"Every time they come to the line of scrimmage, we should make it difficult for their quarterback to play," he said. "Don't think you're not having an effect on the game. ... Make them go silent. Make their players react to the snap of the ball so that they can't hear every play of the game. "That will be a tremendous advantage for our defense, and it will create some problems for them. But you have to do it."
"I just want to see a good ballgame," Bobby said of any conflicting emotions. "It's going to be a great game." He'll pull against his alma mater? "I'm a dad," Bobby said. "What do you think? But that is a question that everybody's asking me."
"For a guy to come in and replace a guy like Ryan Mallett, and for the offense to not miss a beat, that shows a lot about him and his talent," Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower said. "He's very confident in the offense and the way that he carries the offense. He's a real good leader. A real good arm."
Arkansas' streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown will be in jeopardy when the Razorbacks take on the powerful running attack of Alabama, which has scored 12 rushing touchdowns in three games. Arkansas is one of six teams in the country that has not allowed a touchdown on the ground in 2011. The others are Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio University, Kentucky and Miami, Fla.
Alabama coach Nick Saban confirmed moving Jones to right tackle was to see what he could do as "the swing tackle" in an emergency. And it was an opportunity to give true freshman Cyrus Kouandjio snaps at left tackle where he is pressing for the starting job. Jones said Cyrus has improved because he can play faster and harder as he becomes more comfortable with the offense. "It was really about, if something happened and we lost an offensive lineman, how would we get our best five guys back out on the field," Saban said.
"Tight ends have done a good job," Alabama coach Nick Saban said. "Every position on our team can play better. Our expectation is that we will improve and play better." Smelley says he looks forward to making more plays in the future. "I feel like I can make plays, and A.J. (McCarron) and I have a good chemistry," he said of the redshirt sophomore quarterback.
1. The Alabama Crimson Tide begin its SEC schedule this week by hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks. That could be bad news for the Razorbacks based on recent history. On the field, Alabama has won 19 straight SEC openers, with its last loss coming in 1991 to the Florida Gators (note: some of those games have since been vacated or forfeited). Only two other FBS schools have active conference-opener win streaks in double digits. The Virginia Tech Hokies have won 15 straight, while the Boise State Broncos are on an 11-game streak. But both those have come in two different conferences (Big East/ACC for Virginia Tech and Big West/WAC for Boise State). The Broncos open their first season in the Mountain West Conference on October 15 at the Colorado State Rams.
"Both teams might end up in the next week not being able to practice, because of how physical this game is going to be," Robinson said. "We’re excited about the challenge of the physical part of it, but it’s also a matter of who’s not going to give up the big play."
I want to see the battle lines hold. The offensive and defensive lines need to play light years ahead of the way they played against Troy. If our hot rod receivers are open, it won't matter if Tyler Wilson is on his back. And you know Bama is going to try to hit us heavy again with the run, which I think plays more in our favor, for I suspect we are a better run defense right now than pass defense.
"I think this is going to be a classic SEC matchup," Smelley said. "It is going to be two good defenses and two good offenses. We are going to have to bring it and have the will to win and not be denied. That is what it is going to take to win. I feel like it is going to be a good battle, and I am looking forward to it."
The University of Alabama is looking forward to hosting another sellout crowd when the Crimson Tide football team hosts the University of Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the UA Athletic Ticket Office wishes to remind fans of the potential danger of being sold counterfeit tickets at Tide home games. If fans have any doubt about the validity of their tickets, they can visit the UA Athletic Ticket Office at Coleman Coliseum to verify their tickets during regular business hours, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. On game day those tickets can be verified beginning at 10:30am by University officials on Saturday at the stadium by reporting to Gate 3 or Gate 32. Officials will be available at those gates to examine any tickets.
Missouri president, Brady Deaton, the chairman of the Big 12 presidents, told reporters in Missouri that there was no agreement on a grant of rights. A Missouri spokesman said in an e-mail, "It’s my understanding that there was no agreement, the agreement was to pursue that as a potential outcome." The spokesman later confirmed with Deaton that "there was no agreement." While there was much confusion on the grant of rights issue, it was clear that Missouri had not signed its rights over yet and the door is left ajar for it to go to the Southeastern Conference.
Tonight's agreement has had no effect on the Texas A&M and its intended departure to the SEC. Boren said Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was on the teleconference, but was careful to note that it was "highly likely" that the Aggies would continue to chart their intended course for the SEC. Boren also said the league would not give up on convincing Texas A&M to stay until the Aggies became official members of the SEC. The league's presidents did not discuss waiving rights to legal action that would allow Texas A&M to continue with its intended move to the SEC after the conference's presidents voted to accept them on the condition that each Big 12 team waive those legal rights. "Another key to Big 12 stability will be for the league to assist Texas A&M with our departure," Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook told the San Antonio Express-News.
So even though the conference nearly collapsed under his watch, Dan Beebe did leave the league in good shape to figure out what's next. "It is satisfying to know the Big 12 Conference will survive, and I congratulate the members for taking strong action to ensure a bright future as a premier intercollegiate athletics conference," Beebe said in a statement. "As I have stated many times, it is in the best interest of intercollegiate athletics and higher education to maintain the regional connection that is so important for the student-athletes, their parents and the fans. I put all my effort into doing what was best for the Big 12. With great fondness, I wish the Big 12 Conference a long and prosperous future."
City officials will remove furniture and other flammable items from porches and lawns this week in an effort to combat celebratory fires following the nationally televised football game this weekend. WVU junior Mark Kookan, who lives in an area covered in the abatement, doesn't believe it will keep people from intentionally lighting fires after the game. "I just can't see it putting a stop to people's desire to burn," Kookan said. "It might hide things to burn, but I feel that if I see someone burning something, I want to be a part of that."