No.1 Alabama A Touchdown Favorite Over No.10 Arkansas
September 24th, 2010- By Bryan Cross

A Giants SEC showdown takes place on Saturday in Fayetteville, Arkansas when the No.1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide travel to the face No.10 Arkansas Razorbacks.  The Tide have cruised in their season so far, while Arkansas has been able to navigate their way through a opening slate unscathed as well, though in a slightly different fashion.

Alabama will come into Razorback stadium with their returning Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram back healthy from a knee scope prior to the start of the season.  Ingram missed the first two games of the season, and made his debut last week in Alabama’s rout of Duke.  Ingram looked dominant, rushing for 151 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries in the opening half of play.

“Felt better than I did before I had the injury,” Ingram said in a post-game interview after the win over the Blue Devils.

Running back Trent Richardson also tabbed 61 yards on seven carries.  The duo of Richardson and Ingram are perhaps the best in the country, and the Razorbacks will have to plan a central theme around them.

Also making his debut against Duke was BCS National Championship defensive player of the game Marcell Dareus.  While he only played one a select number of plays against Duke, he will be good to go against Arkansas.

While the opening three games have been relatively easy wins for Alabama, head coach Nick Saban said that he has reminded his team that the SEC portion of the schedule is upon them.

“It’s what we make of it,” Saban said. “It’s how we look at it. It’s how we take the things we need to improve on and use them as stepping stones to improve, learn more with some of our younger players, what it takes to compete for 60 minutes in a game.”

On the other side of the equation, Arkansas is coming off of a last-minute win on the road over Georgia.  It was the Razorbacks first win over the Bulldogs since 1993.  Quarterback Ryan Mallet continues to impress and back up his Heisman Hype, as he threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-24 victory.

Mallet leads the country in passing yards, with 1,081, and has totaled nine touchdowns to jsut two interceptions.  His performance against Georgia led him to be named the SEC player of the week.

“We know it’s a big week this week, with Alabama coming in here. I think our players are excited about it, I know our coaches are,” Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We’ve got to make sure that we understand that we need to prepare like we did a week ago — with focus every day in practice. … and really understand as a football team, I really believe this, that we don’t need to go out and do anything extraordinary to win the game. We need to go out and play Razorback football, and we’ll have an opportunity to win the game.”

Both defenses will have their work cut out for them.  For Arkansas, it’s about stopping the power tandem at the running back position, and not letting quarterback Greg McElroy beat them over the top.  For the Crimson Tide, it’s about trying to contain Mallet, and not letting him create plays.

Game Line-
USA Online Sportsbooks and College Football Betting Lines have set the Crimson Tide as a seven-point favorite, with the over/under set at 56/.5

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