Time to learn about an upcoming opponent from those that know them best. This week, Trent from Arkansas Fight was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
1. After starting out 3-0, Arkansas has had a rough go these last four weeks. What are the feelings of the fanbase about the program as a whole and about new coach Bret Bielema specifically?
I think most reasonable people were resigned to a difficult season before it even began. Even the most reasonable, however, didn't have things pegged as 45-point-homecoming-loss difficult. That's where we are, though.
That isn't to say that there aren't scores of UNreasonable people in my fine state. The worse this season gets, the more I hear callers on the radio talking about Bobby Petrino. As if that does any good.
2. It was reported this Monday that defensive tackle Robert Thomas is out for the rest of the season. How big of a loss is that for Arkansas, and what are your thoughts on his replacement?
It really sucks. The defensive line is the best unit on the team, but even it isn't immune to depth issues. Thomas was finally showing that he could be the player many expected from the moment he arrived on campus. It's a shame his career at Arkansas is over when it finally appeared to be taking off.
I haven't yet formed much of an opinion about Demarcus Hodge. Big and talented, to be sure, but linemen get remembered for making big plays. I haven't seen those from him yet, but to he fair, he hasn't had an opportunity like he will beginning Saturday.
3. At this point, it seems that landing Alex Collins is far and away the biggest thing Bret has accomplished so far. What are your thoughts on Collins, and how do you see him performing this week against Bama?
Collins is sensational. He doesn't have breakaway speed, but that is just about all he lacks. He's shifty in traffic and knows how to run through tackles and fall forward. He is one of the best I have ever seen at turning a two-yard loss into a four-yard gain.
I know better than to predict a big day for a running back playing against Alabama, but I do think Collins will have at least some modest success. I think Crimson Tide fans will appreciate the way that he runs, as well.
4. Looking at the conference rankings, it seems that Arkansas is pretty much right in the middle of the pack defensively. How do you see them matching up against Alabama's offense?
There will be play action opportunities all night, and I suspect McCarron to connect on at least a couple for long touchdowns. Alabama's rushing attack will be methodically sadistic, as it always is.
The real problem is that the Hogs' only equalizer is creating turnovers, and they have been really struggling at that lately as well.
5. Are there any names that have flown under the radar that Bama fans should be aware of coming into the game?
Fullback Kiero Small is a difference maker at fullback, and is one of the better lead blockers I've ever watched.
Running back Korliss Marshall is third on the depth chart, but is the fastest player on the team and has a special package with the offense.
Finally, offensively lineman Dan Skipper is a 6'10" physically dominant freshman. He's also blocked two kicks this season. Just a behemoth.
6. How are you predicting the game to go? What's your guess for the final score?
I think the only way you CAN see it is as an Alabama blowout. I just want to see Arkansas compete for four quarters, as that did not happen last week against South Carolina. I'll say 45-10, and of course hope to be proven wrong.
Thanks for having me, and Woo Pig Sooie!!!