Arkansas (2-1, 1-0 SEC) vs. Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC)
Site: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Radio/TV: The ARSN network will broadcast the game on radio affiliates. The game will be televised nationally by CBS (KTHV, Channel 11 in Little Rock).
What James says: Alabama’s the worst 3-0 team in America. They’re extremely young on defense and while they are extremely fast they make elementary-type mistakes. But what amazed me in seeing them twice during the spring in Tuscaloosa was that quarterback John Parker Wilson was very sporadic, and I had expected their experienced offensive line to be better and it wasn’t. So, people should not read a lot into Alabama’s 3-0 record as this being a typical Alabama team. They are in a rebuilding mode. Their 10-2 team last year lost its quarterback and most of the defense that carried them. At this stage they are not a very good football team.
What did you see positive from the Hogs last week?: Everything positive was entirely on offense. I liked Mitch Mustain’s poise at quarterback, and he was very accurate with most of his passes. He did make mistakes but they were freshman mistakes. I really liked what I saw from freshman receiver London Crawford. He is going to be big-time before he leaves the University of Arkansas.
How does Arkansas get its defense playing up to Hog standards? It’s very simple. Arkansas is a poor tackling football team and getting whipped at the point of attack in the line. The linebackers are extremely poor, they don’t wrap up, they overrun the play. If it were me, I’d just get back to the basics in practice. You hit, hit and hit and do the fundamental drills over and over. At some point pride’s got to kick in. Considering it was Vanderbilt, last week’s game was as poor a defensive effort as I’ve seen out of Arkansas in a long time.
The pick: After the Vanderbilt game the Arkansas rushing defense is 102nd in the nation. Obviously, Alabama will attempt to run the football, control the game, move the stakes, play the kicking game, and try to avoid mistakes on the road with a new quarterback. Arkansas should win by at least seven points, and possibly more. I’ll say 28-21, Arkansas.
Watch former Arkansas All-American defensive end Bruce James along with David Bazzel and host Steve Sullivan on KATV, Channel 7’s “SportsWeek” Sundays at 10:30 p.m.