Without starting quarterback Tyler Wilson, the Arkansas Razorbacks stand no chance against Alabama Crimson Tide.
In Wilson, the Razorbacks have a incredibly talented pocket passer who racked up 3,683 yards in 2011 while completing 63.2 percent of his passes. He threw 24 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
While Wilson was unable to find much success against the Crimson Tide last year, his arm was the Razorbacks’ only chance to beat Alabama.
Moving the ball against Alabama through the air is extremely difficult, but it is impossible to find success on the ground. Against Michigan in the season opener, the Tide’s front-seven dominated and did not allow any Wolverine to average more than three yards per carry.
If Wilson were to play in this the game, the Razorbacks would have stood a slight chance of getting a big-play from their star quarterback. The Alabama secondary had to replace three starters from a season ago, causing Nick Saban to say before the season, “It's a work in progress. How quickly those guys develop is going to be really important to how successful we are on defense,” via John Zenor of the Associated Press (per Yahoo Sports).
While the unit has looked impressive thus far, it is early in the season and these players are still vulnerable to occasional mistakes. Few quarterbacks in the country are more capable of punishing mistakes in the secondary than Wilson.
With one or two big plays, the Razorbacks offense may have been able to do just enough to put the team in position for an upset.
But without his starter, Arkansas coach John L. Smith turns to freshman Brandon Allen—who was unimpressive after coming on for Wilson in a loss to Louisiana-Montroe—and junior Brandon Mitchell. Both players have extremely limited experience and whichever is on the field will be facing a fearsome Alabama pass rush with a shaky offensive line protecting them.
Turning in an impressive performance that would give Arkansas a chance to win under these conditions is impossible. Even playing well enough to keep the score respectable is highly unlikely.
Without Wilson, the Razorbacks are doomed to be blown out against Alabama as their season continues to be disappointing.