Alabama took advantage of a bust by the Arkansas linebackers on the game's first play. Shaud Williams went up the gut for 80 yards. It appeared that Jeb Huckeba and Jermaine Brooks both stunted to the right, leaving a huge hole in the middle. Batman Carroll tried to catch Williams, but got there just as Williams hit the end zone. It was 7-0 before the record crowd of 73,551 had settled into their seats at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Hogs got a first down on their first series when Matt Jones passed to Cedric Cobbs out of the backfield for a 20-yard play. Shawn Andrews had the clearing block. But, the Hogs were stopped on their next three plays, and punted Bama back to its 20-yard line.
Bama roared 80 yards on seven plays with Brodie Croyle, starting in place of the injured Tyler Watts, completed three straight passes, the final one for 28 yards to Sam Collins. Ken Hamlin fell on the play to let Collins float across the goal line. It was 14-0 at 8:15 of the first quarter.
The Tide 17-0 early in the second quarter with an 11-play, 76-yard march. Brian Bostick kicked a 28-yard field goal with 12:26 left. Santonio Beard had a 26-yard rumble on a draw, and Croyle's tipped pass went for 34 yards to Dre Fulgham.
The Razorbacks responded with a 7-play, 76-yard touchdown march with Jones finally working his magic. He rolled right before sprinting back to his left for the final 7 yards. He passed to George Wilson over the middle for 42 yards for the big play in the drive. It was 17-7 with 5:25 left.
The Hogs lost a chance at the end of the half when Alabama was called for a late hit after the clock had run out on Jones 32-yard scramble to the Bama 26. The Hogs thought they would get a chance to kick a field goal, but the officials ruled the penalty would be assessed on the second-half kickoff.
Alabama outgained Arkansas, 306 to 171, in the first half. About the only thing that went wrong for the Tide happened late in the half when punter Lane Bearden suffered an injury on a fake punt.
DeCori Birmingham's 46-yard kickoff return to the Bama 48 gave the Hogs great field position to start the second half. Jones rolled 32 on a draw, but just missed on a roll out to the right when his pass went off Jason Peters' fingertips in the end zone. Brennan O'Donohoe booted a 33-yard field goal to close the Bama lead to 17-10 at 12:44 of the third quarter.
Bama answered with Bostick's 36-yard field goal after Hamlin made a saveing tackle at the 5-yard line on a 75-yard pass play when Bua missed a tackle near the line of scrimmage. It was 20-10 at 9:33 of the third quarter.
Jones found Richard Smith for a 31-yard pass play on the Hogs' next try, but was sacked for a loss of 15 two plays later and the Hogs had to punt.
Alabama marched to the Hogs' 9-yard line, but Williams fumbled and Gavin Walls covered it at the 10-yard line. The Hogs couldn't move when Cobbs dropped a Jones pass in the open field, but Richie Butler's 79-yard punt turned the field over, pinning Bama at its own 4-yard line to end the third quarter.
The Hogs got great field position when Birmingham returned a short punt 15 yards to the Bama 20-yard line, but it evaporated in one play. Jones scrambled right and sidearmed for Richard Smith. Derrick Pope intercepted and returned it 60 yards to the Hogs' 20-yard line. That setup Bostick's 37-yard field goal to make it 23-10 at 12:10 of the fourth quarter.
The Tide put it away with Croyle's 50-yard bomb to split end Zach Fletcher with 9:41 left. It was a one-play drive and made it 30-10 with 9:41 left in the fourth quarter. Fletcher beat Ken Hamlin down the middle of the field with a diving catch in the end zone. Croyle's play-action fake held the UA rush and he had plenty of time for Fletcher to break free on the post route.
Alabama conceded a safety near the end after stopping the Hogs on downs on their goal line. The Alabama punter took a team safety with 27 seconds remaining.
Lerenizo Robinson pulls down a Bama receiver.
Batman Carroll makes a tackle against the Crimson Tide.
Matt Jones rolls for yardage against Alabama.
Matt Jones turns the corner against Alabama.