Alabama Football: 3 Worries for Nick Saban and Tide Ahead of Arkansas
Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide have cruised through their first two weeks against Michigan and Western Kentucky.
In outscoring the opposition, 76-14, the Crimson Tide’s offense has been dominant.
AJ McCarron has thrown for six touchdowns and T.J. Yeldon, Eddie Lacy and Kenyan Drake have all rushed for touchdowns.
Four different receivers have scored touchdowns; both Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones have two.
On the other side of the football, the defense has combined for seven turnovers.
Four of those turnovers were interceptions, all of which have been by different players.
The Crimson Tide also scored four times as a result of forcing turnovers.
Every team has weaknesses though, and the Arkansas Razorbacks will look to exploit a couple in hopes of handing the No. 1 ranked team their first loss of the season.
The Offensive Line
The offensive line could be the biggest stand-out weakness for the Crimson Tide.
Against Western Kentucky, McCarron was sacked a total of six times for 48 yards.
Arkansas will look to exploit the offensive line, having already recorded six sacks combined in their first two games, and with the weak offensive line of Alabama expect them to be all over McCarron.
Arkansas will run some plays with an outside blitz, trying to get as many men pressuring the quarterback as possible.
Alonzo Highsmith, Jarrett Lake and Tenarius Wright will do a good job pressuring McCarron and expect players like Trey Flowers or Chris Smith to come from the outside on a few plays.
If the Razorbacks can exploit the weakness in the offensive line they could give Alabama a run for their money.
Arkansas Will Watch out Specifically for Turnovers
Alabama has demolished teams when it comes to turnovers so far this season.
Seven total turnovers have accounted for 28 points so far for the Crimson Tide.
If Arkansas can do a good job protecting the football it will keep Alabama’s offense off of the field for much longer.
Protecting the football means that Tyler Wilson (or Brandon Allen, as Wilson has yet to be cleared for contact due to a head injury) will need to have good pocket presence. It also means making smart decisions and not throwing the ball over the middle.
John Smith has looked at Alabama’s game tapes and will keep Wilson/Allen aware not to make bad decisions with the football.
Turnovers when playing against Alabama are deadly.
Jalston Fowler Injury
Junior running back Jalston Fowler was injured last game for Alabama. He will undergo surgery on his left knee and will miss the entire season.
Although the Crimson Tide still have Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon to get the bulk of the carries Fowler’s size will be missed in goal line situations.
Fowler will also be missed on special teams. He is a great blocker and Saban uses him as a lead blocker on offense and in special team situations.
The 240-pound full back already has ran for 85 yards averaging 7.7 yards per carry.
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