The Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) continued its streak of dominating performances Saturday night with a 52-0 drumming of the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-5), the same score by which Alabama beat Arkansas last season. The Alabama offense was efficient all night long and the defense was suffocating on the Hawgs running game. Alabama has extended its winning streak over Arkansas to seven games, stretching all the way back to 2007.
The Alabama offense has really begun to hit its stride it all facets and it took another step in becoming the dominating offense Nick Saban wants against Arkansas. Alabama rolled up 530 yards, with 350 coming on the ground. AJ McCarron was deadly accurate once again, completing 15 of his 21 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers. He completed passes to eight different receivers, and sophomore Amari Cooper for the second week in a row is getting more and more involved in the offense, catching his first touchdown of the year on a beautiful 30-yard pass from McCarron.
The running game beat the Arkansas defense up all night and for the second consecutive week the Alabama ground game boasted two 100-yard rushers. Kenyan Drake ran for 104 yards and two scores on just eight carries, while T.J. Yeldon carried the ball a team high 12 times for 87 yards and one score. Neither played much in the second half and the massive freshman Derrick Henry was able to bust off an insane 80-yard TD run to carry himself to his first career 100-yard rushing game. The 6’3”, 240 lb. freshman streaked down the sideline showcasing the speed that not many would expect from such a massive player.
The offensive line continues to gel together and weren’t just dominating in the running game. McCarron wasn’t sacked and was barely even rushed all night. The line also surrendered no penalties for the first time this season. In fact, Alabama did not suffer one penalty at all against Arkansas as well as not turning the ball over or allowing a sack.
C.J. Mosley continues to play lights out football and showcase just why he is one of the best defenders in the country. Mosley recorded a team high 10 tackles in the game.
HaHa Clinton-Dix was allowed to work his way into the lineup as Vinnie Sunseri went down early in the game, leading to Dix having to play most of the first half. He played well and didn’t look to be very rusty in his return.
Eddie Jackson and Deion Belue played well at corner, as did Bradley Sylve before going down with an ankle sprain. Cyrus Jones played probably his best football of the season and record his second interception of the year. That was one of the more pleasing sights of the game, as head coach Nick Saban seemed to be happier than Jones was for the interception, even jumping on his back smiling and patting Jones on the head. Since the Texas A&M game, Alabama has allowed just one TD and 16 points total. The Tide special teams added to the shut out by blocking an attempted field goal as cornerback Deion Belue dove in from the wing and slapped the ball away.
Injuries continue to nag the Crimson Tide and that continued tonight. Both cornerback Bradley Sylve and strong safety Vinnie Sunseri were forced to leave the game with injuries. Sylve sprained his ankle and will likely be fine, but Sunseri injured his knee and will have to have an MRI this weekend in what Saban described “could be a serious knee injury.” Sunseri would obviously be the biggest blow possible for the Alabama defense, other than maybe C.J. Mosley, as Sunseri has become one of the leaders in the secondary and grown into a great safety. With HaHa Clinton-Dix back in the mix that means Landon Collins can slide over to his more natural strong safety position but it leaves a big hole in depth and obviously leadership. Center Ryan Kelly could have played, and was expected to play some, but Alabama chose to hold him out and allow Chad Linsday to go the whole way. Regardless of when Kelly can come back it’s obvious that Linsday is very capable of filling that role.
I can’t come up with anything, except maybe Arkansas’ entire game.
AJ McCarron: 15-21, 180 yards, 3 TD
Blake Sims: 0-3, 0 yards
Derrick Henry: 6 carries, 111 yards, 1 TD
Kenyan Drake: 8 carries, 104 yards, 2 TD
TJ Yeldon: 12 carries, 88 yards, 1 TD
Dee Hart: 4 carries, 24 yards
Blake Sims: 4 carries, 17 yards
Jalston Fowler: 3 carries, 8 yards
TJ Yeldon: 4 catches, 45 yards
Amari Cooper: 3 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD
Christion Jones: 3 catches, 20 yards
OJ Howard: 1 catch, 17 yards, 1 TD
Kenyan Drake: 1 catch, 11 yards
Kevin Norwood: 1 catch, 10 yards
DeAndrew White: 1 catch, 8 yards
Jalston Fowler: 1 catch, 4 yards, 1 TD
CJ Mosley: 10 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 2 pass breakups, 2 quarterback hurries
Jarrick Williams: 6 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry
Landon Collins: 5 tackles, 2 pass breakups, 1 quarterback hurry
HaHa Clinton-Dix: 5 tackles, 1 INT, 8 yards
Geno Smith: 3 tackles
Darren Lake: 3 tackles
Denzel Devall: 3 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, 1 quarterback hurry
Jeoffrey Pagan: 3 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss
Ed Stinson: 3 tackles
Brandon Ivory: 3 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss
Trey Depriest: 3 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss
Cyrus Jones: 2 tackles, 1 INT
Eddie Jackson: 2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
Maurice Smith: 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup
Dillon Lee: 2 tackles
Deion Belue: 2 tackles, 1 blocked kick, 1 quarterback hurry
Ryan Anderson: 2 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry
Tana Patrick: 2 tackles
Derrick Henry: 1 tackle, 1 forced fumble
Dee Hart: 1 tackle
DeAndrew White: 1 tackle
Jonathan Allen: 1 tackle, 1 quarterback hurry
Tim Williams: 1 tackle
Xzavier Dickson: 1 tackle
Reggie Ragland: 1 tackle
Bradley Sylve: 1 tackle
Adrian Hubbard: 1 tackle
John Fulton: 1 tackle
Reuben Foster: 1 tackle
Korren Kirven: 1 tackle, 1 quarterback hurry
Cade Foster: 1/1 FGs (48 yarder)
Cody Mandell: 1 punt, 51 yards, 6/6 XPs
Adam Griffith: 1/1 XPs
Christion Jones: 1 kickoff return, 32 yards