(1) Alabama - 49, (16) Arkansas - 30
October 8, 2016
FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – Two touchdowns by the defense and
an explosive performance by the offense highlighted a big
road victory as the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0
overall; 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference) beat the
16th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1 overall; 0-2 in the
SEC), 49-30, before an overflow crowd of 75,459 Saturday
night on Frank Broyles Field at Donald W. Reynolds
Razorback Stadium (capacity: 72,000).
Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) grabs an
interception in the Arkansas end zone and returns it for
a touchdown during the second half of Alabama's SEC
football game at Arkansas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, at
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark.
Photo Credit - Vasha Huntfirstname.lastname@example.org
Alabama's freshman quarterback, Jalen Hurts, accounted
for four touchdowns (two rushing and two passing) while
the Tide's defense punctuated an inconsistent performance
with back-breaking scores on a pair of interception
returns for touchdowns.
The Tide offense produced a 250-yard passing performance,
a 100-yard rushing performance, and a 100-yard receiving
performance in a dominant outing. Hurts passed for 253
yards and two touchdowns with one interception while
completing 13-of-17 attempts. The interception snapped
a string of 139 clean attempts by Hurts, the second-longest
in Crimson Tide history. Running back Damien Harris rushed
for 122 yards on 13 carries, including a 57-yarder while
averaging 9.4 yards per attempt, along with 60 yards and
a touchdown on three catches. Wide receiver ArDarius
Stewart returned to action after missing time with an
injury to catch five passes for 120 yards, including a
67-yard reception. Freshman running back Joshua Jacobs had
a 56-yard run and gained 57 yards on three attempts early
in the game before leaving with an injury.
Linebackers Shaun Dion Hamilton and Ryan Anderson led
the Tide with a game-high nine tackles. Hamilton had
four solos, including one quarterback sack and 1.5 tackles
for loss along with a forced fumble while Anderson had
one sack and two tackles for loss. The Tide defense
produced three interceptions, forced three fumbles, had
six quarterback sacks, nine tackles for loss, broke up
five passes and was credited with 12 quarterback hurries
on the night.
Junior punter JK Scott punted four times for 206 yards,
an average of 51.5 yards per punt. Two of his punts ended
up inside the Arkansas 20, with a long of 63 yards.
For Arkansas, quarterback Austin Allen passed for 400
yards and three touchdowns while completing 25-of-48
attempts with three interceptions. The Hogs were led by
wide receiver Jared Cornelius, who had 146 yards on five
catches. Running back Rawleigh Williams III led the Hogs
with 46 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Alabama's offense marched 80 yards in eight plays to start
the game and, although the drive ended with a turnover,
it established the Tide's running game. After Xavian
Marks returned the opening kickoff 19 yards, Alabama set
up at its 19 for the game's first possession. On first
down, Ridley took a shovel pass from Hurts for nine yards
around left end to the 28. Harris took a handoff at right
guard for two yards and a first down at the Tide 30,
another Harris run gained nine yards before a shovel
pass to Ridley gained a yard to the Tide 40 and a first
down. After a run by Harris gained two yards up the
middle, Jacobs took a handoff at right tackle and broke
loose for 56 yards before being pushed out of bounds at
the Arkansas two. Two rushed by Jacobs up the middle
gained a yard, setting up a third-and-goal from the Hog 1.
Jacobs took a handoff on third down, and fumbled when
hit by Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw and Arkansas
safety De'Andre Coley at the Hogs 1 with 11:07 on the
The Tide forced an Arkansas punt on the ensuing possession
and the offense was potent again, rolling 73 yards in
three plays to pay dirt. Another big running play keyed
the march, this one from Harris. After a pass by Hurts
to Stewart for 11 yards began the drive, reaching the
Tide 38, Harris took a handoff at left guard and raced
through a gaping hole in the center of the field. He
sprinted 57 yards before Arkansas cornerback Ryan Pulley
dragged him down at the Hogs' five-yard line. On the next
play, Hurts took quarterback keeper around right end and
scored a touchdown behind excellent blocking. Griffith's
extra-point kick was good and Alabama led, 7-0, with 7:27
left in the first period.
Alabama scored again just two minutes later. On the
ensuing kickoff, Arkansas return man Deon Stewart
fumbled when hit by Alabama's Hootie Jones at the
Arkansas 29. Mack Wilson recovered for the Tide there
and the offense came back on the field 29 yards from
the end zone. Two keepers by Hurts gained six yards,
setting up third-and-four at the Arkansas 23. Hurts
found Stewart on a pass for 13 yards to a first down
at the Arkansas 10. A pass to Harris gained four to
the Arkansas six before Hurts kept again at right end,
fought past a face-masking defender at the Arkansas
two and went into the end zone for a touchdown. Griffith's
kick was good, giving the Tide a 14-0 lead with 5:25
left in the first quarter after the 29-yard drive.
Through three offensive possessions and 9:35 of game
time elapsed, Alabama had 182 yards (to Arkansas' 16)
and had rushed for 144 yards while Hurts was 5-for-5
passing for 38 yards. But Arkansas responded with a
touchdown drive of its own, going 75 yards in nine
plays, converting two long third down plays to keep
the march alive. The first one was a third-and-19 from
the Arkansas 16 when Allen passed to wide receiver Jared
Cornelius for 20 yards to a first down at the 36. Three
plays later, on third-and-nine from the Arkansas 37,
Allen hit Cornelius again for 16 yards to the Tide 47.
The march concluded with a 24-yard pass from Allen to
tight end Jeremy Sprinkle for a touchdown. Adam McFain
converted the extra-point kick and the Alabama lead was
shaved in half, 14-7, with 1:54 left in the first period.
The Tide defense notched yet another touchdown on Arkansas'
next possession. After a 63-yard punt by JK Scott went
into the end zone for a touchback, the Hogs started the
possession at their own 20. On second-and-seven at the
Arkansas 23, Tide defensive end Da'Shawn Hand forced
Allen to fumble as Allen was about to pass. Tide linebacker
Tim Williams scooped up the fumble and ran 23 yards to a
touchdown, getting a pancake block from nose guard Da'Ron
Payne on the play. Griffith's kick was true and Alabama
led, 21-7, with 12:25 left in the second quarter.
The Tide forced an Arkansas punt, then quickly moved to
another score from its own 19. A 21-yard pass by Hurts
to tight end O.J. Howard started the drive, reaching the
Tide 40. After Harris gained eight on a run at left end,
Hurts passed to a wide-open Harris on a screen on the
left side and Harris followed excellent blocking before
breaking through a defender on a 56-yard touchdown pass.
Griffith's kick was good and Alabama led, 28-7, with
8:53 left in the first half.
Arkansas came right back with its best drive of the
night to that point in the game. The Razorbacks moved
68 yards in 13 plays. The march was highlighted by a
well-designed and executed delayed screen pass from
Allen to Rawleigh Williams III that gained 29 to the
Tide 32. A few plays later, an eight-yard touchdown
pass from Allen to wide receiver Drew Morgan was
nullified by a holding penalty that moved the ball
back 10 yards to the Tide 18. Another delayed screen
pass to the left side on first-and-goal, this one to
Austin Cantrell, gained 11 to the Tide seven. After
an incompletion in the end zone on a pass broken up
by Minkah Fitzpatrick with a quarterback pressure by
Williams, another incompletion on third down forced a
field goal attempt of 25 yards by McFain. His kick was
good and Alabama's lead was 28-10 with 2:56 left in
After the field goal, Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema
was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, forcing the
kickoff from the Arkansas 20. Marks took the kickoff
from the Tide 15 and returned it 19 yards to the Tide
34. On first down, Hurts found tight end Miller Forrestal
wide open on a seam route on the left side. Forrestal's
first career reception gained 32 yards to the Arkansas
34. Running back Bo Scarbrough, seeing his first action
of the night, took over from there. He gained four on
first down to the Arkansas 30, then nine yards to the
Arkansas 21. On the next play, Scarbrough bounced
outside around left end and ran 21 yards down the
sideline for a touchdown. Griffith kicked good and
Alabama led, 35-10, with 1:25 left in the first half.
The Hogs continued to attack. A 57-yard pass from Allen
to Cornelius reached the Tide 16. Tide safety Eddie
Jackson fell down on what amounted to a jump ball
situation and Fitzpatrick ran down Cornelius at the
end of the long gain. One play later, Allen found wide
receiver Keon Hatcher across the middle for a 16-yard
touchdown strike. McFain kicked good and Alabama led,
35-17, with 29 seconds left in the half.
With Arkansas due to get the second half kickoff, Alabama
wanted to make the most of the remaining time as the Tide
had two timeouts remaining. A 32-yard run by Harris on
the first play reached the Arkansas 43, pushing Harris
past the 100-yard mark on the ground. Then a pass to
Gehrig Dieter gained six with Dieter going out of bounds
at the Arkansas 37 with six seconds on the clock. A loss
of two on a run by Harris ended the half and the Tide
settled for the 18-point lead entering the locker room.
At the half, Alabama had gained 396 yards of total offense
to Arkansas' 244. Alabama had rushed for 214 and passed
for 182 with Hurts completing 11-of-13 attempts. The Hogs
had passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns while rushing
for 43 yards. Harris had 104 rushing yards for the Tide
in the first half, averaging 8.0 yards on 13 attempts.
For Arkansas, Cornelius had 93 yards on three catches,
an average of 31.0 yards per catch.
The Tide defense set up Alabama's next touchdown early
in the third quarter. Arkansas had started a possession
at its own 3-yard line after a fumble by the Tide's
ArDarius Stewart at the end of a 67-yard pass play.
Three plays later, on third-and-10 from the Hogs' 3,
Allen was pressured by an onrushing Dalvin Tomlinson
as he threw from his end zone. Allen's pass fluttered
to the Arkansas 18 where Fitzpatrick made a diving
interception. The Tide scored in four plays as Hurts
hit Ridley for a four-yard scoring catch with 11:10
left in the third quarter. Griffith's kick was good
and the Tide had a 42-17 lead.
Arkansas struck back later in the quarter. An interception
of a Hurts pass - the first thrown by the freshman in
139 attempts (second-longest stretch in Alabama history) -
by Arkansas linebacker Dwayne Eugene set up the Hogs'
offense at the Tide 36. Arkansas took six plays to go
the 36 yards to a touchdown, scoring on a 10-yard pass
by Allen to wide receiver Keon Hatcher. McFain's kick
was good and the Alabama lead was 42-24 with 3:57 left
in the third quarter.
The Arkansas defense forced a Tide punt on the next
possession and the Hogs' offense put together another
drive. Arkansas moved 62 yards in 15 plays to the shadow
of the Alabama end zone, threatening to pull closer to
the Tide. But, on second-and-18 at the Tide 20, Allen's
pass into the end zone was intercepted by Fitzpatrick
deep in the end zone. Fitzpatrick chose to return the
interception and raced from the middle of the end zone
to the left sideline behind a convoy of blockers. He took
it the distance, officially going 100 yards to a touchdown.
It was the longest interception return in Alabama history
and was Fitzpatrick's third-career interception return for
a touchdown, tying a Crimson Tide record. Griffith's extra
point kick was good, giving Alabama a 49-24 lead with
10:18 left in the fourth quarter.
Arkansas pushed across another touchdown in the late
going, moving 94 yards in seven plays. Allen continued
his passing assault, hitting wide receiver Dominique
Reed for 20, Cornelius for 24 and wide receiver Cody
Hollister for 37 more before Williams closed the drive
with a five-yard scoring run with 3:18 remaining. Allen's
pass for a two-point conversion was incomplete. Alabama
An onside kick attempt by Arkansas was covered by
Alabama's ArDarius Stewart at the Tide 47.
The Crimson Tide returns to action next Saturday, October
15 at Tennessee, taking on the Volunteers in Neyland
Stadium on CBS at 2:30 p.m. CT.