The number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide took care of business once again, pouncing the Arkansas Razorbacks 65-31 Saturday.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa added to his Heisman trophy campaign with yet another outstanding performance going 10-13, 334 yards and four touchdowns as Alabama moves to 6-0 on the season, 2-0 in SEC play.
“Outstanding job today on offense. We made a lot of explosive plays and controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well. We scored 65 points, can’t complain much,” head coach Nick Saban said.
Tagovailoa completed his first pass for a 76-yard touchdown as he rolled to his right finding tight end Irv Smith, Jr. on a short drag route who then kept his balance down the sideline for the first points of the game. The second pass off the left arm of the stellar sophomore found Smith, Jr. as well on a deep post, however, he would fumble inside the 15 after breaking a number of tackles. Luckily for the Tide, wide receiver Henry Ruggs III recovered the ball in the endzone, crediting Tagovailoa with a 12-yard touchdown, despite the play being 59 yards total.
The Crimson Tide defense, on the other hand, showed some weakness as the Razorback offense racked up 405 yards of offense aided by 10 plays of 15 or more yards.
“We made a lot of mistakes on defense today. We didn’t play very well as a unit. I don’t think you really beat the other team when you give up 31 points, at least from a defensive standpoint,” Saban said.
Turnovers helped the Tide defense overcome the yardage pains early as defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs forced a strip sack of Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey on the Razorbacks’ first possession. The goal line defense stood strong on the following drive forcing a fumble on the 1-yard-line.
Coach Saban still sees room for improvement on both sides of the ball but stressed the defense needs to step up soon.
“We want [our player] to stay focused on what they need to do to improve so that we can get better. You’re not really competing against the other team, you’re really competing against yourself. Are you really playing as well as you’re capable of playing? Obviously, we’re doing that better on offense than we are on defense,” Saban said.
Alabama will host its SEC West foe Missouri Tigers next week in primetime.
(Photo courtesy of Hannah Saad and The Crimson White)