Chris Kirschner/SEC Country
Damien Harris had 125 rushing yards on just 9 carries against Arkansas.

Alabama football: Damien Harris explodes for another big game against Arkansas

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every sport on campus.

Starting right

On the first play of Alabama’s win over Arkansas, Damien Harris exploded for a 75-yard touchdown. It was Harris’ second consecutive game scoring from that distance, which is his career total. Harris has led the way for Alabama on the ground this season. Saturday night, he ran for 125 yards on 9 carries (13.9 yards per carry). He also added 2 touchdowns to bring his season total to 9.

Many believe Harris should be in the Heisman Trophy discussion because of his consistent, yet explosive play each week. His teammates believe he is among the nation’s elite at the position.

“Damien [Harris] makes plays,” quarterback Jalen Hurts said. “He’s probably one of the top running backs in the country. I get to watch it every Saturday.”

In other headlines …

  • Alabama is a unanimous No. 1 in both the Amway Coaches Poll and the AP poll. Alabama also is atop of SEC Country’s SEC Power Poll.
  • Alabama honored its 1992 championship team before the game. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was in attendance.
  • Our own Marq Burnett gave the offense and defense good grades but reported that the special teams did not perform well after a night of miscues.
  • What did Arkansas have to say after the blowout loss? The Razorbacks players and coaches discussed the loss.
  • Analyst Danny Kanell put Alabama back on top in his weekly College Football Playoff rankings.
  • Outkick The Coverage writer Clay Travis doesn’t think anyone will challenge Alabama in the regular season.
  • Comedian Funny Maine is back with another hilarious video on how Alabama fans watched games this weekend.

Avoiding chaos

This weekend saw college football turn itself upside down at the hands of numerous upsets. It started with No. 2 Clemson and No. 8 Washington State falling on Friday. Then, No. 5 Washington, No. 10 Auburn and No. 19 San Diego State all lost Saturday. All five teams lost to unranked opponents. With all of this chaos going on, Alabama remained dominant. The Crimson Tide had no trouble defeating Arkansas. Alabama believes it responded well after struggling in the second half against Texas A&M in its previous game.

Player turned reporter

After Harris’ big game, everyone wanted to talk to the junior running back. Harris was taking questions from a large crowd of reporters when Hurts snuck into the crowd to ask Harris about his opening play. Harris joked back with Hurts before answering the question like he would with any other reporter. When Hurts stepped up to the podium to take questions after Harris, a reporter told him he asked a good question.

“I’m taking a journalism class,” Hurts said.

Hard to bring down

Alabama faced a unique challenge when it lined up against Arkansas on Saturday. Because of an injury to Austin Allen, Cole Kelley got the start. Kelley isn’t like most quarterbacks, however. He is about double the size. Officially, Kelley stands at 6-foot-7, 269 pounds. Regardless of his size, Alabama was still able to bring down Kelley 5 times, and hurry him 11 times. Rashaan Evans led the way with 2 sacks and 2 hurries. Still, Kelley was able to stay in the game and even throw a touchdown pass.

“That’s the biggest quarterback I’ve ever seen in my life,” Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said. “One time I was holding on to him and I’m like, ‘Geez, he’s still standing up.’ With a guy like that you have to get 11 hats to the ball or just gang tackle him.”

Around the capstone

  • Four-star point guard Jared Butler, who is an Alabama target, will announce where he is playing college basketball Tuesday.
  • Alabama volleyball lost in 4 sets to LSU on the road.
  • Alabama soccer defeated Mississippi State, 3-2, in double overtime on senior night.
  • Alabama tennis players Grant Stuckey and Alexey Nesterov both picked up singles wins on Sunday.
  • Alabama women’s golf finished second at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational.

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