1. When Arkansas took the field for pregame, Tyler Wilson was dressed out, helmet and all, warming up with the quarterbacks. The All-SEC QB hadn’t been cleared to practice all week, much less play against Alabama Saturday, but there he was, confusing Razorback and Crimson Tide fans alike. Was he going to play? It looked like it, meaning this might be a more competitive game than initially thought when we all woke up this morning.
But when Arkansas took the field, it was Brandon Allen who was the starter. He and fellow backup Brandon Mitchell played musical chairs throughout the day, with Allen getting the bulk of the plays, going 10 of 18 for 60 yards.
It didn’t matter to Alabama which guy played though.
“I told our players that was not our problem,” head coach Nick Saban said.
2. Alabama shutout Arkansas 52-0, its second shutout in a row. The last time the Tide had consecutive shutouts was 1980 under Paul “Bear” Bryant against Vanderbilt and Kentucky.
But the game didn’t start out like it would end the way it did. The first quarter was sloppy on both sides.
“I think that we started the game a little bit average today,” Saban said. “But at the end of the game I was really pleased with the way we played, especially offensively.”
The Tide was almost perfectly balanced offensively, rushing for 225 yards and passing for 213.
3. Despite Alabama’s huge SEC win, they committed seven penalties for 74 yards. In the first quarter, the Tide gave up 30 yards in penalties in one Arkansas drive (back-to-back 15 yarders) that put the Razorbacks in great field position. They ended up missing a 41-yard field goal attempt, so the Tide got lucky.
But that was really about the only thing Alabama did wrong.
“We had way too many penalties today,” Saban said. “That’s something that will kill you. It cost us some field position. There are a lot of things that we need to clean up.
4. Alabama’s defense forced five turnovers, three of which were fumbles, making the season total three games in 12 turnovers.
“Whenever you affect the quarterback, it’s always going to lead to mistakes on the offensive side. We just executed our plays,” said Bama linebacker Adrian Hubbard.
5. After not looking quite himself against Michigan or Western Kentucky, Eddie Lacy was up to his old tricks, scoring three touchdowns. The running game wealth was spread among five players—Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, Dee Hart, Kenyan Drake and Ben Howell. Drake, a true freshman, led all backs with 57 yards, which doesn't seem like a lot, but again that's five backs getting a lot of playing time, racking up a total of 225 rushing yards.
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