What Alabama Can Prove Against Arkansas?
Alabama, currently sitting at 9-0, is one of the best teams in the nation. Going undefeated, through this point, with an all SEC schedule has proven that. The Tide's three wins over top 25 teams, all of which came by more than 17 points, should be more than enough to earn them a spot in the College Football Playoff; however, there is definitely room for improvement on this team.
Alabama takes on Arkansas tomorrow in a game that many view as pointless, but this is a great opportunity for Alabama to make some improvements ahead of what could be a tough game in Atlanta. Here is what Alabama can prove in this game to show they are truly a championship caliber team:
Pass Rush Consistency
While Alabama's defensive front has played extremely well recently, the Tide can use this as an opportunity to show they can be more consistent. The pass rush for Alabama, in the last three games, has been much more aggressive and has 11 sacks to show for it. The Tide linebacker core has lived in the backfield lately and if this level of play is kept up, the defense is top tier.
Third Down Defense
The Crimson Tide's third down defense has improved lately, holding opposing offenses in its last three games to just 33%. Arkansas has not announced if Felipe Franks will be able to go, but he and KJ Jefferson are both mobile quarterbacks, which has given Alabama fits in the past on third down. If the defense can not allow plays like Bo Nix scampering for a drive saving first down from within his own end zone, then this is a championship caliber unit.
The Reserves can Play
Alabama, most likely, will be up by a lot rather early in this game. With concerns about the game even taking place due to potential injury already floating around, this may be a chance to see more of the reserve players for Alabama. This game presents an opportunity for a player like Javon Baker or Jaleel Billingsley to cement themselves as a solid target for Mac Jones moving forward into the post-season. Also, if Alabama is up by a significant margin, Bryce Young may have a chance to see the field and get valuable playing time against a well coached Arkansas team.