SB Nation's Arkansas Expats interviews its compatriots at Roll Bama Roll in anticipation of Saturday's Razorbacks-Crimson Tide showdown. First topic: Can Alabama be beaten? By anyone?
From where we sit, Alabama doesn't seem to have a lot of weaknesses. If you were the Arkansas coaching staff, what would be your game plan? (We promise not to tell the real Arkansas coaching staff.)
Last year we were able to shut y'all's offense down with a swarming pass rush, but so far this year the front seven hasn't been nearly as good as generating any pressure in the backfield (which has hurt us against the run, as well) and both Penn State and Duke had a lot of success getting the ball out quickly.
Penn State in particular used a lot of three step drops and either cut the ends or went max protect while passing, and Bolden was hardly touched for most of that game. We did get an INT off of him when Dont'a Hightower was able to hit him as he threw, but just off the top of my head there weren't many other times that we were able to really get to him when the game was still relatively undecided. Duke also moved the ball very effectively against our young and inexperienced D by going up tempo on us.
If I were Petrino I would certainly take note of both Duke's and Penn State's game plans and come out as aggressively as possible to put the defense on their heels and make us outshoot you. I'd also get D.J. Williams involved early and often. We've had some issues with the linebackers covering TEs and RBs (Dont'a Hightower has noticeably lost a step, be it from bulking up or lingering issues from the knee injury), and the front seven is being shuffled this week to try and fix some of the issues.
Like I said, this is a defense that is pretty green at just about every position, so be aggressive (B-E AGGRESSIVE!) right out of the gate. On defense...well, I don't know what to tell you there since no one has really done much to slow them down yet. I got the feeling we reigned it in against Penn State after getting up three scores 'cause Saban has a lot of respect for Paterno, so maybe if you can get Petrino some black shoes and thick glasses...