Arkansas Football Vs Alabama: Inside The Numbers Of Week 4's Biggest Game

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Arkansas Football Vs Alabama: Inside The Numbers Of Week 4's Biggest Game
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

While there may be other teams center stage in other parts of the country; the most important game on a national scale will be in Fayetteville, Arkansas this weekend. While the Auburn vs. South Carolina is of two ranked teams and could help decide the SEC eastern division; Arkansas vs. Alabama will start to determine the winner of the strongest division in college football.

Alabama comes into this game with a 3-0 record, but largely untested. They have largely veteran skilled position players on offense. The offensive line has not been stellar in either run blocking or pass protection in the first three games. They will look to get back that swagger that helped lead them to a BCS Championship in 2009.

The Alabama defense is inexperienced in all areas. They have a ton of new players on the two deep. With three games already under their belt; improvement would be expected, but has not occurred. This could be a simple matter of lack of competition thus far.

Arkansas will test them mightily in this game. They will know where they stand when it's over. While a loss in this game will not knock either team out of contention, it will certainly make the path more difficult.

Arkansas returns most of their offensive and defensive units in tack for 2010 and it has made a difference. The already good Arkansas offense is better. The terrible Arkansas defense has become serviceable.

Neither team is doing well on special teams.

These are the two best offenses in the SEC at this point of the season. Alabama is a run based power offense that can pass. Arkansas is a pass based offense that can run. Alabama is better at controlling the clock and grinding out yards. Arkansas is better at putting up points quickly.

There will be at least half a dozen players in this game that will get mentioned in conjunction with the Heisman this year.

This game will likely be a tale of defenses. The defense that plays the best will likely win. There simply is no overwhelming advantage on offense for either team. Both squads are equally bad on special teams. This could be a significant factor if either unit plays their first good game.

Let's take a look at what these two teams have accomplished so far this season.

Statistic

Arkansas

Alabama

Average Opponent Offensive National Ranking

100 nationally

74 nationally

Average Opponent Defensive National Ranking

88 nationally

84 nationally

Overall Record

03/01/00

03/01/00

Conference Record

01/01/00

0-0

 

 

 

Total Offense

483.67 yards per game

542 yards per game

Rushing Offense

116

250.67

Yards Per Carry

4.24

6.84

Pass Offense

367.67

291.33

Yards Per Completion

15.31

15.89

Pass Efficiency

177.67 on the scale

186.95 on the scale

Sacks Allowed

1.33 per game

1.67 per game

 

 

 

Total Defense in Yards Allowed

255.67 yards per game

253.33 yards per game

Rushing Defense

111.33

120.67

Pass Defense

144.33

132.67

Pass Efficiency Defense

114.95 on the scale

73.66

Sacks

4

0.67

Tackles For Loss

8.67

3

Turnover Margin

-1

0.33

 

 

 

Net Punting

35.9 yards

35.38 yards

Kick Returns

18.13

30

Punt Returns

12.86

5.43

As any fan can clearly see, these two teams have played similar schedules with similar difficulty. Neither team has been challenged by a top tier team so far. When one programs in the data available and runs a simulation; the results are close and fluctuate wildly.

What To Expect

Fans can expect the Arkansas defense to impede the Alabama rushing game. Alabama will have to go to the air for this game. The Alabama defense will be tested with an up tempo passing attack. Depth will become an issue in the secondary late.

Alabama will have to pressure the quarterback for the first time this year. That will be no easy task as the Arkansas offensive line is fully as good as they have faced.

Arkansas will hit Alabama with an passing assault. There will be reverses, and other confusing plays to take advantage of the inexperienced Alabama linebackers. The crowd will be at a fever pitch all game and it will present a distinct home field advantage.

This will be an intense, close, well played game and the staff with the better game plan will win. The game could be decided on any small mistake along the way.  

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