Alabama vs Arkansas: Taking A Look At The Stats

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Coach Nick Saban said it was going to be regular, old-style football when Alabama travels to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas with kickoff set for 5 p.m. ESPN will carry it.

With the 2014 season already six weeks in, we have a pretty good sample size to take a look and see how the Tide and Hogs may match up on offense and defense.

When Alabama Has The Ball

During the Ole Miss game, most of us saw that the offensive play calling was a bit conservative. We don’t know if it being Sims first road test was the cause or exactly what it was. For this game, the Tide should be able to get back to what they were doing during the first four games.

Arkansas’ pass defense is ranked near the bottom of the SEC and they are giving up 263 yards through the air. Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill put up the most in passing with 386 yards. The Tide comes into Fayetteville ranked with the third best passing offense and fourth in passing yards. If Blake Sims can get things going, look for him to have a great day under center. Auburn’s Daquille Williams accounted for 151 yards against the Razorbacks and maybe Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper can have just as a productive day on Saturday.

The Tide’s bread and butter has always been their rushing attack. It may seem that the Tide drifted away from the run more this season but the fact is, it’s been a pretty balanced offense. The Tide will have to do without the speedster Kenyan Drake but T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry should be ready to go. Arkansas native Altee Tenpenny should also see a little playing time. The Tide is ranked fourth in the conference for rushing, averaging 240 yards per game. Arkansas comes in at the middle of the pack, allowing 139 yards a game.

With the Tide being able to pass to open up the rushing attack and the Hogs looking a little susceptible to the pass, hopefully the Tide can keep them guessing and on their heels during the game.

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When Arkansas Has The Ball

This will be the “wall meet wall” match up of the game. The Hogs come in ranked as the number one rushing team in the conference, averaging 316 yards a game. However on the other side of the ball, Alabama comes in ranked number one at stopping the run, giving up only 64 yards a game. Florida’s Jeff Driskel rushed for more yards against the Tide than anyone else thus far this season with 59 yards (Florida had 47 yards). The Tide will have their hands full with Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Both backs are nearly over 500 yards this season as well as both nearly averaging 100 yards a game. Someone else has a one-two punch in the back field.

The Razorbacks are struggling in the passing game and ranked in the 13th slot in the conference with only 167 yards a game. Their big plays so far this year in the passing offense came against Northern Illinois and Nicholls. Just from looking at the numbers, it looks like the Hogs will have to do most of it on the ground if they expect to win. Don’t let that fool you though. They have the firepower to carry it out, too.

Special Teams and Turnovers

Believe it or not, Alabama holds the advantage over the Hogs in field goal kicking. The Tide ranks near the top with .727 percentage while Arkansas sits with a .500 on four attempts. Both teams are ranked pretty evenly on punt and kickoff returns.

Turnover margin is a different story. Arkansas holds a +2 and the Tide trails them with -4. Alabama has to protect the ball this weekend and eliminate the mistakes giving up the ball.

Final Score Prediction

Alabama 34, Arkansas 17