Alabama Football: Arkansas Razorbacks offensive preview


Alabama football will take on the 3-1 Arkansas Razorbacks to open up its SEC West schedule. The Razorbacks are one of the best running teams in the nation, and will look for ways to move the ball against Alabama’s vaunted defense.

Quarterback KJ Jefferson is the undisputed point man for the Arkansas offense. Jefferson is physical and very dangerous as a runner, having amassed over 1,000 career rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

While his running ability is well-documented, KJ Jefferson is also a very underrated passer. In 2021, he threw for 2,676 yards and 21 touchdowns with just four interceptions on very efficient metrics. So far this season, he has been even better. Through four games, Jefferson has averaged nearly 10 yards per attempt and thrown eight touchdown passes and just one interception. His passer rating of 175.7 ranks second in the SEC.

Arkansas may try to lean on the run, and will certainly look to feature running back Raheim Sanders. Sanders has carried a heavy load for the Arkansas offense this season. The sophomore has carried the ball more times and for more yards than anybody else in the conference.

Fellow running backs Dominique Johnson, AJ Green, and Rashod Dubinion should also see snaps and play a role. A major pivot point of this game will be whether or not Arkansas can make some headway on the ground against the Alabama defense.

When KJ Jefferson looks to throw, he has a big-bodied receiving corps to rely on. Oklahoma transfer Jadon Haselwood and Toledo transfer Matt Landers have been the primary targets thus far.

Senior Warren Thompson had a solid season in 2021, and has a receiving touchdown in each of Arkansas’ first two SEC games in 2022. Trey Knox, a hybrid wide receiver/tight end, is another favorite target of Jefferson. Each of these receivers are at least 6’3”, and their collective size and physicality could present issues for the Alabama secondary.

Arkansas has a lot of talent, and Sam Pittman has successfully built a winning program and culture. Still, the Hogs offense doesn’t match up very well against Alabama. Arkansas’ offense depends on power rather than speed, and the Hogs’ running game is the main ingredient in its offense. Alabama football has been difficult to run on for the past two years, and hopes to shut down the Arkansas ground attack.

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If it can do so, the defense will put KJ Jefferson in some precarious situations that will likely be favorable for the Tide.