Alabama vs.Arkansas State
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Crimson Tide parlayed an opportunistic defense and an explosive offense into a huge first half and coasted to an unexpectedly easy 49-14 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks before a sellout crowd of 72,315 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and a regional television audience.
Alabama (4-0 overall; 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference) led 35-7 at halftime, and six of the Crimson Tide’s seven touchdowns covered at least 25 yards. After Mark Ingram scored on a 1-yard run, Glen Coffee made it 14-0 for Alabama when a run up the middle from deep in Crimson Tide territory turned into an 87-yard touchdown.
Arkansas (2-1 overall; 0-1 in the SEC) couldn’t avoid big mistakes in its first SEC game. Quarterback Casey Dick’s pass late in the first quarter was intercepted by Javier Arenas and returned 63 yards to the end zone. Dick tried to stop him around the 20, but went sprawling as Arenas sidestepped him. The Razorbacks scored on a fourth-down pass from Dick to Andrew Davie, but the Crimson Tide answered with John Parker Wilson’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones. Wilson moved into
sole possession of first place on Alabama’s career list with 42 touchdown passes.
Alabama safety Justin Woodall scored just over 2 minutes later on a 74-yard interception return when Dick threw toward the right sideline, but his receiver had already turned upfield. Woodall was the only man in the area, and although Dick hustled back, he didn’t come close to tackling him. It was the first time in school history the Crimson Tide scored on two interception returns in the same game. Alabama scored its most points in an SEC game since a 59-28 win over Vanderbilt in 1990.
At the end of the first half, Arkansas had first-and-goal from the 1 and didn’t score. The Razorbacks went to intermission down four touchdowns despite outgaining Alabama for the half. Dick’s first pass of the second half was also intercepted, and Alabama made it 42-7 on Coffee’s 31-yard touchdown run. Coffee ran for 162 yards as the Crimson Tide rushed for 328 yards as a team. Michael Smith ran for 91 yards for Arkansas and caught six passes for 67 yards.
Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Smith in the fourth quarter, but Roy Upchurch answered for Alabama with a 62-yard scoring run to finish the scoring.