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Duane Rankin | Montgomery Advertiser | October 9, 2016

3 takeaways from Alabama vs. Arkansas

  Arkansas put up a good fight but eventually fell to the defending champions, 49-30.

1.) What else is new

Alabama scored its NCAA-leading eighth non-offensive touchdown on linebacker Tim Williams' 21-yard touchdown return, which was the Tide's sixth defensive score (also leads the nation). Then Minkah Fitzpatrick made it nine and seven with his 100-yard interception return score. Can Alabama keep this up?

College Football: Alabama takes down Arkansas
2.) Need more stars

After playing Alabama tough the last two years, Arkansas couldn't stop the Tide from doing whatever it wanted on offense and kept allowing Austin Allen to take hit after hit after hit. Bret Bielema can coach, but just doesn't have the talent to consistently win in the SEC.

3.) Next two

Alabama still has to play at Tennessee, but a win there sets up a showdown with unbeaten Texas A&M at home as the Aggies have a bye. Don't think next week is a given, though. The Vols have shown they can rally and nearly did it again in College Station.

MINI-GRADES

Rushing offense -- A: Arkansas came into the game allowing 163.4 yards rushing. Alabama had 214 on the ground at halftime as Damien Harris and Joshua Jacobs each had a run of 50-plus yards. Harris had 104 yards in the first half.

Rushing defense -- A: Kept SEC second-leading rusher Rawleigh Williams in check early. Had just 11 yards on four carries in the first half.

Passing offense -- B: Hurts completed a high percentage of his passes, but still has moments in which he looks like a freshman. Had he hit receivers in stride downfield, this really could have gotten ugly.

Passing defense -- A: Arkansas just doesn't have high-level talent to really take advantage of what is a great passing scheme. Couldn't protect Austin Allen and that resulted in Alabama getting a defensive score off his fumble. Then Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.

Special teams -- A: Hootie Jones' forced a fumble on a kickoff to set up second Alabama touchdown drive to really turn momentum in Alabama's favor.

Coaching -- A: The way Alabama responded to having a touchdown taken off the board for a replay of a previous play is a product of coaches having players ready to take on the task at hand after something goes against them.

Overall -- A: Winning its 18th game in a row dating back to last season, Alabama continues to answer the bell.

This article was written by Duane Rankin from The Montgomery Advertiser and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

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