What they’re saying about the Alabama Crimson Tide’s come from behind win yesterday in Fayetteville, Arkansas:
- Let’s get physical: Alabama is still the most physical team in the SEC, and it’s not close. Everything with the Crimson Tide begins and ends with being able to mash you up front, and we were reminded of that in the second half Saturday in their come-from-behind 24-20 win over Arkansas on the road.
- The key in this game? Alabama finally read the book on Mallett, and the book revealed the following: Mallett has a glass jaw.
- On such afternoons are national champions built. Down 20-7 on the road against an Arkansas team that had seemingly written the perfect script for its biggest home win in history, No. 1 Alabama simply would not wilt. No. 1 Alabama would not relent. No. 1 Alabama would not concede anything on a day when it seemed like absolutely everything was against the Crimson Tide.
- It took Ryan Mallett only 50 seconds to expose Alabama's young secondary Saturday, completing his first two passes for a total of 74 yards and a touchdown. Fortunately for the Crimson Tide, a football game is 60 minutes long. By the time those 60 minutes were up in Razorback Stadium, those young defensive backs had grown up a bit. Because they did, top-ranked Alabama escaped Fayetteville with a 24-20 win.
- Two words. Mark Ingram. Any questions? Are we talking the best player on the best team in the nation, even during its worst performance of the season? The answer is Ingram. Are we talking the best player on the field for either of these top-10 teams in the biggest game in this stadium in ages? The answer is Ingram.
- Mallett picked on Kirkpatrick once too often. More than a few passes from Mallett — who finished with 357 passing yards — were completed in Kirkpatrick’s direction. But with less than two minutes remaining and Mallett trying to engineer a comeback victory, he tried to pick on the Alabama sophomore one too many times. The result: Kirkpatrick’s second career interception. And Arkansas never took another snap.
I’ll add this: For the first 30 minutes of yesterday’s game, Alabama looked like a young, inexperienced team playing its first big SEC opponent on the road. For the second 30 minutes, Alabama looked like a trained killer. For the first 30 minutes, it was easy to remember that these are just kids. For the second 30 minutes, you had to remind yourself that these are just kids. Those kids—especially the really, really young ones in the secondary—grew up awfully fast yesterday.