However, the Arkansas defense knows what the challenge will be Saturday in Tuscaloosa: Stop the run.
"Alabama has shown that it can pass the ball," Arkansas cornerback Isaac Madison said after practice Wednesday. "But I think this is SEC play now and they are going to try to run the ball when we get there. That's what they do."
Defensive coordinator Willy Robinson knows the Tide is capable of throwing the ball well. He is impressed with McCarron, the new quarterback. He praised the outside receivers, tight ends and the ability of the running backs to be effective receivers. But he said his players are very observant of what Alabama looks like on tape.
"Our guys recognize where the line will be drawn and know that it will be a physical game," Robinson said. "Where Alabama has made great improvement is in the offensive line. It's a physical offensive front."
The Tide's play-action passing game is effective because of the running game.
"They make you load the box because of that running game," Robinson said. "And when you load the box, how many can you send on the rush? Probably only four. And that means your defensive backs are probably going to have to cover for one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three and one thousand four. You can't cover for that long."
Robinson said it will be a physical slugfest.
"They pride themselves in the way they finish games," Robinson said. "They try to wear you out then pound on you in the fourth quarter. We talk about the same things.
"You have to play for 60 minutes in a game like this. The thing is, both teams might not be able to practice next week.
"Our players are excited about having a physical game. I think it helped us the first three weeks to rotate our defensive linemen. We'll have to do that again this week."
Defensive end Tenarius "Tank" Wright lit up when that was mentioned in his session with reporters after Robinson finished.
"Oh, yeah, that's what it's going to be all about," Wright said. "What we are thinking about, go out and play physical, stop the run and then put on a show."
Alabama backs Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacey represent one of the best tandems in the nation.
"What you have to do is attack them, swarm them and take them to the ground," Wright said. "You have to put as many hats on them as you can every play."
Robinson and his players sounded both excited and confident in the challenge.
"I think our fans believe in us, our players believe and our coaches believe that we can win," Robinson said. "We know there are going to be 100,000 fans waiting on us. We just have to make sure we do what we are taught. Alabama is very good, but we think we are up to the challenge. We have to be physical and gap sound.
"We've had good practices this week. We have to put one more with it, what we call a perfect Thursday."
The Hogs have had a jump start on Alabama preparations. Players said there was Alabama stuff in their spring drills and there was a week with thoughts of the Tide in fall camp.
"Alabama was on our minds in the summer, too," Wright said. "There were periods in the spring that we might not have talked about Alabama, but when we looked at the video, we could see that was Alabama stuff. We knew that wasn't our offense.
"I think it has helped this week. We are further along in our recognition of what Alabama does because of the time we spent in those periods in camp. When we put things on tape, we all realized that we'd seen all of that. It has helped us in practice.
"Our confidence is high. We know we've got a great chance. We know this is an opportunity to play a highly ranked team and it's all up to us.
"Our coaches have prepared us for this game. I can tell you our defensive line is hungry and ready for a physical game. May the best man win."
No one revealed if the Hogs will have all of their players. Jake Bequette, senior defensive end, is recovering from a hamstring injury. Robinson indicated that Bequette is still making improvement, but that's as far as he would go. Wright didn't provide any clues, either.
"Jake will play when he's ready," Wright said. "And I know he'll give everything he's got to be ready."