59 yards. He has now rushed for 1,714 yards and 15 career touchdowns. Greg Childs led the unit with five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia, which was the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.

Alabama's has 10 sacks this season ranks 11th nationally at 3.33 sacks per game. Sophomore defensive lineman Marcell Dareus leads the Crimson Tide with 3.5 (-25) sacks to rank tied for 13th nationally and second in the SEC, while junior linebacker Rolando McClain has two sacks (-19). The Crimson Tide's 24 tackles for loss is second in the SEC and ranks tied for 14th nationally. Dont'a Hightower leads the team and ranks fourth in the SEC with 1.33 tackles for loss per game (4.0 total).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN ALABAMA HAS THE BALL

Defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard leads the team with 3.5 tackles for loss this season. His career total (29.5) ranks 14th in school history. Sheppard has led the Razorbacks in tackles for loss each of the last two seasons. Sheppard has had at least half of a tackle for a loss in each of the last 10 games. During the span, Sheppard has had 15.5 tackles behind the line for a combined loss of 60 yards. Wendel Davis matched Matt Harris with eight tackles to lead the Razorbacks in the department against Georgia. Jerry Franklin started his 14th-straight game last week.

Greg McElroy has been impressive in his first three games as the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback, completing 66.7 percent (46 of 69) of his passes for 647 yards per game and four touchdowns with one interception. In addition to rushing for 297 yards through three games this season to rank 28th nationally in rushing, Ingram has added 10 receptions for 120 yards. Trent Richardson rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against FIU and followed that up with 87 yards on 11 carries (7.9 ypc) against North Texas.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Against Georgia, Dennis Johnson returned three kickoffs for 63 yards to bring his career total to 1,083 yards, which ranks as the fourth highest total in school history. Johnson returned the season opening kickoff 91-yards for a touchdown. Johnson's return for a touchdown was the second in his career (Tulsa, 2008, 96 yards). It was the first game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown by a Razorback since Felix Jones went 100 yards against Ole Miss in 2006.

Special teams' specialist, Javier Arenas, posted 151 total return yards in the win over North Texas. He had a 61-yard kickoff return in the third quarter that was one yard shy of his career best and also accounted for 90 yards on four punt returns. All four of his punt returns led to UA touchdowns against UNT while his kickoff return resulted in a field goal. He currently ranks eighth nationally and leads the SEC in returning punts, averaging 20.55 yards per return. Arenas is also 26th nationally and fifth in the SEC in kickoff returns at 28.20.

SERIES/GAME NOTES
Record: ALA, 11-8
  • Last: ALA, 49-14 (2008 at Fayetteville)


Alabama leads the series 11-8 after a dominating 49-14 win over the Razorbacks last season in Fayetteville... The Tide has now won two straight in the series and three of the last four contests... Arkansas' last visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2007, resulted in a dramatic 41-38 Alabama victory when John Parker Wilson found Matt Caddell for a four-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds remaining in the game... Alabama has a 4-4 record against the Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny.

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