Arkansas Football: Biggest Winners and Losers from Razorbacks' Loss vs. Alabama
The Arkansas Razorbacks ran into a buzz saw of a defense on Saturday and came out shredded into 38 different pieces. The Alabama Crimson Tide put to rest any opportunity for Arkansas to make a statement that would resonate throughout the southeast.
Arkansas went into Bryant Denny Stadium hoping to expose an Alabama defense that's spoiled with NFL-ready talent. Unfortunately for Arkansas, the Nick Saban led Crimson Tide outplayed the Razorbacks "in all three phases."
As Bobby Petrino tries to find the positives reviewing the game film with his team today, we'll be doing the exact opposite. Let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers from Saturday's game before we close the books and move on to talking about the Texas A&M Aggies.
Winner: Alabama Defense
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Nick Saban's defense came to play Saturday and they staked their claim as the best defense in the SEC West, and the country for that matter. The Crimson Tide defense smothered the Razorbacks on Saturday.
Arkansas went into the game hoping to poke holes in the Alabama defense with their fab foursome at wide receiver. That is easier said than done, especially when playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
The receiving numbers from the Razorbacks actually provided decent yardage against this faulted defense totaling 209 yards with nine different receivers on the day. The problem lied with the Razorbacks' running game. Arkansas totaled a whopping 17 yards on the ground for the day.
For such an explosive offense, 228 total yards should be embarrassing on any given week. However, against this stout defense it almost seems like a small morale booster for Tyler Wilson and the Arkansas offense.
Adding a touchdown off an interception for the day capped off a fabulous afternoon for this vaunted defense. The Alabama defense definitely came away a winner from the Arkansas Razorbacks' loss.
Loser: Arkansas Rushing Attack
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Touched upon briefly in the previous slide, the Arkansas Razorback rushing attack was putrid to say the least. Tyler Wilson ended up being the team's second leading rusher on the day, with just three yards.
Joe Adams and Brandon Mitchell both ended up in the red as far as rushing yards go. Adams ended the day with one attempt for negative seven yards while Mitchell had three carries for negative 11 yards from scrimmage.
Arkansas' leading rusher on the day was Ronnie Wingo Jr. had 35 yards on 11 carries for the Razorbacks. An abysmal total for an offense that has so much fire power and is able to spread out an opposing defense.
The wide receiving corp delivered a fair effort with over 200 yards receiving. The running game on the other hand suffered from a severe lack of production that would cramp any team's style on a given week.
No matter how good of a defense you face or how good your receivers may be, you must be able to run the ball for more than 17 total yards on the day. That's not up for debate either.
Winner: Texas A&M
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The soon to be new boys of the SEC get to face an Arkansas Razorbacks' team fresh off a solid thumping as they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas this week. The Texas A&M Aggies are hoping the Razorbacks' come into Saturday's game still dazed by the beating suffered in Tuscaloosa.
Texas A&M come fresh off a tough one point loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys from over the weekend and would like to make amends. Not only that, but they would like to show the rest of the SEC and the country for that matter that they will be a team to fear in the SEC.
Now, whether that last statement holds any truth will certainly not be decided Saturday, but the win would go a long way for the Aggies. The Aggies have a rather sub par record versus the SEC in it's history and they would like to make a good first impression before joining the conference.
Facing an Arkansas team trying to pick up the pieces from their demoralizing, back-to-earth loss provides the Aggies with a grand opportunity. Winners from the Arkansas loss definitely go to the Texas A&M Aggies.
Whether they can win or not is a whole different story.
Losers: Bobby Petrino
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After the game ended Bobby Petrino stepped up in front of a podium and had to rehash the fresh beating his coaching counter part Nick Saban just provided his team. The tone in his voice and the expression said all you needed to know about the game without even watching it.
"They made all the big plays and we didn't," said Petrino during his post game meeting with the media. His opening remarks to the press conference were that the Alabama Crimson Tide "beat us in all three phases of the game."
Petrino called it right on that one. Alabama manhandled the Arkansas Razorbacks with a thorough beating on offense, defense and special teams scoring in all three phases. Coach Petrino hoped to go into Tuscaloosa and unleash his quartet of stud wide receivers but faced an entire defensive unit full of star players.
The Arkansas coach must regroup quickly and wipe the memories from the game clear from his players. Per the previous slide, the Texas A&M Aggies come to town this Saturday and will be looking to take advantage of the vulnerable psyche of the Razorback players.
Winner: The SEC
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A conference would be lying to you if it said they did not quietly root for certain teams. Maybe not because they prefer one team over the other every year, but they root more so for scenarios.
Case and point, the SEC and all the TV networks, along with myself, quietly rooted for the Crimson Tide to win on Saturday. Why you ask?
It's pretty simple. We all want to see the new No.1 LSU Tigers face off against either a No. 2 or No.3 Alabama team on Nov. 5.
A game that will certainly decide the SEC West and shape up the national championship picture. If both teams remain undefeated, it would easily be the biggest game of the season by that point and oh what a game it would be.
Two incredible defenses squaring off against one another as the battle of the titans takes place in Tuscaloosa the first week of November. Quietly somewhere SEC officials did a small fist pump on the side knowing the stage is still set for a monumental showdown for the ages.
Call me selfish, but I rooted for Alabama due to my own personal agenda. Games like that make any fan drool in anticipation. As a non-partial SEC fan, I feel no remorse showing favoritism. A top three matchup between two SEC powerhouses who are both undefeated in November.
It's nothing personal Arkansas, you just aren't in the big picture.
Losers: Arkansas Rankings
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Surprisingly, the Arkansas Razorbacks did not fall that far down the rankings list after their defeat on Saturday. Despite the horrible showing Saturday, Arkansas remains in the top 20 in both polls.
The AP poll had them previously ranked No. 14 in the country and now the Razorbacks are ranked No. 18 in the country. While the USA Today poll also has the Razorbacks' ranked No.18 this week, falling six spots from the No.12 position prior to Saturday's game.
A disappointing loss suffered by Bobby Petrino's team who were looking forward to catapulting themselves into the top 10 if they pulled off the upset. That will have to wait most likely until next season unless they run the table between now and the end of the season.
Petrino's squad needs to pick themselves up or they will find themselves sitting outside of the top 25 this time next week.
I'll have a list chalk full of losers from the Arkansas football team if that takes place.