Crimson Tide rallies late to defeat Razorbacks
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.
TAKING IT IN:Joe Robbins
Mark Ingram of Alabama pushes away a tackle attempt by Tramain Thomas of Arkansas during a first-half touchdown run.