Crim­son Tide ral­lies late to de­feat Ra­zor­backs

Los Angeles Times - - College Football - No. 1ALABAMA 24 No. 10 ARKANSAS 20

fayet­teville, ark. — Mark In­gram ran for 157 yards and scored on a one­yard run with 3:18 to play, com­plet­ing top-ranked Alabama’s rally from a 13-point deficit in the sec­ond half for a 24-20 win against No. 10 Arkansas on Satur­day.

Robert Lester set up the score with his sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion of the day against Ryan Mallett. He re­turned it to the Arkansas 11, and Coach Nick Sa­ban gave the ball to his Heis­man Tro­phy­win­ning run­ning back on three con­sec­u­tive plays to get the game-win­ning score.

The Crim­son Tide (4-0, 1-0 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence) was able to run out the clock af­ter Mallett threw his third in­ter­cep­tion, this time to Dre Kirk­patrick. Alabama faced fourth-and­inches in its own ter­ri­tory, but Greg McEl­roy picked it up with a sneak.

That sent Arkansas (3-1, 1-1) and its record home crowd of 76,808 away dis­ap­pointed in the biggest game on cam­pus in decades.

Mallett threw for 357 yards on 25-for-38 pass­ing against Alabama’s in­ex­pe­ri­enced sec­ondary, but the two in­ter­cep­tions he tossed in the fourth quar­ter will over­shadow all those other gaudy num­bers and pretty throws.

For a while, it looked as though all those stu­dents who set up an ex­pan­sive tent city out­side the sta­dium and the fans crowded onto a hill over­look­ing Ra­zor­back Sta­dium would have some­thing to cel­e­brate.

It had been since 1979 that two top-10 teams met in Fayet­teville, and since 1996 that the No. 1 team paid a visit.

But with its usual for­mula of de­fen­sive play­mak­ing and In­gram’s tough run­ning, the Tide won its 18th straight game and started out SEC play with a vic­tory for the 19th straight sea­son.

With McEl­roy throw­ing mul­ti­ple in­ter­cep­tions for only the sec­ond time in his ca­reer, Alabama leaned even more on In­gram in just his sec­ond game back from an in­jury. He lined up in the wild­cat on the first two plays af­ter Lester’s pick and bulled his way to the doorstep.

Then he closed the deal af­ter tak­ing a hand­off from McEl­roy. It was the sec­ond score of the day for In­gram, who went 54 yards for a touch­down in the first quar­ter. He put his fin­ger up to his mouth in a bid to si­lence the sell­out crowd at that point, but the Ra­zor­backs weren’t done mak­ing noise just yet.

Mallett’s one-yard score on a sneak late in the first half and fresh­man Ben Hocker’s 48-yard field goal in the third put Arkansas up, 20-7, be­fore the Tide started fight­ing back.


Joe Rob­bins

Mark In­gram of Alabama pushes away a tackle at­tempt by Tra­main Thomas of Arkansas dur­ing a first-half touch­down run.

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