Arkansas-Alabama: Score predictions and players to watch
Arkansas will face Alabama at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
To help get you ready for the game, SEC Country’s Arkansas reporters Trent Shadid, Eric Bolin and John Nabors are providing their score predictions and players to watch for the game.
- Also see: Time, TV channel, watch online for Arkansas-Alabama
- Arkansas needs QB Austin Allen vs. Alabama
- Alabama coach Nick Saban impressed with Arkansas’ big backup QB, Cole Kelley
Alabama 42, Arkansas 14 — Trent Shadid
Forget about winning, Arkansas just needs to find a way to get in and out of Tuscaloosa without any significant injuries. The Hogs have been bad in two particular areas this season — pass protection on offense and limiting big plays on defense. Without competence in those areas, no team has a chance at knocking off the mighty Crimson Tide. This one should be over by halftime.
Alabama 49, Arkansas 14 — Eric Bolin
Don’t make Nick Saban angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry. It isn’t Arkansas’ fault the Alabama coach has a thorn in his paw. But after a modest effort, by Alabama standards, against Texas A&M, the odds the Crimson Tide have such a display again are small. The Razorbacks are the team on the receiving end. Even if Arkansas were playing well, and it most definitely is not, this just seems like a Alabama blowout.
Alabama 56, Arkansas 14 — John Nabors
This game can only look one way … ugly. The Hogs are facing an Alabama team that may be the best and deepest team Saban has ever had. The Crimson Tide are going to be extra motivated because they felt their performance last week against Texas A&M was subpar. I saw someone jokingly say that Alabama’s second team could beat Arkansas this year. I laughed about it, then I agreed.
Players to watch
QB Austin Allen/Cole Kelley — Trent Shadid
I’m going with whoever starts at quarterback — Austin Allen or Cole Kelley. There’s little doubt the Hogs’ quarterback Saturday is going to take a beating behind that unreliable offensive line. That’s a potential recipe for disaster for both players. Allen, who is questionable with a right shoulder injury, could come out of this one in much worse shape than he’s entering it. Which isn’t good. If Allen can’t go, Kelley will be making his first career start on the road at Alabama. And did I mention the offensive line isn’t any good? That’d be throwing the redshirt freshman to the wolves and running the risk of negatively impacting his future.
MLB De’Jon Harris — Eric Bolin
“Scoota,” as he’s known, has not played significantly in an Alabama game before. The sophomore will be right in the mix of things against an offense that prefers to run it down opposing defenses’ throats. Harris could rack up 15-plus tackles even on a day the Razorbacks run defense gets blasted. Long as he does his duty, maybe that run defense holds up OK.
OL Brian Wallace — John Nabors
Bret Bielema listed Wallace as a co-first-team tackle alongside Paul Ramirez this week. Ramirez has struggled mightily all season and fans have wondered why Wallace hasn’t seen the field. Bielema kept stating Wallace was just further behind everyone else and that if he was really their best option, he would be out there. If Wallace comes in and performs well against the No. 1 team in the country, then it will be even worse for Bielema.