No. 1 ranked Alabama improved its record to 6-0 with its 49-30 win over Arkansas Saturday. Bama is 3-0 in Southeastern Conference games. The Razorbacks fell to 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Here are notes from Saturday’s game:
Alabama got two key players on offense back from injury and both had exceptional games.
Wide receiver ArDarius Stewart, who had missed two games with injury, returned as a starter against Arkansas and established a new career high in receiving yards with 120 yards on 5 receptions, topping his previous single-game best of 113 yards on eight receptions vs. USC in the 2016 season opener.
Tailback Damien Harris saw only spot action against his homestate Kentucky team last week, but returned fullspeed against Arkansas and had 13 carries for 128 yards and also caught two passes for 60 yards, including a 56-yard catch and run for a touchdown.
Bama freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts had another big game with two touchdown runs and two touchdown passes. Both marks equaled his season-best, set in the first game in which he played against Southern Cal, as did his personal best of responsibility for four touchdowns in a game. Hurts has now rushed for five TDs and passed for nine in his first year in college.
Alabama posted two touchdowns by its defense in the win over Arkansas, giving the Tide a national-leading nine defensive touchdowns this season. Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 100 yards for a score in the fourth quarter and Tim Williams took a fumble back 23 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Ohio State is second with four defensive scores in 2016.
Alabama has scored at least one non-offensive touchdown in each of its last eight games – two interceptions, four fumble returns, three punt returns and a kickoff return – dating back to the CFP semifinal vs. Michigan State on Dec. 31, 2015.
The two touchdowns by the Alabama defense against Arkansas marked the 54th and 55th non-offensive touchdowns of the Nick Saban Era, now in its 10th season.
Fitzpatrick’s 100-yard interception return for a TD was the longest in Alabama history. It was also his third career interception runback for a TD, which ties the Tide mark.
Ryan Anderson’s nine tackles against the Razorbacks is a new career high. His previous career high was six, set against Texas A&M in 2014. Anderson had 14 tackles this season entering Saturday’s game.
Alabama has now scored in the first half of 124 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation, and the Tide has scored in 204 consecutive games, longest in program history.
Alabama owns the longest winning streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, having won 18 consecutive games dating back to last season (last loss: Sept. 19, 2015 vs. Ole Miss). The 18-game streak is the sixth-longest in school history (the record is 28 games, accomplished twice: 1991-93 and 1978-80) and the second-longest under Coach Nick Saban (19 games 2009-10). During the current stretch the Crimson Tide has won eight games at Bryant-Denny Stadium, six road games and four consecutive neutral-site games while going 11-0 against teams from the SEC. During the streak, Alabama has outscored its opponents by 434 points (686-252; 38.1-14.0), an average of 24.1 points per game.
The victory improved Alabama's record against Arkansas to 17-8-0 (.680) all-time, including 10 consecutive victories in the series dating back to a 24-23 double-overtime loss in 2006. The Tide is 8-4-0 against Arkansas on the road, including 7-4-0 mark in games played at Fayetteville. Alabama is 7-1-0 (.875) against Arkansas when the Razorbacks are nationally ranked.
Alabama has defeated 10 consecutive ranked opponents dating back to a loss to Ole Miss in September of 2015. Alabama's all-time record against ranked opponents is 148-124-7 (.543). Alabama's all-time record against ranked opponents on at road sites is 49-47-2 (.510). The Crimson Tide has won its last six games against ranked opponents as the visiting team. Alabama is 119-75-3 (.612) as a ranked team playing a ranked opponent.
Alabama under Saban is now 34-6 in road games and has won eight in a row and 21 of its last 23. Bama is 32-6 under Saban in SEC road games. The Tide under Saban is 68-13 in regular season SEC games, outscoring the opposition by 3,227-1,273, or 39.8-15.7 points per game.
With the Tide’s win, Saban has passed former Alabama Coach Paul Bryant for third place in career wins vs. Associated Press Top 25 teams at 66. Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno leads the list with 86, four ahead of Florida State’s Bobby Bowden (82). Recently retired Duke, Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is fifth at 64.
Saban is 10-0 against Arkansas while at Alabama.
The Tide led Arkansas, 35-17, at halftime. Alabama is 99-6 (.943) under Saban when leading at the half. Alabama has led at the half in five of its six games this season.
and has held a halftime lead in 17 of its last 22 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season.
Alabama’s captains were Cam Robinson, Eddie Jackson, and Jonathan Allen
Video by A.P. Steadham