Alabama Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban said star receiver Julio Jones and running back Roy Upchurch will practice today (Monday). Saban said both players will be evaluated day-to-day this week. Demetrius Goode is expected back later this week as he rehabs a hyper-extended knee.
One item that could cause Alabama fans concern this week is Arkansasâ€™ return game. Saban said the Razorbacks have one of the better kick return teams in the country. According to the SEC, â€œArkansas’ Dennis Johnson is third in the SEC and 10th in the nation in kickoff returns, averaging 35.6 yards per return. He had a 91-yarder for a score against Missouri State.â€ With Alabamaâ€™s kickoff coverage problems, this could loom large as the Crimson Tide opens SEC play.
Saban also talked about Bobby Petrinoâ€™s offense. The Alabama football coach said, Arkansasâ€™ offense is â€œvery very dangerous in making big plays through the passing game.â€ He described the offense as a sophisticated pro-style offense that is balanced by running the ball enough to keep defenses honest.
To combat an offense with a good quarterback that makes big plays, a defense usually must disguise its coverages and pressures, Saban said. He compared this to a pitcher who has different pitches in his arsenal.
Another important thing will be pressure.
â€œIt is most critical to be able to rush three and four guys and get some pressure,â€ Saban said. This was something the coach said the Tide did not do a very good job of in the past. â€œI think it is going to be really important that we do that in this game.â€
We’re going to have to set the tone from the start because the ‘Backs are going to be very motivated following their loss last week to Georgia.
I hope Julio is 110%. If he starts to wince against Arkansas — pull ’em — sit him for Kentucky no matter what IMO — we’ll need him for @ Ole Miss in 3 weeks.
Stephanie Petersen — you are right about the razorbacks being motivated from an embarrassing loss to Georgia at home. They will be fired up. Remember they had an early bye week. So they haven’t even played 3 games yet. Their quarterback is dangerous — but our defense will compensate. Their defense is atrocious. This will allow our 4 star out of 5 Offensive Line to at least take some pressure off of McElroy to give us production — and I ain’t talking about Tiffin woes in Razorback stadium. Our passing attack will calm the ridiculous high scores you’ve seen in the past weeks. This quarterback for Arkansas realistically hasn’t seen a defense like Alabama’s this year — he will be forced to scramble — we will know more about him because he will be under immense pressure the whole game. Look for us to win by 14 minimum. Matter of fact — I think that is the line right now — but never trust lines on Monday’s. RTR forever!