The big showdown between SEC powerhouses Alabama and Arkansas has been tempered a bit due to the latter's surprising loss last week to Louisiana-Monroe.
Heading into last weekend both teams were ranked in the Top 10, and fans across the country were gearing up for an early-season clash of the titans. Arkansas not only lost in heartbreaking fashion, 34-31, but senior quarterback Tyler Wilson suffered a head injury and it is unclear if he will play in the game Saturday.
Wilson not playing is obviously a serious blow to the Razorbacks' chances of competing with the Tide, but even if their signal-caller was healthy and playing up to par, I believe Alabama would still be too much, despite losing one of its most versatile offensive weapons in Jalston Fowler.
If Wilson doesn't play, freshman Brandon Allen could see significant snaps. Allen went 6-for-20 for 85 yards last week with a touchdown and an interception.
The Razorbacks will also be playing without cornerback Tevin Mitchel, who was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with a teammate. That blow comes to a secondary that already gave up 412 passing yards last week to an unranked opponent.
This could mean a field day is imminent for Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron. The 21-year-old Alabama native has morphed himself into a Heisman candidate, and so far this year has thrown for 418 yards and six touchdowns. He now looks like a player with a serious arm who can extend the field on any given play.
In last season's 38-14 hurting of Arkansas, McCarron was touched only twice and threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Fowler may be gone, but the Tide are still bursting at the seams with talent on both sides of the ball, and will be able to move the chains with relative ease against the Razorbacks.
It's too bad Wilson isn't playing at 100 percent, but at this point Nick Saban's group can handle almost any team in the country.
No Fowler? No problem for the Tide this weekend.
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