Three Keys to Arkansas Loss to Alabama

Keys to Arkansas loss to Alabama

 

On Saturday, Razorback fans were all red for their SEC West opponent in Alabama. Following the 49-26 loss to the Crimson Tide, there are many questions around Fayetteville as to why this team performed the way it did.  What went wrong for the Razorbacks on Saturday? We will look at this performance by the Razorbacks and three keys to this loss at home.  What are the three keys to Arkansas’s loss to Alabama?

Three Keys In Loss to Alabama

Slow Start

Arkansas finished the first quarter down 14-0 and outgained 217 to 52 in total yards. The Razorbacks finished with four passing yards and 48 yards rushing and were 0-3 on 3rd downs in an abysmal quarter of play. The Arkansas defense could not get off the field seemingly all day on 3rd down as Alabama would be 4-4 in the 1st qtr. and would finish 9-14 {64%} on 3rd downs for the game. On the 20 plays from scrimmage that Alabama would run, they would gash the defense with 173 yards through the air in their seven passes.

At halftime, the Crimson Tide would take a 28-7 lead into the locker room and outgained the Razorbacks 318 to 149 in total yards. Arkansas would finish the half only 1-6 {17%} on 3rd downs and have 52 passing yards and 97 on the ground. This slow start was critical in the outcome of this game.  This was the first of the three keys to the loss to Alabama this week.

Defense Can’t Stop Run

We mentioned above that the Razorback defense could not get off the field on 3rd downs, but it was more profound than that in this game. The Crimson Tide would close the game out in the 4th quarter with a 21-3 scoring advantage and dismantle the defense. They would run rush 12 times for 242 yards while having zero passing yards in the quarter. The Hogs cut the lead to 28-23 behind a solid third quarter. The Crimson Tide would not be denied in the 4th, for this team to remain successful in what will be a tough stretch of games on the road coming up, they will need to get this figured out fast. Alabama averaged 7.5 yards per carrying for the game and scored 317 yards against the defense. This was the game plan coming into this week for the Tide, and the Razorbacks had no answer for it. Arkansas had no pressure on Bryce Young, only sacking him once the entire game, and the defensive line seemingly got no push-up front. This was the biggest of the three keys to Arkansas’s loss to Alabama.

The Offense Has Become One-Dimensional.

In what is generally an exciting team to watch, this offense is hard to watch at times. The Kendal Briles offense has become one-dimensional and this week it was evident that it needs to be fixed. Of the 85 total plays, 51 of them were on the ground.  You would have expected to see more passing in Arkansas giving up an early lead than we did. Arkansas would average 3.7 yards per carry and only 4.4 per play for the game. Besides their stellar 3rd quarter, where they racked up 141 yards of offense, this unit was mediocre at best.

Many around the city had begun to question this offensive strategy over the last few games. Alabama has a top-ranked defense. But for Arkansas to only finish one quarter with over 100 yards of offense is worrisome for this fanbase. Briles is on the hot seat in Fayetteville, and he will need to get this fixed asap. Of the three keys to the loss to Alabama, I did not expect to see.

Up Next For Arkansas

It doesn’t get any easier as the 3-2 Razorbacks make their first actual road trip. Arkansas heads to Starkville, Mississippi, to take on the 4-1 Bulldogs. Mississippi State defeated Texas A&M 42-24 at home in front of 51,930 people yesterday. The Razorbacks will have to improve on the above-mentioned keys to get a win. It will be a raucous environment. The Razorbacks and Bulldogs will kick off at 11 am on the SEC Network.

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