Alabama Football: Defensive report card vs Arkansas

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama football had its worst defensive performance of the season from a statistical standpoint, allowing 377 yards and 26 points. However, the defense gave up just 4.4 yards per play and made several big stops despite being put in difficult situations by the Alabama offense and special teams.

Alabama Football Defensive Line: B

Alabama struggled to stop the run at times against Arkansas, most notably during the third quarter stretch that saw the Razorbacks seize momentum in all phases of the game. The zone-read with two power runners in Raheim Sanders and KJ Jefferson gave the Tide some problems. Sanders was the workhorse with 22 carries and became the first player to run for 100 yards against Alabama this season, finishing with 101 yards and a touchdown.

Alabama surrendered 187 yards rushing for the game. For reference, it allowed just 250 yards in the previous four games combined. Still, the run defense wasn’t exactly porous. Arkansas leaned on its ground game as expected, running the ball 51 times in the game. Its 3.7 yards per carry was by far the most Alabama has allowed all season, but was simultaneously the lowest output of the season for the Hogs, who entered averaging nearly 5.0 yards per carry.

Freshman Jaheim Oatis was unblockable at times, recording a career-high eight tackles and notching his first career sack. Senior Byron Young overcame an ankle sprain to finish with six tackles. Junior Tim Smith had one of his best games of the year with five tackles and a half-sack. Senior nose tackle DJ Dale recorded three tackles. Jah-Marien Latham and Jamil Burroughs saw significant snaps in place of Justin Eboigbe, who did not dress out.