A Top-25 Southeastern Conference showdown is on tap this weekend when the #20 Arkansas Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) host the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC) in an important SEC West clash. The Crimson Tide have dominated the series since Nick Saban took over, winning 14-straight contests against the Razorbacks.
Saturday’s kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. EST at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Alabama is a 17-point road favorite, and the over/under total is 61 points.
What to Know – #2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama opened up conference play last week with a dominating 55-3 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Crimson Tide haven’t been tested this season outside of a narrow victory on the road against the Texas Longhorns.
Bryce Young has already surpassed 1,000 passing yard this year, throwing for 1,029 through four games. A Heisman candidate, Young is completing 68.6% of his passes with 13 touchdowns thrown to two interceptions. Young is also third on the team, rushing for 150 yards and two scores.
The running back stable is never empty at Alabama, and this year is no different with the two-headed rushing attack of Jase McClellan and Georgia Tech transfer Jamyr Gibbs. McClellan has carried the ball 29 times for 245 yards and two touchdowns, while Gibbs has rushed 25 times for 172 yards and leads the team in receptions with 17, three of those for touchdowns.
If Young isn’t targeting Gibbs out of the backfield, he looks to spread the ball around to his wideouts. Traeshon Holden is Alabama’s leading receiver, catching 15 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Ja’Corey Brooks and Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton have each hauled in two touchdown passes a piece.
What to Know – #20 Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas took one on the chin last week in a two-point defeat to Texas A&M at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Outside of the narrow defeat, the Razorbacks have looked solid through the first month of the season with a Top 25 victory over Cincinnati and conference triumph against South Carolina.
How Saturday plays out depends a lot on the play of quarterback KJ Jefferson. The dual-threat signal-caller has thrown for 941 yards and added 274 yards rushing. Jefferson has eight passing and nine rushing touchdowns this year.
Raheim Sanders is the bellcow running back for Arkansas. Sanders has carried the pigskin 83 times, picking up 508 yards on the ground and scoring three touchdowns. Jefferson and Sanders have combined for seven of the Razorbacks’ nine rushing scores.
A pair of transfer wide receivers lead the way in the passing attack. Matt Landers and Jadon Hazelwood are Jefferson’s top targets, combining for 33 receptions and 444 yards through the air.
The Pick is In
Arkansas gave Alabama a scare last year in Tuscaloosa, and the Razorbacks now get the Crimson Tide at home. Alabama is the better of the two, but 17 points on the road in a hostile environment is just too much to be laying.
The Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks +17