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

5IML

September 23rd, 2010
4:35 pm

David,

That’s part of the real question. Arkansas stopped Ingram and (for the most part) Trent last year. But they had no answer for McElroy who threw for 291 yards and three TDs. Arkansas has shown some defensive improvement but BAMA’s offense has improved 3 fold.

Tide Rising

September 23rd, 2010
4:36 pm

5IML,

Patrick aka simple simon, q dog, 100 other handles is still with us. He’s just hiding behind other handles being the coward that he is. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy with the handle above as former AD daddy damon is Patrick.

Ed

September 23rd, 2010
4:41 pm

“Is Arkansas’s Mallett ready for Alabama?”

Probably not, but what choice does he have?

Tide Blowout

September 23rd, 2010
4:45 pm

Alabama’s going to beat arkansas like a rented mule. Bama’s D will shut down mallet cold and the running game will roll up 250 yards. This will be an easy win followed by another easy win against florida.

gcs

September 23rd, 2010
6:19 pm

The Right Reverend Houston Nutt has GOT to be on the hot seat.
Last year was supposed to be THE year and it was far from it. This year he is staring down the barrel of a 7 or 8 loss season.

.

Delbert D.

September 23rd, 2010
6:43 pm

1. No
2. No
3. No
4. No
5. Yes

bob

September 23rd, 2010
6:48 pm

I really can’t see Arkansas sneaking up on Bama. The Bama ground game will keep Mallett off the field.

Dawgs need to win this one even without some key players. Somehow the lines must just dominate a lesser opponent.

Delbert D.

September 23rd, 2010
6:51 pm

Did you know that “tuberville” can be literally translated as “potato boy”?

Palladin

September 23rd, 2010
7:01 pm

Maybe he could be the Boise State coach after Georgia hires Petersen?

Delbert D.

September 23rd, 2010
7:06 pm

You want a real hard-working coach that gets results? Check out Al Golden:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/sports/ncaafootball/24temple.html?ref=sports

Palladin

September 23rd, 2010
7:24 pm

Merely a feeble attempt at a ‘tater joke…

zeeeee Nachos aka the 'Living Legend"

September 23rd, 2010
7:27 pm

LOL… is that all you got? Must of taken you hours to come up with that. Better luck next time.

P.S. your team sucks

razorbacker

September 23rd, 2010
7:42 pm

sick and tired of hearing how we barely beat georgia can one of you idiots tell me if arkansas ever trailed in that game newsflash bubba gump you have to be behind in points to lose as for saturday lets just wait and see

Delbert D.

September 23rd, 2010
7:46 pm

Palladin – Oh, I get it!

SEC1

September 23rd, 2010
8:15 pm

When Bama spanks Arkansas, it will really expose how bad Georgia is right now. A spade is a spade and Georgia is simply not a good team presently. I wish they were…

razorbacker

September 23rd, 2010
8:16 pm

Enter your comments here

jumbeautiger

September 23rd, 2010
8:17 pm

Beast,

LSU does have a ton of talent but they are a very young team including 10 new starters in the opener against UNC. They have 2 seniors on offense and 3 on D thus will have 16 starters back in 2011 (Peterson will leave early). With a young team and a marginal QB, I don’t see any way of them winning the West.

razorbacker

September 23rd, 2010
8:26 pm

any of you bama fans ever remember where the great bear bryant was from ARKANSAS but they hide that stuff from you in books

Mickey Mantle

September 23rd, 2010
8:27 pm

Two of the SEC’S great stars of the future. How about Richardson of Bama. He’s only a soph. and maybe the best back in all of colege football Tony.

Dawgs S*ck

September 23rd, 2010
8:32 pm

It’s tough to know how good Mallett is right now. Certainly UGA was no more challenging for him than a light scrimmage.

Cherry Eye

September 23rd, 2010
9:03 pm

Between Fresno State, Mississippi State, and Georgia,

a lot of Bulldogs will be roaming the State of Mississippi this week.

Bama fans for bammers

September 23rd, 2010
10:13 pm

Hey razorbacker…. lets see if you come back here & post after Saturday tough guy….

Fear the RED OUT!

college football

September 23rd, 2010
11:16 pm

Mallet is a great quarterback and will get his 200 yards passing, but Alabama will blitz his butt off and trap their receivers at the line of scrimmage. Alabama offense will put 38 on the board, Arkansas will have 17. Too big, too strong, too fast!!

Roll Tide

September 23rd, 2010
11:38 pm

Chuck Uga

September 24th, 2010
12:21 am

Tony,
I see you avoided the UGA-Miss State game. Like Arkansas last week, Miss State is due. It’s been 36 years. They will beat Georgia, and the beginning of the end will begin for Mark Richt and staff.

Razorhog

September 24th, 2010
1:36 am

You bamy homers talking like the Ga homers last week before the game. Enough with the almost lost the Ga game. Hogs controled the game 3 1/2 quarters, never trailed, 2pt underdog but wins by 7 on the road. Write your crap now before the game…like Ga did last week.

Ryan

September 24th, 2010
6:59 am

Check out my college football big game preview http://ramsonsports.blogspot.com/

Ryan

September 24th, 2010
7:00 am

Check out my thoughts on bama vs the hogs http://ramsonsports.blogspot.com/

Tide Blowout

September 24th, 2010
7:26 am

Mallet’s in for a long night with that fast, physical nasty Bama D. Saban’s going to unleash the D in this game. Bama 45 Ark 17

Tide Fan

September 24th, 2010
12:10 pm

@razorbacker

Who’s Bear Bryant?

SEC Fact Finder(the real one)

September 24th, 2010
11:27 pm

Mallett is ready, but I do not believe his supporting cast is ready for prime time.
But Mallett is one heck of a player..and will carry the Razorbacks to many wins, but not against Alabama.

Rick D

September 25th, 2010
1:08 pm

Sure, conventional wisdom says Bama rolls, and I accept that. On the other hand, the Hogs have a lot of talent not named Mallett or Childs, or Adams. I wouldn’t bet against Bama, but they still gotta play the game. The football is shaped kinda funny and takes odd bounces sometimes, and you cannot leave out luck. I think our D-line is a lot better than everyone thinks. If McElroy completes those medium depth passes Bama is famous for, it could be over soon, but we will not fold our tents.

Palladin

September 26th, 2010
9:19 pm

Arkansas’ defense is much better than I expected. I knew that their offense was good. Bama’s defensive squad is a work in progress, but they’re much better than average and one can only hope that they will continue to improve.