Ingram Leads Multi-Headed Attack Against Hogs

FAYETTEVILLE — Mark Ingram sees himself as a running back who can do it all. Run between the tackles? Check.

Catch a pass out of the backfield? Check.

Rush for 1,000 yards in a season? Well, not yet, but the Alabama tailback is working on it. He's close to one-third of the way there after only three games.

"I can run you over. I can make you miss," Ingram said Monday. "I just think I'm a complete back."

In the wake of Saturday's 52-41 loss to No. 21 Georgia, Arkansas defensive linemen would probably be much happier if Ingram wasn't so refined.

Instead of getting a weak offense to take their frustrations out on, the Razorbacks must rebound from last week's heartbreaking loss and find a way to slow down No. 3 Alabama's four-headed running attack.

Ingram, at 5-foot-10, 215 pounds, has avoided the sophomore slump and is leading the charge for a Crimson Tide running game that ranks fifth nationally with an average of 267.7 yards per game.

"He's so physical. He breaks tackles. He's got big hips, big legs," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said of Ingram, the son of former New York Giants wide receiver Mark Ingram. "He runs with his pads down. He makes the first guy miss, and he runs through tackles."

So far, not even the flu has managed to slow Ingram, who's both Alabama's leading rusher and receiver with 44 carries for 297 yards and three touchdowns and 10 catches for 120 yards and two scores.

Ingram accounted for 185 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in the Crimson Tide's 34-24 win over then-No. 7 Virginia Tech in the season opener.

The following week, he came off the bench because of flu-like symptoms and rushed for 56 yards, gained another 47 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns in a 40-14 win over Florida International.

And only hours after needing just eight carries to gain 91 yards and one touchdown in Saturday's 53-7 win over North Texas, Ingram sat down and watched as Arkansas' defense allowed Georgia tailback Richard Samuel to run 80 yards untouched for a touchdown.

"Of course, it makes you happy as a running back (to see that)," said Ingram, who rushed for 728 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns as a freshman last season. "But I'm really just focused on us preparing, getting ready for them and going out and playing the best that we can."

Ingram, however, won't have to do it himself when the Crimson Tide (3-0) hosts the Razorbacks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Along with the sophomore, Alabama has two other running backs — freshman Trent Richardson and junior Terry Grant — who have each rushed for at least 150 yards and three touchdowns this season. And senior Roy Upchurch is expected to return from a sprained ankle that sidelined him against North Texas.

Aside from Samuel's long run, Arkansas' defense was effective in containing Georgia's running game. Samuel gained only 24 more yards on 15 carries, and the Bulldogs finished with 155 yards rushing.

Most of the damage — 375 yards and five touchdowns — came from Georgia quarterback Joe Cox.

"Other than that long run, (the run defense) was pretty sound. Other than that run, we held them to (75 yards) rushing," Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette said. "That's always good, but they did have that big one on us and that was a crucial part of the game."

Ingram was watching. And he took notice.

Mark Ingram

Class: Sophomore

Size: 5-foot-10, 215 pounds

Hometown: Flint, Mich.

Notable: Ingram is the son of former NFL wide receiver Mark Ingram, who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. The younger Ingram was rated as a four-star recruit coming out of high school, and he lived up to hype by rushing for 728 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns on 143 carries as a freshman last season. He needed only six carries to gain 53 yards and one touchdown last year's 49-14 win at Arkansas.

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