Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The 14th-ranked University of Arkansas football team fell to third-ranked Alabama 38-14 Saturday afternoon at Bryant Denny Stadium. The Razorbacks drop to 3-1 (0-1 SEC), while Alabama improves to 4-0 (1-0).
The Razorbacks and Crimson Tide matched each other play for play through the first 25 minutes of the game before Alabama took control. An interception return for a touchdown near the end of the second quarter and a punt return touchdown near the beginning of the third pushed the Crimson Tide ahead for good.
Alabama drove 80 yards for a touchdown on its first possession of the game as quarterback AJ McCarron connected with tight end Michael Williams for a 37-yard touchdown. Arkansas answered the call later in the quarter, ending a 12-play, 63-yard drive with a touchdown pass from Tyler Wilson to running back Dennis Johnson to tie the game 7-7.
The Arkansas defense made its biggest stand of the game with 5:35 left in the second quarter, stopping the Crimson Tide three straight times at the one-yard line to force a field goal that put Alabama ahead 10-7.
Arkansas started the ensuing drive at its own 20-yard line looking to take the lead, but Alabama forced a turnover to seize the momentum. Cornerback DeQuan Menzie tipped a Wilson pass into the air, caught it himself, and ran 25 yards for the touchdown to put the Crimson Tide ahead 17-7 with 4:38 left in the second quarter.
The Razorbacks got a first down on their second play of the third quarter, but were forced to punt three plays later. That punt, a 42-yard kick by Dylan Breeding, was returned 82 yards for a touchdown by Alabama’s Marquis Maze to make the score 24-7.
The Crimson Tide added one more score on a short pass to running back Trent Richardson, who ran 61 yards for the touchdown to give Alabama a 31-7 lead.
The Razorbacks came back with a score on their next possession when Wilson found wide receiver Cobi Hamilton in the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.
Wilson finished 22-of-35 passing for 185 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Johnson scored his first touchdown of the season and the first reception touchdown of his career, and also added 105 kick-return yards. Joe Adams recorded a team-high six catches for 37 yards. Adams has now caught at least one pass in 38 straight games, including a reception in every game of his career.
Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith led the Razorbacks defensively, collecting a career-high eight tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, and one sack. Defensive end Chris Smith also notched a career-high in tackles with six.
Richardson rushed 17 times for 126 yards, and added three catches for 85 yards. Quarterback AJ McCarron was 15-of-20 passing with 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Arkansas returns to action next Saturday against No. 8 Texas A&M inside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff time and television information will be announced on Sunday.
Download: Arkansas – Alabama Final Game Book.pdf