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CB Tevin Mitchel
Disrupt AJ McCarron
AJ McCarron has consistently been one of the best signal callers in the country. He's not the most athletic guy, nor does he have the strongest arm or an elite skill set. But, he is a winner and consistently leads Alabama to wins in big-time games.
The Razorbacks need to put pressure on McCarron or he'll sit back in the pocket and pick apart the secondary. He's on pace to have the best season of his career, completing 68.9 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and three picks.
If the Hogs allow him to get in a rhythm, things could get ugly quick. McCarron has a plethora of options, with six receivers over 100 yards, that could give the Arkansas secondary lots of problems.
Find a Way to Move the Ball
It's been a struggle to score points for the Razorbacks lately. The offense has put up just 17 points in the last two games against Florida and South Carolina, two very good SEC defenses.
The Crimson Tide have the eighth ranked defense in the country and have completely shutdown the Hogs in the last two meetings, outscoring Arkansas 90-14. Quarterback Brandon Allen and the offense have to find ways to move the ball and put points on the board.
The Razorbacks have a great running game, but the ineffectiveness of the passing attack has slowed it down considerably. The Alabama rush defense is seventh in the FBS (87.2 YPG allowed) and will be another huge test for the Hogs. The pass defense hasn't been as good as usual, but is still in the upper echelon, ranking 21st (191.0 YPG).
Allen has to make some plays with his arm to allow the run game to get going and get some points on the board.
Slow Down Alabama's Rushing Attack
This is the most important key for Arkansas. The Crimson Tide offense hasn't been bad, but also hasn't been great (448.5 YPG, 43rd in FBS).
The ground game is 50th nationally (188.3 YPG); however, Alabama possesses a slew of guys who can run the ball, which will keep the the backs fresh and make Arkansas adjust to each guy's style. The main two backs are T.J. Yeldon (88 carries, 569 yards and six touchdowns) and Kenyan Drake (41 rushes, 298 yards and five touchdowns). Both are capable of taking it to the house whenever they touch it.
The Razorbacks' best unit on defense is the D-line. Games against South Carolina and Texas A&M inflated its YPG allowed, but the unit has been very good in its other five games. The Hogs aren't going to shut down the Crimson Tide's run game completely, but slowing it down would help an ailing secondary considerably.
McCarron is a great quarterback, and the secondary will need all the help it can get. Slowing down the Tide's rushing attack would allow defensive coordinator Chris Ash to drop more guys back in coverage.