Arkansas has moved on from the loss to Texas A&M and now focuses on its next challenge in Alabama. In what will be possibly their most daunting challenge this season. It will take a nearly perfect game from the Razorbacks on Saturday to win. In a game such as this, there are always keys to victory. We will look at the four that hold the most value in this week’s game. If Arkansas can achieve these keys this week, could they pull the upset?
Four Keys to Arkansas Win
1. Contain Bryce Young
You will notice that the title is not ‘Stop Bryce Young‘ let’s be honest there is not a team that can achieve that. Arkansas will have to get pressure on Young, which is something the Crimson Tide have done an incredible job of not allowing this season. To emphasize this, Alabama, through the first four games, Alabama has only given up four sacks this season, including zero in this week’s game against Vanderbilt.
The Razorbacks will need to continue the pressure up front to try and create confusion for last season’s Heisman Trophy winner. Young has passed for 1.029 yards this season and ran for 127 to start the season. Arkansas must contain him and force mistakes to win against the Crimson Tide. The key to victory will take the entire defense and possibly some luck to complete.
In 2022, the Crimson Tide are averaging only 7.25 points per game scored against them. To emphasize this, the Tide have only had 29 total points scored on them through four games. The Crimson Tides’ first four contests only gave up more than seven points to one team. Texas, who scored 19 in a classic in Austin in week two. Many thought Alabama was exposed in this game, but according to the following games, it doesn’t seem so.
Arkansas comes into this game averaging 33.5 points per game, and this will have to continue to walk away with the massive SEC West upset. Offensive coordinator Kendall Briles will have to draw up a unique yet intelligent game plan to score and score at a high rate. Alabama has an elite defense again, and it will be interesting to see if Arkansas can achieve this key in Saturday’s game.
3. Run The Ball
Alabama stops everything teams essentially throw at them from an offensive standpoint. As mentioned above, they do not give up points, and they do not give up rushing yards either. The Tide only gave up 260 yards on the ground in the four games on 136 attempts. To point out the dominance of the Alabama defense in the above-mentioned Texas game, the Longhorns only rushed 33 times for 79 yards. This is the most yards rushed against this team all season.
Arkansas has one thing that they do exceptionally well, and that is run the ball. The Razorbacks have rushed for 975 yards on 200 carries to start the season. Leading the way is Raheim Sanders, who has 508 yards on 83 carries which is an average of 6.1 yards per rush. Sanders is now only 70 yards shy of his 2021 season total of 578 and has done this in 30 fewer carries. This key will not be easy, however, this one can be accomplished out of the four.
4. Let It Fly
This season’s recurring theme has been just how good this Alabama defense is. This is still the case when it comes to teams passing on them. In 2022, the Tide defense has allowed the opposing quarterbacks to attempt 106 passes while only completing 56 of these. To illustrate this, Alabama has only allowed 201 yards passing per game and 805 yards for two touchdowns. These statistics compute an average of 3.3 yards per play.
In 2022, Arkansas is 67/97 passing for a total of 941 yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. The Hogs are averaging 235 yards passing per game with an average of 9.7 yards per pass. This will have to continue to achieve this final key for an Arkansas win. Briles will need to throw every gadget play and take as many chances as possible to pull this upset off in front of a raucous crowd in Fayetteville.
If Arkansas can achieve these four keys, they can improve their chances of a win over Alabama. Can the Hogs pull the upset? We will find out on Saturday at 2:30 on CBS when these two SEC West foes kick off.