Arkansas Made a Disastrous Mistake Against Alabama That Others Won't

Larry BurtonSenior Writer ISeptember 28, 2009

Watching game film, Bobby Petrino must have been sweating bullets. Once it gets rolling, Alabama's offense seems unstoppable, the defense seems unmovable.

What's a coach to do?

Petrino made a decision on what to do on defense, stop the run, keep Alabama from grinding down the defense and controlling the clock. He thought his best bet was trying to make a young quarterback in his first start against an SEC defense beat him.

Uh oh, chalk that up as Bobby's biggest mistake this year.

If he was counting on McElroy finally breaking form and throwing incompletions and maybe even a few interceptions, he was fatally wrong.

Time after time Arkansas loaded the box and dared McElory to beat them, almost every time he tried, he did.

Part of Bobby's stategy worked as for the most part they held Alabama's running game in check. Were it not for that one long run by Trent Richardson where he broke multiple tackles, Alabama would have had very mediocre rushing yards.

However, in typical McElroy fashion, he simply got the ball to the open man and when they gave him man on man with no deep help, he simply delivered the ball as easily as most quarterbacks give hand offs.

Perhaps one day, McElroy will have an off game, but it wasn't against Arkansas, Bobby's bet blew up big time.

In a game that many thought may be Mallet's ascension into the national spotlight as one of the nation's best quarterbacks, this was a day when Greg McElroy not only stole the show, but the spotlight and the game.

Hello! Earth to opposing coaches... If you watched this game and think you can beat Alabama by forcing Greg McElroy throw the ball, you may as well walk to the nearest cliff and jump and count on that logic to break your fall.

It's about as safe a bet and I'll bet it's one that other coaches will now refuse to make.

Someday soon the rest of the league will understand Mallet's a good quarterback, Snead tosses a fine pass, Tebow is a great leader, but the best passing quarterback in the SEC may just be Greg McElroy and come SEC Championship and Bowl time, maybe the rest of the nation will know that too.