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franklin county times

Top-ranked Crimson Tide faces test at No. 10 Arkansas

Alabama faces its toughest test of the season so far today when the Crimson Tide travels to No. 10 Arkansas for their Southeastern Conference opener.

The Crimson Tide offense has looked unstoppable in the past three games, but goes up against an SEC defense for the first time. Alabama is averaging 542 yards of total offense per game.

Quarterback Greg McElroy leads the nation in passing efficiency by completing 71.7 percent of his passes for 705 yards, six touchdowns and only one interception.

Mark Ingram returned from an injury last week and rushed for 151 yards against Duke. Coupled with Trent Richardson as one of the best running back tandems in the nation, the Crimson Tide is poised to run over many opposing defenses.

Attempting to stop the potent Alabama offense is a Razorback defense that leads the SEC in sacks, averaging four per game.

Anthony Leon leads the team and ranks sixth in the SEC with 2.5 sacks. Ross Rasner is second on the team in sacks and tackles for a loss.

Arkansas has an explosive offense as well, led by quarterback Ryan Mallett. Mallett had touchdown passes of 57,20 and 40 yards in last week’s win at Georgia.

One of Mallett’s favorite targets is Greg Childs, who leads the SEC and is tied for eighth in the nation with three touchdown receptions this season. He is tied for the conference lead in catches per game (6.33) and is fourth in receiving yards per game (84.7).

Arkansas and Alabama are two of three programs in the SEC — Florida is the other — that has won at least eight of its last nine games. Alabama leads the all-time series 10-8.

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