Game of the Week: Alabama vs Arkansas
Each week Chris Lomas will be previewing a game of the week on Thursday or Friday, discussing what he will be looking for from some of the prospects and what he thinks the outcome of the game will be. The following Monday Chris will review the game of the week , discussing how he thought each prospect performed and some guys that surprised or disappointment.
This week’s GAME OF THE WEEK
Alabama vs. Arkansas
The matchup of the week will be Alabama’s Secondary vs. Arkansas’s wideouts – This should be a great test to see exactly where this Alabama secondary is at and whether or not they can hold their own against one of the most talented WR corps in the country. If Mallet gets time in the pocket and his WR’s are able to get separation, it could be a very long day for the Alabama secondary.
Ryan Mallett: With Jake Locker’s performance, or lack thereof, last Saturday, and with Mallett having a strong game against Georgia, his draft stock has been rising all week. If he has an exceptional game against the vaunted Alabama defense, the talk could be warranted. Mallett has a great arm and can move well for his size, but I will be watching his footwork, decision making and his progresses through his reads.
DeMarcus Love: He will be part of the crew trying to keep Mallett clean. I will be watching him to see how well he maintains his balance through contact and how clean his footwork is. Going up against the speed of the Alabama defense should be a good barometer.
Dont’a Hightower: Scouts like his athleticism and ability to blitz but I will be watching to see how well he does when asked to play in coverage as well as his read and recognition skills against the run and the pass.
Marcell Dareus: Extremely gifted and athletic DE who at times plays his position at an elite level. I will be watching to see how consistent his motor is and his fitness level considering he was suspended for 2 games, has increased his weight and had a major injury last year. I will also be closely watching his recognition skills seeing how quickly he deciphers the play.
Outcome: I expect the game to be close in the first half with Arkansas scoring some points. However, Alabama’s offense will control the time of possession and the defense will cause enough turnovers that the final score will be a double digit victory for the Tide. Statistically speaking, Alabama does not have a lot of sacks and did not blitz often the last time these teams met. This time though, I expect with Alabama’s young secondary, Saban will choose to blitz frequently, employing multiple looks to confuse Mallett. On the other side of the ball, Alabama will control the game with Mark Ingram, setting up play action for some big plays to Jones and the rest of the skill players from Tuscaloosa.
Prediction: Alabama 34 – Arkansas 23