Arkansas Report Card From Alabama Loss

Quarterbacks — B Even though Casey Dick completed only 11 passes for 145 yards, this was one of his better performances as a starter.

Arkansas' coaches aren't expecting Dick to pass for more than 200 yards in a game, but he made an impact by throwing three touchdown passes. Two of them came in the second half to help the Razorbacks make a comeback. But he struggled early on, passing for only 10 yards in the first quarter and throwing an interception that set up Alabama's first touchdown.

Running Backs — A+

As usual, Arkansas' tandem of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones received high marks. McFadden sparked the second-half comeback with his ability to move the football and pick up first downs the hard way. He seemed to get better as the game went on. His 33 carries were a career-high, and he finished with 195 yards and two touchdowns. The only thing that stopped him was a concussion. Jones added 96 yards on 16 carries.

Wide Receivers — C

It's apparent that Arkansas still misses senior Marcus Monk. London Crawford led the team with three catches for 47 yards, but his mysterious fumble early in the third quarter stopped the Razorbacks as they were driving downfield. It also set up an Alabama field goal. Meanwhile, Reggie Fish dropped a pass early on that could have turned into a big gain — if not a possible touchdown.

Offensive Line — B+

The offensive line didn't surrender a sack, and it created enough holes for McFadden and Jones to run through. It's hard arguing with 301 yards rushing. But offensive guard Mitch Petrus got beat on a few plays, and the front line couldn't hold off Alabama's defense. That prevented Arkansas from running out the clock at the end of the game.

Defensive Line — D

This low grade reflects the lack of composure shown by several defensive linemen. Defensive end Marcus Harrison was flagged for a personal foul after he hit Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson when he was out of bounds. The penalty kept a Crimson Tide drive alive. But defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell committed an even costlier mistake when he was ejected for striking an Alabama offensive guard in the face with a helmet.

Linebackers — C

Arkansas' linebackers didn't make much of an impression during the game. Freddie Fairchild led the unit with seven tackles, but middle linebacker Weston Dacus went unnoticed and finished with only four tackles.

Secondary — F

Cornerback Jerell Norton blamed himself for the loss. Simply put, he had a rough night. The sophomore had a hard time slowing down Alabama wide receiver DJ Hall, who routinely beat Norton on several long completions. The Razorbacks gave up 138 yards passing in the first quarter, and they consistently got beat on the deep ball. Norton and fellow cornerback Matterral Richardson each had interceptions, but that wasn't enough to make up for the early mistakes.

Specials Teams — C+

Punter Jeremy Davis had an impressive performance, averaging 44.7 yards on seven punts. He also managed to get a punt off that was nearly blocked. Kicker Alex Tejada also made five extra points and a 22-yard field goal. But McFadden fumbled a kickoff at the end of the first quarter, and the Razorbacks gave up a 58-yard punt return that led to an Alabama touchdown.

Coaching — D

It's never a good thing when coaches are left to defend their playcalling. But Arkansas coach Houston Nutt had to do that after the team decided to attempt a pass on a third-and-12 with 2:31 remaining instead of going with a run play that would have taken crucial seconds off the clock. That gave the Crimson Tide enough time to drive downfield for the game-winning score.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories