Arkansas Football concluded its four-game trip away from Fayetteville on Saturday with its fifth straight defeat, a 24-21 loss to No. 11 Alabama. After falling behind early, the Crimson Tide scored 24 unanswered points to hold off the Razorbacks’ valiant comeback attempt.
Following another defeat, this time to Alabama (6-1, 4-0), Arkansas (2-5, 0-4 SEC), there are four things to note.
For Arkansas supporters, the second quarter was difficult to watch. With only 10 total yards of offense, the Razorbacks saw Alabama go from a six-point advantage to a 15-point deficit at the break.
This slump continued into the third quarter, as it took Arkansas until 33 seconds left in the frame for it to score its first offensive touchdown.
In an unexpectedly close game, that offensive dry spell proved to be the determining factor. The mountain the Razorbacks had to climb was simply too huge.
Late in the first quarter, with Arkansas leading 6-0, Malik Chavis botched his coverage, allowing Jalen Milroe to find Kobe Prentice wide open for a 79-yard touchdown. Milroe once more found an open Amari Niblak in the middle of the field for a score in the second quarter.
The entire Arkansas squad felt as though that one play was the final straw, but the Razorbacks’ defense rallied and held opponents to just three points in the second half. Arkansas once forced Alabama into three consecutive three-and-outs.
Without Dwight McGlothern, Chris Paul Jr., Jaylon Braxton, or Cameron Ball, the Hogs accomplished everything. Travis Williams, the defensive coordinator, is still seeming like a great hire.
Coach Sam Pittman of Arkansas has obviously lost all confidence in his big players up front.
In two fourth-and-inches situations in the first half, Arkansas chose not to go for it, and the Razorbacks were reluctant to set up long-developing passing plays. That reasoning made sense because Jefferson only completed passes for 154 yards while being sacked four times and never appearing to be at ease in the pocket.
The Arkansas offensive line will continue to be the focal point of an underwhelming attack for the remainder of the season and for another week. The going gets easier from here, but without greater performance from this unit, the Hogs won’t start winning.
Jackson, who recorded 3.5 sacks and 11 total tackles, was the Arkansas performance’s biggest plus.
Jackson had his best game of the season against the Crimson Tide and was a commanding force from the edge.