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Jumbo Package: Saban frustrated by entitlement ahead of Arkansas game

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

New Mexico State v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Friday, everyone. As you well know, Arkansas rolls into town tomorrow as three touchdown underdogs. Your previews:

No doubt Alabama will be laser-focused here in order to stay in control of their own destiny in the pursuit of the SEC West title and their College Football Playoff aspirations. And considering they almost blew those hopes and dreams against LSU in their last real football game, the Crimson Tide shouldn’t overlook the very capable Razorbacks.

But don’t hate me if I’m surprised the point spread is just three touchdowns. The last time the Razorbacks beat the Crimson Tide was back in 2006. Since then it’s been 14 straight whippings the Red Elephants have handed down on those poor little piggies. In the last five showdowns, er … I mean beatdowns, the Tide has scored 49, 41, 65, 48, and 52 points.

Prediction: Alabama 42, Arkansas 17

This one won’t be as nerve-racking for Alabama fans as the LSU game was two weeks ago, but it won’t exactly be comfortable either. The Arkansas offense is very unique thanks to 6-foot-3, 240-pound dual-threat quarterback KJ Jefferson. Simply put, there aren’t many ways to simulate the kind of multi-dimensional power rushing attack that Arkansas deploys every weekend. That offense will have enough success to stay within the number against an Alabama team that will continue to struggle running the football. Pick: Arkansas (+20.5)

This is scary for Alabama considering it ran for just six yards against LSU a few weeks ago and the Arkansas run D hasn’t allowed more than 135 since getting ripped up by Ole Miss in early October.

Bama will come out roaring with an early score, and then things will settle in. Arkansas will keep this close and tight, but the passing game firepower by the home side will take over in the second half.

There were be plenty of chances for the Hogs to push through, but the Alabama defense will hold firm just enough to give the offense time to come up with a few good scoring drives.

Alabama 37, Arkansas 20

The odds line changed a tick, moving the Crimson Tide to a 20 1/2-point favorite. It might be close early because this Tide team was playing pee-wee football the last time Arkansas beat Alabama. Nick Saban, like all the SEC coaches, has great respect for Sam Pittman and won’t run the score up. Both teams have big games left, Bama has two. Both coaches won’t hesitate to pull a player if he’s dinged up. Alabama 42-21

Wally Hall is from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Seriously, raise your hand if you know which Alabama team is going to show up on Saturday. Liars.

Alabama has everything to play for in these last two weeks. I really want to believe that they come out focused and play their best football when it matters the most. If this team peaks at the right time, they can win the whole enchilada.

Unfortunately, Saban doesn’t seem too pleased about this week’s effort at practice, and that has been a pretty good indicator so far this season. The Hogs don’t have enough to beat the Tide, but their veteran defensive front will cause problems for the Alabama offensive line, and Bryce Young hasn’t proven that he will get the ball out through windows in zones. This one is going to look far more like the LSU game than any of us want. Let’s call it Alabama 27-13.

Of course, that is merely my opinion. Vote and give us yours in the comments.

Poll

What will be the result of Arkansas at Alabama?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Saban is the Pit Man at a Pig Roast, Tide by 21+
    (263 votes)
  • 45%
    Alabama wins somewhat comfortably but fans are still mad, Tide by 10-20
    (557 votes)
  • 22%
    Hogs go down swinging, Tide by 1-9
    (277 votes)
  • 9%
    Arkansas pulls the upset (FLAGGED!)
    (114 votes)
1211 votes total Vote Now

Saban lamented the attitudes toward this game from both players and fans on “Hey, Coach!”

— There’s a need to get over some entitlement, especially for players when they come to Alabama.

— “You’re not entitled to the outcome. You’re entitled to the opportunity to get to the outcome,” Saban said.

— Caller said he’s hearing a lot of “rat poison” from fans looking ahead to future games and he wants Saban to yell at them.

— “Arkansas has a good team. I don’t know why anybody would think they don’t have a good team. They’re 7-3. They beat Texas. They beat Texas A&M, who beat us so I don’t get it.”

Let’s hope the message gets through.

He also had a cool story about Mac Jones.

“So every time he would throw the ball, I would just look at Mac,” Saban said Thursday at his weekly radio show. ”I could tell whether it was complete or incomplete based on his body language. And I told the film guy, film this.”

Later, Saban sat down with Jones and played the film.

“I said, “ This is how you’re affecting everybody else,’” Saban said. “‘I can’t even see whether you threw the ball complete or incomplete, and I can tell if it was complete or incomplete by how you’re acting.”

And that just wouldn’t work at the quarterback position. Especially not at Alabama. And figuring out how to control his emotions was one of Jones’ biggest hurdles for the quarterback to overcome, Saban said.

Saban is constantly preaching leadership, and this year’s team is still in search of some.

Will Anderson is doing his level best to fill that void.

“They do a lot of what I call behind the center blitzes,” Pittman said. “So they’ll take him all the way behind the center. They’ll take him into the A-gap. And he has so much speed, so our tackles really, really need to have a good week of practice. Because if you sit wide on him, it’s over. I mean, he’s going to come in and he’s going to beat it.”

Pittman translated that into more simple terms.

“Basically what they’re trying to do is pick the tackle and not give the guard time to come off,” he said. “And he’s so fast.”

Last, Aaron Suttles has a nice piece about Jameson Williams’ decision to transfer to Alabama.

He averages 20.2 yards per catch, third-most nationally among players with at least 40 receptions. His 477 yards after the catch are the most in the SEC and seventh nationally, according to Pro Football Focus. Twenty-one of his receptions have been caught short of the line to gain, and of those, he’s converted a first down 43 percent of the time. The average FBS receiver catching the ball short of the first-down line converts at a 31 percent rate, according to PFF.

It’s the big catches for touchdowns that really stand out. His 10 touchdown receptions have netted 205 yards after the catch, the most in the FBS in that category.

Mel Kiper Jr. has Williams as the #2 WR and #11 overall draft prospect on his big board currently, ahead of Ohio State starters Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. I’d say it worked out swimmingly.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.