Game Day Info:
When: Saturday September 15th @5:45PM CT
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Television Coverage: ESPN sports network.
BAMA Team Stats
Total Offense: 473ypg (37th) Total Defense: 239ypg (27th)
Points Per Game: 38ppg (42nd) Points Per Game Allowed: 8ppg (13th)
Rushing Offense: 267 (26th) Rushing Yards Allowed: 66ypg (34th)
Passing Offense: 206 (133rd) Passing yards Allowed: 173ypg (75th)
BAMA Key Stats and Personnel
Passing: John Parker Wilson (31-53, 339)
Rushing: Terry Grant (42-307, 5td), Glenn Coffee (20-124, 1td), Roy Upchurch (6-55, 1td)
Receiving: Nick Walker (7-51, 1td), D.J. Hall (7-119), Mike McCoy (4-40)
Arkansas Team Stats
Total Offense: 507ypg (23rd) Total Defense: 376ypg (144th)
Points Per Game: 46ppg (20th) Points Per Game Allowed: 26ppg (140th)
Rushing Offense: 350ypg (3rd) Rush Defense: 162ypg (142nd)
Passing Offense: 157ypg (177th) Pass Defense: 214ypg (132nd)
Arkansas Key Stats and Personnel
Passing: Casey Dick (11-20, 108)
Rushing: Darren McFadden (24-151, 1td), Felix Jones (12-121, 1td)
Receiving: Peyton Hillis (6-39), Crosby Tuck (1-42, 1td)
BAMA Quick Hits
BAMA gets back to business in Tuscaloosa this weekend after travelling to Nashville and defeating Vanderbilt 24-10. Though the Tide is off to a 2-0 start there are some concerns. Cheif among them is the up and down play of junior quarterback John Parker Wilson. Wilson has not looked sharp in either of the first two games and has yet to throw a touchdown this season. Unless Wilson really steps up and starts to look like the quarterback we've become accustomed to in the past, expect the BAMA coaches to ride the running game heavily this weekend.
The running game appears to be in good hands as redshirt freshman Terry Grant who garnered SEC Freshman Player of the Week honors for his 174 yard, 2 touchdown performance in Nashville on Saturday. Grant will not be doing it alone however, as sophomore Glenn Coffee should see a significant number of touches as well.
Defensively the Tide is still a work in progress. While on paper the numbers are very good, in reality the big test will come against the Razorbacks. BAMA wont shut down the Arkansas rushing attack but if the Tide defense can continue to be opportunistic and create turnovers it might be enough for a win.
Tide Player Arkansas Must Focus On: Terry Grant has proven that his season-opening performance against Western Carolina was no fluke. He currently leads the conference in rushing and has scored 5 touchdowns in the first two games. Expect the Arkansas coaching staff to stack the box and try to make things hard for Grant, especially if Wilson continues to have trouble getting on track.
BAMA Will Win If: BAMA doesn't have to shut down the Arkansas running game. They just have to keep from breaking. The one advantage BAMA has coming into this one is that the Razorbacks have no consistent passing attack, forcing McFadden and Jones to carry the majority of the offensive workload. If BAMA's run defense holds up and Wilson gives the team anything resembling a solid performance it shouldn't be that close in the end.
Arkansas Quick Hits
It seems like every time the Tide plays one of their rivals that rival has an extra week off to prepare. This week is no different. Normally that might work to our disadvantage but since it is early in the season injuries are not a huge factor. Not to mention that BAMA has a new coaching staff and system this year, which up until now, has shown Arkansas next to nothing. The extra week of preperation will likely go towards the Razorback offense putting in new wrinkles for BAMA's defense.
The focal point of the offense is once again Darren McFadden. He's one of the best running backs in the country and opened the season against Troy not only rushing for a touchdown, but passing for one as well. His backup, Felix Jones is also a capable back who could start for any other team in the conference. The duo combined for almost 300 yards rushing in the season opener.
What Arkansas needs to improve on is the passing game. They don't really have one. With the transfer of Mitch Mustain to Southern Cal the job is solely Casey Dick's now. With the injured Marcus Monk likely to miss the BAMA game expect to see more passes to the running backs this weekend.
Defensively the Hogs appear far from stellar at this point. In the opener Troy racked up almost 400 yards of total offense to go with 26 points. The Hogs are giving up an average of 162 yards rushing and 214 passing per contest and statistically rank 137th in the country in total defense.
Special teams could be a problem area for the Tide if they don't play disciplined in coverage. Felix Jones is averaging almost 50 yards per return and has a long of 90 (touchdown).
Player BAMA Must Focus On: As if there is any surprise here; BAMA must focus on Darren McFadden first and foremost. If they can contain him they should be able to contain the Arkansas running game to a large degree, thus putting themselves in a very good position to win.
Arkansas Will Win If: If the ground game proves to be too much for the Tide, Arkansas could come out smelling like a rose this weekend. Sealing the deal will likely depend on whether or not the Hogs defense can apply pressure to John Parker Wilson, who's erratic play has already caused concern within the BAMA Nation.