The Alabama Crimson Tide and Arkansas Razorbacks will kick off their SEC Conference schedule in a mighty clash in Fayetteville on Saturday afternoon.
Alabama comes in ranked No. 1 in the country, while Arkansas enters Week 3's marquee showdown unranked after being upset by Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock.
The Razorbacks took a remarkable fall from the rankings, going from No. 8 to out of the Top 25 all together.
So, what's in store for them on Saturday?
Here is everything you need to know for this weekend's matchup between Alabama and Arkansas.
Where: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark.
When: Saturday, September 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Listen: WFFN 95.3 FM (Tuscaloosa), KEZA 107.9 FM (Fayetteville)
Live Streaming: CBSSports.com
Betting Line: TBA
The top storyline coming into Saturday's SEC showdown is the status of Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, who was injured in the Razorbacks' Week 2 loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
Wilson threw for more than 3,600 yards and 24 touchdowns in 2011 and threw for 563 yards and five touchdowns before going down this season. Freshman Brandon Allen will likely get the start if Wilson can't go on Saturday vs. Alabama.
Who May Not Play for Alabama
*According to USA Today
DB Jarrick Williams (Knee), out for season
WR Chris Black (Shoulder), out for two months
Who May Not Play for Arkansas
*According to USA Today
QB Tyler Wilson (Head), questionable for Saturday
DB Tevin Mitchel (Concussion), questionable for Saturday
RB Kody Walker (Knee), questionable for Saturday
FB Kiero Small (Foot), out indefinitely
WR Maudrecus Humphrey (Disciplinary), out for season
TE Andrew Peterson (Disciplinary), out for season
WR Marquel Wade (Disciplinary), out for season
The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide are the top team in the country at the moment, and can ill-afford to loss at Arkansas on Saturday if they want to keep their bid for a repeat title alive.
For Arkansas, last weekend's loss to Louisiana-Monroe has all but ended its shot at the BCS National Championship Game. The Razorbacks can get back into the Top 25 with a win over the Tide at home though.
What They're Saying
Alabama defensive end Damion Square isn't taking the Razorbacks lightly this weekend (via The Birmingham News' Don Kausler Jr.):
Our secondary’s got to prepare for the different looks they’re going to get scheme-wise. We’ve played some great games against Arkansas before, and I feel like we’re going to play a great game against them again.
Although the Crimson Tide are the favorites on Saturday, they will be behind enemy lines in Arkansas, where the Razorbacks will boast a significant home-field advantage.
Arkansas running back Knile Davis has the right attitude coming into Saturday's highly anticipated SEC matchup following last week's devastating defeat (via The Birmingham News' Don Kausler Jr.):
This is just a bump in the road. How are we going to react? Just like they came in here and beat us, we can go in there and beat Alabama. It’s just all about how we prepare and how we execute.
Davis makes an excellent point. Louisiana-Monroe proved last Saturday that anything can happen in college football.
Alabama Player to Watch
Freshman running back T.J. Yeldon has looked amazing early on this season. The 6'2", 216-pound back is averaging eight yards per carry and 14.6 yards per reception coming into Saturday's matchup.
Yeldon carried the ball 11 times for 111 yards and a touchdown in Alabama's opener against Michigan, and will certainly be a nuisance for the Razorbacks in Fayetteville this weekend.
Arkansas Player to Watch
For the Razorbacks, junior running back Knile Davis will be the player to keep an eye on against Alabama. With Tyler Wilson's health status uncertain, Davis will likely be called on to lead the Arkansas offense.
The Texas native has rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries in two games this September. At 6'0", 226 pounds, Davis will bring a physical presence to the field for the home team.
The biggest matchup in Saturday's game between Alabama and Arkansas will be the Razorbacks' offense versus the Crimson Tide defense. Alabama has allowed just 14 points and 493 total yards through the season's first two weeks.
Although Arkansas has put up more than 470 total yards and 40 points per game in its first two matchups, I like the Alabama defense to win this one. They have shut out their opponent in six of eight quarters this fall, and have not allowed a touchdown in five consecutive quarters.
On the Hot Seat
Former Arkansas special teams coach John L. Smith was named head coach of the Razorbacks football program this offseason after the dismissal of Bobby Petrino, but finds himself in danger of going 1-2 in his first three games as head man in Fayetteville.
Although a loss to the nation's top team wouldn't be the end of the world, it would mean that Smith would have to dig his football team out of a tremendous early-season hole in order to make the case for why he should remain the head coach in 2013.
Regardless of whether Tyler Wilson plays or not, I can't see Arkansas winning this game. Alabama's defense looks far too dominant and the Crimson Tide had an easy time with the Razorbacks last year, winning by 24 at home. It will be closer on the road, but Nick Saban's squad still gets the win.
Alabama 37, Arkansas 17
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