Staff Predictions for Alabama vs. Arkansas
The Alabama Crimson Tide returns to Tuscaloosa for a homecoming game against the Arkansas Razorbacks after a big win in Georgia a week ago.
Nick Saban's team entered that game against the Bulldogs as an underdog for the first time since 2009, and it appeared to be a motivating factor. Alabama rolled over Georgia and jumped right back into the SEC and CFB Playoff picture. Unfortunately for a couple of members of our staff, they got that prediction all wrong.
This week's game could be closer than the oddsmakers believe. An improving Arkansas sits between two top-10 games for Alabama, which is always a recipe for trouble in college football.
Will there be an upset? Here's what our staff thinks:
Barry Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Alabama will continue to dominate on defense. Look for the passing game to open up the run late. Alabama 31, Arkansas 13
Wimp Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Arkansas will prove a little harder to move the ball on which will limit points. The Arkansas offense will have a tough time gaining yards. Alabama 28, Arkansas 6
Gary Harris (Host of The Gary Harris Show)
I think this Alabama football team learned it's lesson against Ole Miss. I don't see Bama turning the ball over five times in this game. Arkansas is a tough and physical football team, but Alabama is the better football team! I like the Tide to roll. Alabama 31, Arkansas 13
Chris Stewart (Host of The Chris Stewart Show)
Alabama hasn't failed to score more than 30 in a game this season, but the Hogs have surrendered more than 28 just once. Look for a decent battle into the 4th, but the Tide claims the victory. Alabama 31, Arkansas 14
Ryan Fowler (Host of The Game)
Inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, you can buy some famous Dreamland, and on the field, Alabama will be roasting some Hawgs. I believe Alabama will use the Georgia game as a springboard to beat Arkansas by a solid margin. Alabama has its swagger back. Alabama 34, Arkansas 17
Ryan McMunn (Producer)
Well, I was just a little off last week, but this week I'm pretty sure I'll be slightly closer with the result of the Alabama vs. Arkansas match-up.
Jake Coker has distanced himself as the main man under center, and if last week is any indication, then the Crimson Tide have at least began to find their offensive identity (run to set up the play action pass). Their defense is clicking on all cylinders and kicker Adam Griffith looks as if he's got his confidence fully back now.
Arkansas isn't what we thought they would be during the preseason. After finishing last season on such a high note, the Razorbacks have taken a few steps back during the 2015 campaign. Head coach Bret Bielema have them playing much better now, after losing to the Toledo Rockets in Week 2 (yes, I said Toledo).
But they still aren't a complete team, and coming into Bryant-Denny won't be very welcoming. The Tide have realized their potential after stomping the Georgia Bulldogs last week, and that momentum will continue into homecoming this weekend, covering the spread against the Razorbacks (Alabama is currently at -16.5). Alabama 34, Arkansas 13
Trey Brooks (Producer)
Two teams who are at their best running the ball, so expect the first half to go quick. While I see the Tide moving the ball consistently against the Hogs, don't expect a ton of home run plays like we saw against Georgia. Arkansas is better than their record, but they are also in a bad place. Great win against Tennessee, but rising to that level two straight weeks will be too much, especially when their offense doesn't match up well vs. the Tide's defense. Alabama 28, Arkansas 14
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Has Arkansas turned the corner under coach Bret Bielema? It certainly appeared that way the Razorbacks nearly upset the Crimson Tide in a sloppy 14-13 game in Fayetteville last season.
This season, so far, tells a different story. After routing UTEP in its season opener, the Razorbacks, ranked No. 18 in the preseason polls, lost three straight, including a 16-12 home loss to Toledo. The Razorbacks did beat Tennessee in Knoxville last week and may still have something to say about this season, but it’s unlikely any statement will be made on the road in Tuscaloosa. Alabama 34, Arkansas 13
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
This is a difficult spot for Alabama coming off a physical, emotional game in Athens. Every has talked about taking care of the next game, but it's tough to ignore another undefeated, top 10 opponent next week. Arkansas has suffered some key injuries this year, but this is still a big, strong team. Alabama wins, but it'll be closer than most expect. Alabama 20, Arkansas 9