University of Alabama

Alabama football: Crimson Tide's keys to win over Arkansas

GAMELINE

Key player

Robert Lester, Alabama: Twice the Crimson Tide safety saved his team’s rear end. Arkansas was threatening to take a 10-point lead in the second quarter when Lester stepped in front of a Ryan Mallett pass in the Crimson Tide end zone. That fourth-quarter takeaway was easily the biggest of Lester’s career. Reading Mallett’s eyes, Lester hauled in his fourth interception of the season and set up the winning touchdown.

Key decision

Calming down, getting after Mallett. After taking some time to regroup, take a breather and recalculate the attack, the Crimson Tide defense did a reasonably good job after an abysmal first half. Getting some heat in Mallett’s face made it less of a shooting gallery for the long, strong-armed quarterback. Giving him less time to pick apart the defensive secondary certainly changed the pace of the game.

Quote of the game

“The first half, he was kind of peeking at me. I just saw the ball and made a play.” — Dre Kirkpatrick on the interception of Mallett’s pass that sealed the win.

BY THE NUMBERS

5

Nights spent camped outside the stadium by the looniest of Arkansas students who wanted a front-row view.

13

Point deficit faced in third quarter was second-largest faced by a Nick Saban-coached Alabama team.

421

Identical yardage totals accumulated by both offenses in an ultimately even battle.

11, 25

Minutes and seconds of fourth quarter in which Alabama possessed the ball.

64

Rushing yards netted by Arkansas in all four quarters

54

Rushing yards netted by Mark Ingram on his first-quarter stiff-arming, tight-roping touchdown run.

— Michael Casagrande

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