Bama’s McElroy feasts on Arkansas defense for 3 TDs

The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Arkansas 35-7.
AP: Greg McElroy passed for a career-high 291 yards and three touchdowns and No. 3 Alabama opened Southeastern Conference play with a 35-7 win over Arkansas on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0) picked on the Razorbacks’ beleaguered defense with three huge plays and blocked a punt to win its 18th consecutive league opener dating to its 1992 national championship season.

A relentless defense hounded Ryan Mallett and the nation’s No. 2 offense. Mallett was just 12-for-35 for 161 yards for Arkansas (1-2, 0-2) and threw his first interception.

Alabama romped against a team scorched for 52 points last week by Georgia. Trent Richardson broke four tackles for a 52-yard touchdown run, Julio Jones caught a 50-yard TD pass on a trick play and McElroy hit Marquis Maze for an 80-yarder.

The Tide managed to avoid the troubles of its two Top 10 SEC West rivals. No. 4 Mississippi lost to South Carolina and No. 7 LSU barely escaped Mississippi State with a victory.

Bama, meanwhile, coasted to another easy win, dominating its last three games by a collective 100 points. But star linebacker Dont’a Hightower left with a knee injury late in the first quarter and coach Nick Saban said “the initial prognosis is not good.” Hightower will be evaluated on Sunday.

(read the entire AP report embedded in this post).