The Alabama Crimson Tide will begin SEC play Saturday afternoon against the Arkansas Razorbacks in a contest that has certainly lost its luster. The game was supposed to pin two top ten teams against each other and was circled by TV executives at the start of the season, but suffered in the public eye after the Razorbacks fell out of the top 25. However, Arkansas is still a dangerous team and there are 3 things Nick Saban‘s Alabama Football team must do Saturday.
Set the tone early
This will be the first time Alabama has headed into a hostile environment in 2012, which is a test in itself. Arkansas students have been camping out for days and Razorback nation will be clad in red for Saturday’s affair. Forget about the University of Louisiana Monroe loss last week, Alabama has defeated Arkansas every year Nick Saban has been head coach.
In simple terms-the place is going to be crunk. Ok maybe, that wasn’t a simple term, but with an electric atmosphere it will be important for the Crimson Tide to set the tone early to take the crowd out of the game.
Stop the big plays
The last time Alabama played in Fayetteville Ryan Mallet burned the Crimson Tide secondary for two quick scores that put Arkansas up 14 early. Regardless of who is under center for the Razorbacks, I would expect Arkansas to try and attack the Crimson Tide’s weakness, the secondary, with more than a few vertical routes.
If Alabama can keep Arkansas’ playmakers in front of them that will go a long way in helping the Crimson Tide come out victorious.
Keep AJ McCarron upright
This sounds so basic, but McCarron has been taken to the turf more than Tide fans would like to see. If there is anything learned from last week’s college football slate (read Arkansas-ULM) it is that playing with your backup quarterback can be like playing Russian roulette. Anything can happen.
Alabama has a chance to do something special this season; those chances will be greatly increased if McCarron is healthy.