With the Arkansas Razorbacks coming to Tuscaloosa for a week seven SEC West bout, the Hogs will look to lean on their defense to stay in the game against the Crimson Tide. The Arkansas offense has not played well this season, and points will likely be hard to come by against a potent defense for Alabama Football.
The Arkansas defense hasn’t been great thus far; comparatively to the rest of the league, it has been fairly average. The Razorbacks currently rank seventh in the SEC in total defense allowing 340.7 yards per game, and are ninth in scoring defense giving up 25.3 points per game.
It must be noted, however, that Arkansas has played a difficult schedule. Like the Alabama defense, it has faced explosive offenses (including Ole Miss and LSU) and held them well below their season scoring averages.
Additionally, while it has been mediocre at slowing down opposing offenses, the Razorback defense has been very proficient at forcing turnovers. It ranks second in the SEC forcing 1.8 turnovers per game. Alabama Football must be mindful of protecting the ball in this game, as Arkansas will undoubtedly attempt to confuse redshirt sophomore quarterback Jalen Milroe and steal a possession or two.
Alabama Football: Arkansas Defensive Personnel
The Arkansas defense is spearheaded by senior linebacker Jaheim Thomas, who ranks second in the conference with 59 tackles. The disruptive Cincinnati transfer has also generated 6.0 tackles for loss and a team-leading 3.0 sacks.
On the edges, Missouri transfer Trajan Jeffcoat (7.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and former LSU transfer Landon Jackson (7.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks) have given opposing offenses fits from their defensive end spots.
Cornerback Dwight McGlothern has been one of the SEC’s top playmakers, and serves as the leader of the Arkansas secondary. The former LSU transfer has notched two interceptions and a forced fumble in 2023.
In addition to creating turnovers, the Arkansas defense has quickly converted those takeaways into points. The Hogs have returned three interceptions for touchdowns this season, including one each against Western Carolina, Kent State, and Texas A&M.
Alabama Football has done a much better job in recent weeks of protecting the football, and would do well to continue that trend against Arkansas. If it can do so and keep Milroe clean, there is yardage to be had against the Arkansas defense.
Look for Alabama to try to establish the run this week, a facet of the offense that has not been consistent this season.