It has been an unusual and difficult season for all teams in this 2020 College Football season. The #1 Alabama Crimson Tide finished the regular season with a dominating win over a surprising Arkansas Razorbacks team. The Tide defeated the Razorbacks 52-3 with 28 of those points coming in the second quarter. Alabama didn’t beat Arkansas in its typical brand of football that it has been doing this season. This was the second biggest victory for the Tide this season behind the 63-3 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. It was also the last regular-season game for the Tide before their 14th SEC Conference Championship matchup versus the #6 Florida Gators next Saturday. There were several major factors of how Alabama was able to dominate the Razorbacks to get a big win.
Alabama Powers Through Arkansas Razorbacks 52-3
Alabama’s short-yard game dominates Arkansas
This season, Alabama has become one of the top offenses in the nation due to its elite productivity in the passing game. Alabama found simple answers on offense with runs and short-to-mid-range passing plays against Arkansas. The Tide didn’t need to rely on the high-caliber passing abilities of quarterback Mac Jones to get them in great scoring situations. Alabama’s offense was able to easily drive the ball down the field and extend drives. Alabama accounted for 443 total yards on offense and 24 first downs. Further, the offense was highly efficient in continuing drives as they were 10-for-14 on third-down conversions. The Tide averaged just over six yards per play despite a slow start in the first quarter. Alabama accounted for 227 passing yards and 216 rushing yards against the Razorbacks’ defense.
It was the rushing attack of Alabama that ultimately powered through as the unit stuffed the ball down the middle of the Arkansas defense consistently. Alabama had a six rushing touchdown performance with three of those rushing scores coming from senior running back Brian Robinson Jr. Fellow senior Najee Harris rushed for two touchdowns and freshman Jase Mcclellan had a rushing touchdown of 80 yards. Wide receiver DeVonta Smith only had three receptions for 22 yards but he also had an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown. This makes 17 total touchdowns for Smith in 10 games as he continues to climb in the Heisman Trophy rankings. Despite not throwing a touchdown for the second time this season, Jones was highly efficient in the passing game. Jones threw for 208 yards and a quarterback rating of 143 on 24 completions (out of 29 passing attempts).
The defense of Alabama smothers the Offense of Arkansas
After a rough start in the first quarter, the Alabama defense made some significant adjustments against the offense of Arkansas. The Tide held the Razorbacks to only 188 yards of total offense and 13 first downs. The defense adjusted well despite the athletic capabilities of Razorbacks’ dual-threat Feleipe Franks. Arkansas was only able to account for 80 yards on 43 carries on the ground. The Tide’s defense completely dominated the line of scrimmage and was able to crash into the backfield of Arkansas. They were able to account for eight sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Defensive end Christian Barmore had his best game of the season. He accounted for three total tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback hit. In addition, outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. accounted for two tackles for loss and two sacks.
Jaylen Moody led Alabama in total tackles with seven as well as one forced fumble on Saturday. Moody took over for Christian Harris, who was injured on the first play from scrimmage on a quick pass from Franks. Freshman safety Brian Branch accounted for four total tackles, two solo tackles, and his first collegiate interception. Despite having future NFL stars Patrick Surtain II and Dylan Moses, the Tide relied on their role players to lead them to an efficient defensive outing.
Tide Prepares for SEC Championship Game
This win for Alabama over Arkansas was another statement win as they finished the regular season undefeated. With the regular season now over, the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0) will prepare for its 14th SEC Championship game. They will play the #11 Florida Gators (8-2) next week. Florida’s 37-34 loss to the LSU Tigers showed how failed they are outside of the quarterback position. Even with Florida being out of the College Playoff, the Tide, however, will still prepare for a high-power Gators’ offense. This next game will be a matchup between three Heisman Trophy frontrunners in Gators quarterback Kyle Trask and Alabama quarterback Jones and wide receiver Smith.