Truth be told, this is the kind of game that most University of Alabama football players really like to play, especially on the defensive side.
For once, the opposing offense isn’t all about the spread, deception or tempo. Arkansas, under the direction of head coach Bret Bielema, means one thing in particular, a physical game.
“Me personally, I’m ecstatic about it because you finally play a team that’s more traditional rather than all this spread stuff, so we get to go in, hit with people and be physical,” junior linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton said.
“We’ve got to eat our Wheaties this weekend.”
Facing an opponent who also prefers smashmouth football automatically brings a level of respect from the Crimson Tide, who two years ago were fortunate to escape from Fayetteville with a 14-13 victory.
So does the Razorbacks’ size, like having starting offensive tackles who are listed as 6’10”, 319 pounds, and 6’6”, 335 pounds.
While Alabama has been ranked No. 1 since the preseason polls were first released, Arkansas (4-1) has gone from being unranked to No. 16. It won a tough double-overtime game against TCU, 41-38 on Sept. 10 but lost its annual neutral-site showdown with Texas A&M, 45-24.
This will be the Razorbacks’ SEC home opener.
“We have to just go out, make sure we’re ready and just be ready to bump heads the whole game, the whole 60 minutes,” Crimson Tide senior defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson said.
Date: Saturday, October 8
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Place: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network, Razorback/IMG Sports Network, Sirius 126, XM 191.
Spread: Alabama is a 14-point favorite, according to Odds Shark.