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    Countdown to Kickoff: Alabama at Arkansas


    ALABAMA at ARKANSAS
    2:30 p.m. CT
    Fayetteville, Ark.
    Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (72,000)
    Overall: 3-0
    SEC: 0-0
    XM: 143
    Sirius: 122
    LIVE TV: CBS Sports
    [Vern Lundquist, play-by-play; Gary Danielson, color analyst; Tracy Wolfson, sideline reporter]
    Overall: 3-0
    SEC: 1-0
    XM: 200
    Sirius: 219


    THE COACHES

    Nick Saban is in his fourth season at Alabama with a record of 36-8 (.818) and 17th overall with a record of 142-67-1 (.679). The Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator is Jim McElwain and the defensive coordinator is Kirby Smart.

    Bobby Petrino is in his third season at Arkansas with a record of 16-12 (.571) and eighth overall with a record of 60-31 (.659). The Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator is Garrick McGee and the defensive coordinator is Willie Robinson.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN ALABAMA HAS THE BALL

    The 2010 Crimson Tide offense is off to an even better start than a year ago. Alabama is averaging 542.0 yards of total offense per game to rank fourth nationally and first in the SEC. Greg McElroy has completed 71.7 percent of his passes for 705 yards and six touchdowns with one interception while leading the nation in passing efficiency at 200.03. Mark Ingram returned last week and cracked the 100-yard mark on his third rush from scrimmage. He finished with 151 yards on only nine carries while scoring two touchdowns.

    Arkansas leads the SEC in sacks, averaging 4.0 per game in 2010. Defensive ends Jake Bequette and Damario Ambrose are tied for seventh in the conference with 2.0 a piece this season. Jerry Franklin led the team with eight tackles at Georgia. It was the second consecutive eight-tackle game for the junior and kept the linebackers’ streak of leading the team in tackles every game this season active. Anthony Leon leads the team and ranks sixth in the SEC with 2.5 sacks this season and his team-leading total of 5.5 tackles for a loss are tied for third in the SEC. Ross Rasner ranks second in the team in sacks and tackles for a loss.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN ARKANSAS HAS THE BALL

    The Crimson Tide ranks second nationally once again in scoring defense, surrendering just 6.33 points per game or 19 total points in three games. They have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in an astonishing 37 games. The secondary has fared well in the national rankings with the No. 2 pass efficiency defense (73.66) and the No. 11 pass defense (132.67 ypg). Dont’a Hightower has a team-high 16 tackles, a pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in 2010. ?Mark Barron is fourth on the team in tackles with 12 while recording one interception.

    Ryan Mallett completed 21-of-33 passes for 380 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Arkansas’ 31-24 win at Georgia...He engineered a three-play touchdown drive with just 47 seconds left to play, which was capped by his 40-yard TD pass to Greg Childs with 15 seconds remaining...Mallett’s TD passes were from 57, 22 and 40 yards. Broderick Green has scored a rushing touchdown in six of his last nine games. Greg Childs leads the SEC and is tied for eighth in the NCAA with three touchdown grabs this season. He is tied for the conference lead in catches per game (6.33) and is fourth with 84.7 receiving yards per game.

    SPECIAL TEAMS

    Trent Richardson’s 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on Sept. 18 at Duke did not make the Alabama all-time top 10 list for longest kickoff returns, but it does mark the first Crimson Tide kickoff return for a touchdown since a 100- yard return for a score by Tyrone Prothro on October 10, 2004.

    Freshman Zach Hocker has opened his collegiate career with three consecutive perfect games. He is 10-for-10 on PATs and 2-of-2 on field goals. In his first SEC game, Hocker made a 48-yard field goal that was the longest for the Razorbacks since 2000. Alex Tejada has recorded six touchbacks so far this season, including four in the season opener vs. Tennessee Tech. Last year, it took nine games and 54 kickoffs for the Razorbacks to record one.

    SERIES/GAME NOTES
    Record: Alabama, 10-8

    For the first time since 1979, two top ten teams will meet in Fayetteville as No. 10 Arkansas hosts No. 1 Alabama...Arkansas has won eight of its last nine games dating back to last season... Alabama and Florida are the only two other schools in the SEC to win at least eight of their last nine...Arkansas is 4-11 all-time against the nation’s top-ranked team... Half of those wins have come against a conference foe in Fayetteville.