Is Arkansas’s Mallett ready for Alabama?

Five things to look for as we close out September:

1. Ryan Mallett versus the Alabama defense: A year ago the Arkansas quarterback was simply overwhelmed when the Hogs went to Alabama. He completed only 12 of 35 passes, was sacked three times and rushed eight others. The result was a 35-7 victory by Alabama. Now Mallett has the confidence of winning an SEC game on the road (where he was 0-4 last season). He threw for 380 yards against Gerogia and won the game on a last-second touchdown pass. Will he be able to handle what Alabama’s defense is going to throw at him Saturday in Fayetteville?

2. Streaks by Florida and Kentucky: There have been some close calls along the way, but Florida has beaten Kentucky 23 straight times heading into Saturday’s showdown in the Swamp. Kentucky has played token opposition in its first three games but has not turned the ball over once. That’s hard to do even against tall grass. Will either of those streaks come to an end on Saturday? I don’t imagine Kentucky’s turnover streak will stay intact against a defense that already has 10 interceptions this season.

3. A showdown of great freshman running backs: Saturday’s game between South Carolina and Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium will feature two of the brightest young stars in the SEC. Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina has carried it 70 times in three games (including 37 against Georgia) for 333 yards. Another freshman running back, Michael Dyer at Auburn, is starting to assert himself with the Tiger offense. Some folks have compared these two youngsters to Herschel and Bo (no last names needed). It’s way too early for that. These guys are good, but not sure they are in Herschel and Bo territory.

4. Is LSU starting to put things together? The Tigers still look pretty ugly on offense but the defense, after getting torched for over 400 yards passing in the opener with North Carolina, is starting to look strong. John Chavis’s group forced five interceptions last week against Mississippi State and some of them were great athletic plays (by the way, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is the best football player I’ve seen this year.) LSU has a non-conference game with West Virginia on Saturday and Tennessee comes to Baton Rouge next week. Win them both and LSU will be 5-0 going to Florida on Oct. 9. Have I written off LSU too early?

5. Ole Miss is in a “must win” situation against Fresno State: The Rebels got embarrassed by Division I-AA Jacksonville State on Sept. 4. They slopped their way to a win at Tulane on Sept. 11. Then they just got gashed by Vanderbilt in Oxford 28-14 last week.  It would be easy to blame bad karma because the Rebels took troubled quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. But the fact is that the defense has not been doing the job. Ole Miss is ninth in the SEC in total defense and rushing defense. The front seven was supposed to be the strength of this team. They had better beat Pat Hill’s Bulldogs on Saturday because the next for games for Ole Miss (1-3) are with Kentucky (3-0), Alabama (3-0), Arkansas (3-0) and Auburn (3-0).

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233 comments Add your comment

producewiz

September 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

Mallett now has his chance. he has the Tide in his ball park, fans going nuts,etc.We’ll see. Personal opinion, Alabamy and not close and I’m a Gator

Not so fast

September 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

As Coach Saban said, “we’re as strong as our weakest link” and this appears to be the RCB. Hogs will hit some big ones and score some points but the Tide wins it in the 2nd half. Tide RBs run hog wild.

BIGWOOD

September 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

Hey GT DUDE, Ur not in Kansas anymore….

Realist

September 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

GeezusDawg , you must be a young one. We didn’t flip the switch 2 years ago. The bulb was out for a few years but I remember us being a dynasty growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Oh! your a bulldawg fan. I’m sorry your last NC was early 80’s. Count how many we have since then and also SEC championships. DUH HUH

samuel clemens

September 23rd, 2010
10:03 am

well once again a tech NERD had to churp in about something that had nothing to do with him or kuchar, please go back to your wishing you were a student at that school, but first you need to graduate from elementary school.SO REMEMBER ALL YOU tech morons this is about football nothing more. the river is rising ive got to go get back on the riverboat.

#1 BAMA FAN

September 23rd, 2010
10:05 am

Hey Loyality….do you use whatever time frame gives UGA an advantage…what is the overall record BAMA vs UGA or the last game? You probably wish your momma had been more loyal. Hey Andrew did your momma let you stay home from school today? Good luck to all of the SEC teams Saturday except the HOGS….SOOOOOEEY PIG. RTR

zeeee Nachos aka the 'Living Legend"

September 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

GeezusDawg = d….bag poster of the day.

Go back to your XBOX boy… MEN are talking here.

Kentucky Fan

September 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

When does midnight madness start?

JB

September 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

I’m a Dawg fan….and getting into a argument with a Bama fan about OUR history and success vs Bama’s IS not a argument we will win…. They have been amazing over the years.
To all Bama fans, I think the rub for us is like ya”l say WE have never done anything. We have. We beat the Bear, we beat a lot of Bama teams in between and beat Bama with Saban Before he loaded up. I think ALL Georgia fans know that our program is down now, as yours has been. One way or the other, Georgia will be back. Too much talent in the State and too much money in the Bank not to be. Until then, Win Another title for the SEC this year.

j

September 23rd, 2010
10:14 am

mallett, hammerhead, dat guy is going to be smashed to peices by dat bama defense. since they barely beat thuga they have no shot against the crimson tide.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
10:15 am

Wow ! So great to see the BARNERS come out of their cave and show themselves after that HUGE win over that ACC powerhouse Clempson…. wonder if they will be around next week after Lattimore runs for over 200 yards on them….

P.S. Nice turtle neck Chizzzzzzzzzick

JB

September 23rd, 2010
10:17 am

Gonna see just how ‘average” Arkansas is Saturday. We almost beat them and Bama has an offense that won’t have all the three and outs we had. Bama will run the ball with success and Score touchdowns and win pretty easy.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:17 am

JB

you’re right on all counts.

I’ve seen UGA lay the wood to my Tide on more than one occasion, and things tend to run in cycles. So, I’m just enjoying the moment.

Related note. SEC fans should be a bit more guarded about all of the chest thumping. Believe it or not, other conferences play some pretty good football.

girl know better than you

September 23rd, 2010
10:23 am

Alabama vs Arkansas, now that has to be the biggest redneck inbred fest going this weekend, You cannot make that up

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

@ girl know better than you

Damned lie. You made me so mad, I spewed Skoal all over my monitor.

Old Ball Coach

September 23rd, 2010
10:26 am

1) BAMA by 21. Arkansas front four is not match for BAMA’s D-line. Mallet is good, but he’ll be under pressure all day.
2) Kentucky in a close one. FU isn’t the UF of old. They’ll have problems scoring points, but their defense will keep them close.
3) My boys in a close one. Our defense will keep us in the game and will make life tough for Newton. Lattimore will have another breakout game.
4) LSU by 14.
5) Who knows?

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

Wow, no profanity yet still get censored. Must be an bama fan monitoring the blog. As an aside, how good would FL be if Newton had stayed???

Bama Rolls!

September 23rd, 2010
10:27 am

Bama’s mean and nasty D will eat Mallet alive! Look for Ingram / Richardson to put up 200 yards easy and Bama to score at least 1 TD on D. Bama 38 Ark 16

Bama is rolling to title #14 with a beatdown of Ohio St. in the BCS title game–book it!

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:28 am

Newton=Tebow + 30 lbs

G8R GRAD

September 23rd, 2010
10:31 am

Good post Gen.
Dead on – on all counts.

dagnabit

September 23rd, 2010
10:32 am

Lighting can strike anywhere, but it nearly always strikes at home. Arkansas lighting strikes.

G8R GRAD

September 23rd, 2010
10:32 am

Laptop thievery, or not, there’s a part of me that wishes we STILL had Cam Newton!

GTBob

September 23rd, 2010
10:33 am

If Arkansas can barely beat UGA then they aren’t coming close to Bama. I think we will see how overrated Arkansas is this weekend.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
10:34 am

3rdn8, disagree on the Newton/Tebow thing. Dude threw up some major jump balls in that Clemson game. Everything about him screams “ten-cent head” to me at this point.

Miles

September 23rd, 2010
10:34 am

AR will lose…Kentucky will lose…SC/Auburn is too close to call: SC has a better coach, a better defense, and a better running game, but its hard to imagine they can pull off a night road game in the SEC…LSU will win…Pat Hill ain’t afraid of the South!

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
10:35 am

It really depends on the Alabama players if they come prepared and ready to play Bama will win easily but if they somehow lose focus Arkansas can pull an upset.I just don’t see this team losing focus and not ready so Bama wins.

I think Auburn loses to South Carolina, right now South Carolina is the best team in the east.

girl know better than you

September 23rd, 2010
10:37 am

just think Petrino and Saban can get together and slap each other on the back commemorating the escape in the night from the NFL and how crafty both were by doing so. Both shaking the hands of the NFL owners and giving them their word that they are loyal to the team only to haul booty overnight and skip town without a word with a plane waiting for them at the airport. You dissed your bosses, you dissed your players and you dissed your employees. Just know Petrino and Saban, when you look each other in the eye, you are looking at yourself, a SNAKE in the Grass, watch your back and your wallet too for that matter.

Sean

September 23rd, 2010
10:39 am

From what I’ve seen so far, Dyer isn’t on the same level as Lattimore at all. He might get there but Lattimore is obviously the better back at the moment.

Im from up north so I know the Big East sucks this year but West Virginia can play with anybody. They would’ve beaten Auburn last year if Jarrett Brown didn’t commit like 12 turnovers. I think they have a very good shot at beating LSU since LSU can’t score.

http://thebubblescreen.blogspot.com

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:40 am

@ BAMA dude

bear in mind, that Tebow ran a very limited set of plays in his first (freshman) year at Florida. Chris Leak did most of the heavy lifting that season. Tebow also had the benefit (other than being surrounded by great athletes) of working in the same system for four years.

Newton has a similar (Tebowish) skill-set….and may be a better runner. But he is being thrown into the fire from the get-go. Consequently, he will be prone to make more mistakes. If AU can survive thtese early matchups, Newton will get better.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
10:41 am

girl know better than you = pathetic dawwwgs fan

FIRE BOBO! right buddy?

npgator

September 23rd, 2010
10:47 am

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
10:49 am

3rdn8, he spent two years in JC. The SEC it’s not, but he only has one more year of eligibility. Better learn quick I’d say.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:50 am

Every now and then, you see a player who makes you proud of CFB.

Josh Bynes is too small, and too slow to play in the SEC. He’ll never be a top draft choice for the big boys on Sunday.

He’s currently just the best Linebacker I’ve seen all year. His biggest problem is, he plays 60+ snaps per game. Auburn has to find a way to keep him off the field a little.

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
10:50 am

Saban & co have not had to show much on offense or defense so far.They haave been able to play a basic offense and defense all the while rotating players throughout the game allowing for great in game experiance and practice for the start of SEC part of the schedule.It will be interesting to see how much they have to reveal on defense to stop Mallett.

richtfan

September 23rd, 2010
10:51 am

tony, the truth is that Bo was no match for Herschel and is not on the same level. Never was.

Why? lack of durability.

Herschel was big, strong, fast and the most durable back ever to play the game.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:53 am

Bama Dude

look at the strides McElroy has made since this time last year. So far, he looks like a completely different QB. Newton is now playing in a league that won’t let him get by on athleticism alone. He is larning to play QB. If he is successful, look out.

ratherBgambling

September 23rd, 2010
10:53 am

Not convinced Arkansas has the running game to beat Bama.

UF will slaughter UK saturday.

USC reverses history and wins one they shouldn’t

LSU wins but it’s ugly………….again.

Fresno rushes for 500 yards vs Johnny Reb

how2fish

September 23rd, 2010
10:54 am

Bama fans for bammers don’t you dare try and stick girl know better than you on us…I’m thinking she is a Tigger..

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
10:56 am

I’m still trying to clean my monitor.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
10:59 am

girl know better than you

Saban did NOT do the same thing Petrino did. He met with Huizenga and got his blessing before leaving; Petrino told Blank, “You have a coach,” then held a press conference in Arky that night. Plus Petrino quit halfway through a season, his first season at that.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
11:01 am

But is Cam smart enough to “learn” to play QB? Many guys who get by on athleticism alone never really learn to read defenses.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
11:01 am

well…..I think this dead horse has been sufficiently beaten.

Hope you all (except “girl know better than”) have a good day.

Here’s hoping that Bama is 4-0 this time next week, and good luck to my AU brethren….take it to the “Ole Ball Coach”.

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
11:02 am

If Newton stayed at FL, the play book wouldn’t have changed.

cantondawg

September 23rd, 2010
11:04 am

Ryan Mallett is the best pro style Qb in the nation. Their receivering corps is very good too. If OL can give him time, i believe he will torch the AL secondary. The game depends on how well Ark defense can slow the Bama down

GeezusDawg

September 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

…and on Petrino’s play calling.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
11:06 am

Respect the BAMMERS!

mike

September 23rd, 2010
11:07 am

we are alabama, nuff said, gods gift to college football.
the shula/dubose/lap dance coach/and that goof ball that took his place never happened, that was just a dream

Tide4u2c

September 23rd, 2010
11:09 am

I’ve noticed that Alabama likes to lull teams into a false sense of security by getting them to throw the ball around alittle bit but then INTERCEPTION! for Alabama. Teams think they can throw the ball but end up turning it over.I see Mallett being intercepted in this game maybe 2-3 interceptions for the Alabama defense.

3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
11:13 am

Tide4u2c

one note of caution, then I’m really leaving. PSU and Duke were starting freshmen QBs. Neither were in the same league as Mallett, and neither had the WRs that Arkansas has.

This is going to be a tough game. I think Bama’s running game tips the scales…..hopefully.

BAMA dude

September 23rd, 2010
11:14 am

“3rdn8

September 23rd, 2010
11:13 am
Tide4u2c

one note of caution, then I’m really leaving. PSU and Duke were starting freshmen QBs”

And they scored a total of 1 TD in eight quarters. Mallett might get two.