The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Tuscaloosa, AL

No. 1 Alabama beats Arkansas 41-9

2175 days ago
Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Damien Harris opened with a 75-yard touchdown run and No. 1 Alabama rode a fast start to a 41-9 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night.

The Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) had raced to a 17-0 start by midway through the first quarter before the Razorbacks (2-4, 0-3) managed to slow down the onslaught for a while.

Harris ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. His run on the game's first offensive play matched his career long set last week at Texas A&M, putting the Tide in front just 15 seconds into the game.

That game with the Aggies was Alabama's closest of the season, prompting coach Nick Saban to challenge his team to listen to him instead of the "rat poison" of media hype.

"I think we learned a lot of lessons in the Texas A&M game," Saban said. "I didn't know how the team would play (Saturday), to be honest with you. I think we had a little better week of practice."

The result was a second straight lopsided SEC loss for Arkansas and embattled coach Bret Bielema.

Playing without quarterback Austin Allen because of a right shoulder injury, Arkansas couldn't muster much sustained offense. The Tide outrushed Arkansas 308-27, including five sacks of redshirt freshman Cole Kelley.

Kelley made his first start and spent much of the night under heavy pressure. He completed 23 of 42 passes for 200 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The 6-foot-7, 268-pounder led the Razorbacks down the field at the end of the first half, but it ended with an incompletion from the 3.

Alabama's Jalen Hurts was 12-of-19 passing for 155 yards with a touchdown and his first interception of the season.


Arkansas: The Razorbacks have allowed 139 points in their first three SEC games. They did put up a fight for a while after the poor start, holding Alabama without a point for stretches of 21 and 15 minutes.

Alabama: The offense sputtered at times after the fast start but produced points in bursts. The Tide committed two turnovers after losing just one in the first six games and muffed three punt returns. Hurts' third-quarter interception ended a streak of 206 consecutive passes without one, Alabama's second-longest.

"Three balls on the ground (on punt returns) and we only lost one," Saban said. "We were fortunate."


Saban improved to 100-24 in regular-season SEC games. He joins Bear Bryant, Steve Spurrier, Johnny Vaught and Vince Dooley as the only coaches to reach that milestone.


Arkansas hosts No. 10 Auburn, which was upset by LSU.

Alabama hosts Tennessee, another slumping SEC team the Tide has beaten 10 straight times.