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Staff Predictions: Hogs-Tide

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 South Carolina at Arkansas Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

GRAHAM: There are no two ways around it. Last week was a gut punch for the Razorbacks. But, we should all take hope in knowing who is in charge. Sam Pittman’s culture is not the same as in the past, and he will have his Razorbacks ready to bounce back this week. But, unfortunately, the Crimson Tide is rolling to town, presenting Arkansas’ most significant challenge yet.

You have to think the Hogs will try to run the football early and often. If executed, I think the run game accompanied by intermediate pass play will be huge for the Razorbacks. KJ and the offense must control the game’s time of possession and field position. The Arkansas offense will do what it needs to give the Hogs a chance.

On the other side, the Arkansas secondary is still a huge question mark. Bryce Young and his receivers will inevitably make great connections during tomorrow’s game. However, the Hogs need to hang in there enough to deal with some punches of their own. Guys like Drew Sanders and Jordan Domineck can make a massive difference tomorrow by getting into the Alabama backfield. Ultimately, more consistent tackling is what I’m hoping to see from the defense.

I believe tomorrow will be a solid back-and-forth affair. However, I think the Tide will make one too many big plays in the passing game. It will be close before Alabama pulls away in the fourth quarter.

FINAL: Alabama 38, Arkansas 27

PORTER: Coming off a heartbreaking loss Arkansas is looking for a bounce back and with Alabama coming to town this sets up for a potential program changing win.

Sam Pittman has put the belief in the players, fans and the whole state of Arkansas that he will take this team to the next level. Having veteran QB like KJ Jefferson and the game being in Fayetteville sets up the perfect recipe for an upset.

Arkansas gets a turnover in the fourth quarter before Jefferson drives them down the field to score on a game winning drive.

Final: Arkansas 31, Alabama 28

JACOB: There comes a time during nearly every Arkansas tenure, a game that defines a program. During the SEC era, Danny Ford led the Hogs to a win at Alabama in 1995. For Houston Nutt there were quite a few with the biggest win coming in 2003 against hated Texas.

What about Bobby Petrino? He led the Hogs to their first BCS Bowl game in 2010 by defeating LSU in Little Rock to clinch the berth.

Bret Bielema’s back-to-back shutouts against ranked opponents had to taste sweet in the mouth of Hog fans. Especially following the disastrous 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The Razorbacks have needed to climb from depths that not many have fought out of. Sam Pittman has helped revitalize this Razorback football program with a 15-12 overall record, matching the same mark Petrino set in his first 21 games in Fayetteville.

Arkansas needs a perfect game to defeat Alabama. It sounds cliche but it’s true. The careless turnovers, missed tackles in the open field and lack of awareness on the field in certain situations have been killers for a team looking to take the next step.


•KJ finds his sauce and throws three touchdowns and runs for another.

•Rocket Sanders surpasses 100-yards for the fourth time this season on the ground.

•Drew Sanders sacks Bryce Young twice.

•The defensive line as a whole continues their strong season, sacking Young a total of five times. This stat shouldn’t surprise many of you since the Crimson Tide offensive line hasn’t looked like world beaters this season.

•Jadon Haselwood finds the endzone twice for over 100 yards.

Hudson Clark comes up forcing an interception. The pick will lead Arkansas to a potential game winning drive.

•Bumper Pool records a 15 tackle effort that brings him within seven of tying the school record for tackles in a Razorback career. The record is currently held by Tony Bua (408).

•Bryce Young passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns.

•Jahmyr Gibbs and Jase McClellan combine for 230 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns.

•Will Anderson gets his early during the game but is a non-factor in the second half.

Final: Arkansas 35, Alabama 28