Happy Monday, everyone. Alabama is once again a heavy favorite this week, this time over an Arkansas team coming off a mistake-filled loss to Texas A&M. Were the Hogs looking forward to Alabama? Guess we will find out on Saturday, but Alabama’s elite defense is a big reason for the lofty point spread.
The Commodores (3-2, 0-1 SEC) moved the ball fairly well on that scoring drive, its second possession of the game. Moving 52 yards on 11 snaps included converting a third-and-short after a nice 22-yard back-shoulder throw to Will Sheppard. That was one of just two passes that covered 15-plus yards.
Other than that, Vanderbilt was 0-for-12 on the rest of the third-down opportunities while netting 77 yards. It was an improvement from the 2017 loss to Alabama when the Commodores managed just 78 total yards in a 59-0 loss in Nashville.
That was the first complete game the Tide had played all season, and it came at a great time.
The Hogs have a silly gimmick planned for Saturday.
This is the first time for a Red Out, according to a tweet from Arkansas athletics. Razorback Stadium seats more than 76,000 fans after an expansion in 2018.
The most infamous monochromatic experience for Alabama came in 2008 when it beat Georgia, 41-30 in the Black Out game in Athens.
Alabama has a 15-game winning streak against Arkansas with a 2006 overtime game in Fayetteville being the last loss for the Crimson Tide.
That famous (or infamous, if you happen to be a Dawg lurker) 2008 beating was driven by some of the “hateful competitors” Saban spoke about recently, who wanted to go on the road and fight everyone in the stadium. There are certainly a few mean streaks on this defense starting with Will Anderson. Hopefully we see some of that mentality in the game.
Georgia maintained the top ranking in both polls, though Alabama inched closer following Georgia’s sleepwalking win over Kent State.
Georgia remains No. 1 for a second week, but the Bulldogs’ lead over No. 2 Alabama is trimmed to a mere five poll points this week. Georgia received 34 of 64 first-place votes following a lackluster win against Kent State. The Crimson Tide received 26 firsts after a dominant win against Vanderbilt.
Ohio State, equally impressive in a blowout of Wisconsin, strengthens its hold on the No. 3 spot and picked up the remaining four No. 1 votes. Michigan, a winner in its Big Ten opener against Maryland, and Clemson, which survived in double overtime at Wake Forest, continue to round out the top five.
These three remain on a seemingly inevitable playoff crash course. Of course, college football has always had its ways of fooling us.
Marlon Humphrey was very pleased to receive his annual swag box from Alabama.
Last, Alabama fans are starting to dream about a Tua vs. Jalen Super Bowl. In fact, Hurts is a legitimate MVP candidate thus far.
Hurts finished the game 22-for-35 for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He didn’t even need to use his legs in this one, rushing nine times for 20 yards. No, this Hurts looks like everything the Eagles hoped he would become this year and more, picking teams apart with his arm in all areas of the field. Through three weeks, he has four passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns and a 67.3 completion percentage on a team that has played better than any other in the NFC. That’s MVP conversation stuff, for sure.
Of course, both passers have former teammates to throw the ball to. DeVonta dominated yesterday with 8 catches for 169 yards and a score. Check out this grab.
“Devonta Smith is too small” pic.twitter.com/bbEwyhJCxZ— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) September 25, 2022
Tua was actually knocked woozy early in the game, but got cleared and came back to the dismay of many. In fact, though Tua himself swears that the issue was his back and not his head, the NFLPA is going to investigate to ensure that concussion protocols were followed.
In any case, Tua was able to shake it off and do his thing.
I’ll just leave this right here.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.