Alabama Football: Offensive report card vs Arkansas

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football Offensive Line: A

The Alabama offensive line has been slowly improving all season, and it may have had its most dominant effort against Arkansas. The line allowed just one sack and paved the way for 317 rushing yards (7.5 YPC) and five touchdowns. Seth McLaughlin replaced Darrian Dalcourt at center and, as he did last season, gave the unit a boost. Freshman Tyler Booker was once again heavily involved in the rotation at guard. Javion Cohen, with whom Booker rotates, blocked pretty well but was penalized multiple times at critical moments.

Tyler Steen and JC Latham have the tackle spots locked down, and Latham seems to have remedied Alabama’s deficiency at right tackle. The Crimson Tide is still working to determine its most optimal lineup on the interior offensive line.

The unit has shown that it has vastly improved in terms of protecting the quarterback this season. The offensive line has allowed just five sacks all year after allowing 42 last season. It surrendered just one sack against Arkansas, who entered the game averaging five sacks per game to lead the nation.

In the run game, Alabama is still looking to establish consistency but is starting to make a habit of creating explosive plays on the ground. The Tide had runs of 72, 76, and 77 yards in the fourth quarter to break the game open. Outside of these runs, Alabama totaled just 92 yards on 40 attempts (2.3 YPC). Still, the big plays count, and Alabama averaged a somewhat misleading 7.5 yards per carry for the game. This was no fluke, as the Alabama offense has created long runs all season, resulting in a nation-leading 7.4 yards per carry.

In one of college football’s most eye-popping stats, Alabama is led by five different ball carriers who average at least 7.3 yards per carry. Jahmyr Gibbs has the most rushing attempts on the team and is averaging 8.8 yards per carry, good for second nationally.

Next. Tide overcomes adversity in road win. dark

The offensive line continues to pave running lanes for Alabama’s electric group of running backs, and is gradually turning into a strength for this team under Eric Wolford.