Check out the Alabama vs. Arkansas fearless prediction and game preview.
Alabama (5-0) vs. Arkansas (4-1) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Oct. 8
Game Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
Why Alabama Will Win
The Crimson Tide have been a machine so far.
Even when they’ve been hit with a wee bit of adversity – like in the first half against Ole Miss – the machine keeps on rolling with an offense that keeps coming and doesn’t slow down.
Yeah, the O line hasn’t been quite up to its normal snuff. Yeah, there have been injuries in the backfield, QB Blake Barnett bolted, and WR ArDarius Stewart has been banged up. None of it has mattered a lick to an attack that’s been balanced, explosive when it needs to be, and rock-solid to go along with the always amazing defensive front.
Unlike last year, this Crimson Tide offense is moving the chains. It was one of the strangest aspects of the 2015 national champion – getting a third down conversion was like pulling teeth. Mainly because of all that Jalen Hurts is doing with his legs as well as his arm, the offense has no problems this year.
Meanwhile, the Arkansas defense can’t seem to generate enough of a stop, allowing teams to convert 48% of their third down chances. The Hogs can’t win this game if Bama is marching.
The Arkansas offense has thrown well, and it didn’t have too many problems against the mediocre teams on the slate, but it stalled against Texas A&M, struggled to get going against Louisiana Tech, and hasn’t found the right groove yet.
Why Arkansas Will Win
Who’s played Alabama better over the last few years? Ole Miss, but Bret Bielema’s teams have been right there after Arkansas got flattened and destroyed the previous seasons.
Normally, the spread offenses with the dynamic playmaking quarterbacks become kryptonite for the Alabama defense, but because the Hogs are able to shorten the game and grind it down, it’s been a problem for the Crimson Tide over the last two seasons.
Of course, Alabama won the last two years – and won nine in a row going back to 2006 – but this has been the one team that hasn’t been outphysicaled to the point of being dominated.
Once again, Arkansas owns the clock – holding it for well over 34 minutes a game – and once again, this can be a physical team when it really wants to be. Throw in a nice start for QB Austin Allen and an efficient passing game, and the makings are there to stay alive into the fourth quarter.
What’s Going To Happen?
If Alabama is ever going to hit a wee bit of a wall, this might be it.
It hasn’t been a grind so far for the Crimson Tide, but they don’t get a break for a few weeks. Don’t expect them to wear down quite yet, but the Hogs looked about as tuned up and ready to go as they’ll ever be, coming off a nice scrimmage against Alcorn State.
This is where Bielema and his style have to come through. Arkansas hasn’t been SEC Wisconsin in terms of blasting away with the running game, but this will be a methodical game that comes down to whether or not Allen can hit his third down throws.
And if Cole Hedlund can hit his kicks.
Alabama will gouge the Hog run defense for most of the game, but it just won’t have the ball enough. Allen will be maddening with his accuracy, and Bama just won’t be able to get comfortable.
It’s been the call all offseason long, and it’s not time to bail now, even in the face of logic and reason, so …
Alabama vs. Arkansas Prediction
Final Score: Arkansas 23, Alabama 20
Line: Alabama -14, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence: 5: Served on a tee – 1: Not even with your $ … 3.5
Must See Rating: 5: Baldwin as Trump – 1: Masterminds … 4.5