Penalties Hurt Arkansas

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Arkansas committed eight or more penalties in a game only three times last season. The Razorbacks have already matched that total this season.

For the third consecutive game, Arkansas killed itself with penalties Saturday. The Hogs had 11 penalties for 98 yards in their 35-7 loss to No. 3 Alabama. They had combined for 19 penalties and 160 penalty yards in their first two contests.

"We've talked about it a lot," frustrated Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said during his postgame remarks at Bryant-Denny Stadium. "We (committed) a lot of penalties that hurt us, that were crucial. We have to get better at that. There's no doubt about it."

Senior defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard said to avoid penalties, the Razorbacks needed to keep their composure better.

"We have a lot emotions getting into it," Sheppard said. "We just can't get penalties that will set us back. We can't let our emotions take away from our team. We need to work on that."

Offensive Line Shuffling

Arkansas offensive line coach Mike Summers shuffled two players in and out of the lineup Saturday at two different positions.

At left guard, sophomore Grant Cook and junior Wade Grayson saw time. At left tackle, Petrino decided to start 6-foot-7, 298-pound freshman Anthony Oden. Junior Ray Dominguez, the previous starter, played more for Oden as the game went along.

"He worked hard in practice and came out there and things just happened too quick for him," Petrino said of Oden. "He didn't have his eyes in the right spot or his feet in the right spot. He's going to be a great player, but he needs to get in there and see the quickness and the speed of how it really happens on Saturday."

Rotating Running Backs

Petrino said Arkansas ran the ball more effectively against the Crimson Tide. The Razorbacks' running backs combined for 95 yards on 20 carries.

Senior Michael Smith led Arkansas with 61 yards on 12 carries. Petrino even entrusted the first series of the second half to freshman Ronnie Wingo Jr. and sophomore Broderick Green instead of Smith.

"We blocked the front better, and we got on the edge," Petrino said. "We had a couple of times where we were one-on-one and didn't make more yards, and we need to do that. That's what running is all about. If you're one-on-one with the safety, the running back's got to get more yards.

"We had some opportunities there to make more plays."

Ford Returns From Injury

Sophomore safety Elton Ford finally returned to the Arkansas lineup Saturday. Ford fractured three vertebrae in Arkansas' loss to Ole Miss last season and missed spring practice.

Ford rotated with sophomore Tramain Thomas at one of Arkansas' safety spots.

"It feels great," Ford said. "I was excited when I got my first rep, my first series in. I was ready to fly to the ball and have fun with my teammates."

Plenty Of Punting

Freshman punter Dylan Breeding lived out a dream Saturday. Breeding grew up a Crimson Tide fan in Hoover, Ala., and always hoped to play in Tuscaloosa. Even so, Breeding saw the field more than he would've liked, punting nine times for an average of 39.8 yards, impressive considering one punt went 9 yards.

Breeding also had a punt blocked when he rolled out to the right, attempting a rugby-style punt.

"We have to block there on the edge," Petrino said.

Wilson Sees Action

Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Wilson replaced Mallett in the fourth quarter and finished 4-for-6 with 31 yards. He didn't play last week against Georgia but did see action in Arkansas' season-opener against Missouri State.

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