Alabama defeated Arkansas in convincing fashion 49-14 gaining 328 yards on the ground. However, it was a sloppy performance. There will be plenty of things for fans to worry about and coaches to correct moving into the meat of the conference schedule. And that might be a good thing. When you can win in big fashion with big plays, and not perform to the fullest of your ability then you have the makings of a very strong football team. If you correct your problems.
At halftime, Alabama coach Nick Saban had already identified a few issues with the team.
â€œWe did not play well on defense,â€ Saban said. â€œWe made a lot of mistakes. We gave up some big plays and lost our poise. We did have a couple of big-play interceptions that we returned for touchdowns. We did a good job running the ball offensively. We need to keep the football because we are tired on defense.â€
After the game, Saban echoed a similar theme, but with a bit more focus on the offense.
â€œThere are a lot of things we need to improve on as a team,â€ Saban said. Weâ€™re not throwing the ball as effectively as we need too. We need to be a better third down team. Defensively, we made a lot of mental errors today, especially in coverage-type of things and on third (down). That is probably why they kept the ball so much; especially in the first half and we got tired on defense. Even though we made some big plays and ran them back for touchdowns, and that was great, and I am happy with it, and those are important plays in the game. But our down-in and down-out execution was not as good today as it has been in most games.â€
The passing issues must worry Alabama fans heading into the Georgia game. Long passes have been open and not completed. Sometimes it is a misread. Sometimes it is pressure. It always seems to be something. With Georgia on the agenda, Alabama must improve in this. And fast.
The Tide managed just 74 yards through the air. Of course, you canâ€™t blame that all on the offense. You have to blame the Arkansas defenseâ€”they gave up so many big gains on the ground throwing the ball almost seemed superfluous.
There were many items of note from the game. Alabamaâ€™s defense scored two touchdowns off interception returns. That was the first time in Alabama history the defense scored two touchdowns in that manner.
John Parker Wilson set the career touchdown passing record for Alabama. Wilson has thrown 42 touchdown passes. It places him one ahead of former Crimson Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle. Croyle is now playing for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 87-yard touchdown run by Glen Coffee was a career long for him.
Javier Arenas knows what to do with the football. In his first career interception for the Tide, Arenas took the ball 63 yards for a touchdown. Arenas has four punt returns for touchdown in his Alabama career.