Alabama vs. Arkansas Prediction: Picks, betting odds, analysis, more
Billy Jones • 11/19/2021 in Football
Arkansas makes a visit to T-Town as they look to deny Alabama from punching their ticket to Atlanta.
When Arkansas has the ball
Arkansas’s offense under Kendal Briles has been inconsistent, to say the least, during this season. The running game has been a significant gage on whether the offense has clicked into gear on a particular day.
In a 51 point performance at Ole Miss, the ‘Hogs ran the ball for 350 yards while they managed a mere 2.6 yards per carry with 75 total rushing yards against Georgia in a shutout loss.
This inconsistency was evident last week where they put up only 13 regulation points(Arkansas would win 16-13 in overtime) against a much-maligned and injured LSU defense. The running game struggled as they averaged over three yards per carry.
The primary issue for Arkansas was establishing a rhythm as almost all of their explosive plays came off KJ Jefferson scrambles. The improvisation from Jefferson was the offense’s lifeline at LSU last week.
Alabama’s defense has been very consistent after their heavily criticized performance in College Station. The Alabama offense has held opponents under 24 points in every game since.
The Tide defense owes a lot of its success to the play of linebacker Will Anderson who has been a monster pass rusher and a menace to opponents’ running game.
Anderson and the Alabama pass rush will need to not only get to KJ Jefferson but get him to the ground to avoid the same mistakes made by LSU last week. This task is much easier said than done as Jefferson’s 6-3, 245 frame makes him very difficult to bring down.
If Alabama can consistently get Jefferson on the ground, then they should have success against the Razorbacks.
When Alabama has the ball
Alabama’s offense has struggled to find a consistent rhythm under first-year offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. The NFL scheme has been both a blessing and a curse for Bryce Young.
Young has gotten the opportunity to show his knowledge of the game, but the rigid offensive sturcture within the offense has inhibited his playmaking ability for much of the season. Alabama’s best offense has been Bryce Young's improvisation.
The rhythm is always easier to establish when your running game is strong, which has been inconsistent for the Crimson Tide this year. Running back Brian Robinson Jr. has had a strong year, but there have been games like LSU where the Tide only ran the ball for 6 yards all game.
If they want to get the running game going, Arkansas will not help them in that goal as the Razorbacks defense has been stingy against the run. Their massive defensive front has been able to eat up blocks all year.
Although Tyrion Davis-Price hit 100 yards against the Razorbacks last week, the Tiger running back was carrying at a mark of 2.6 YPC, which is inefficient.
If the talented Razorback front can plug up gaps against Alabama, they could have a relatively successful day to slow down a powerful Alabama attack.
Alabama vs. Arkansas Prediction
Nick Cole and Christopher Smith share their Alabama vs. Arkansas prediction and betting picks for Week 12 of the 2021 college football season.