Alabama uses 2nd-half surge to beat Arkansas

Alabama uses 2nd-half surge to beat Arkansas

Going into the half on Saturday, it wasn’t clear what team was going to win. Alabama trailed 7-3 but come the end of the game, it pulled through with a 27-14 win.

Alabama put three up on the board first after a 24-yard field goal by Adam Griffith, but the Razorbacks were the first with a touchdown.

Santos Ramirez intercepted Alabama quarterback Jake Coker’s pass, bringing Arkansas to Alabama’s 12-yard line. Soon after, Brandon Allen connected a 4-yard pass with Drew Morgan for an Arkansas touchdown.

Just before the half, Adam Griffith missed a 48-yard field goal. Arkansas held its 7-3 lead.

“I just got to do a better job of getting the ball out quick and doing my job,” Coker said. “That first half, most of it was really on me.”

Along with two interceptions, Coker completed 15 of 21 passes for 126 yards during the first two quarters.

Offensively, Alabama had 42 plays for 204 yards, which is more than it totaled in the second half – 27 plays for 192 more yards – but it was unable to pull through in the red zone.

“This is when you find out who you are and how bad you want to do what you want to do,” Alabama coach Nick SabanSaban said. “I thought the guys came out and responded really well in the second half.”

After a batter pass by Dalvin Tomlinson during the third quarter, Arkansas was forced to punt. At his team’s own 19-yard line, Coker threw a deep 81-yard pass to wide receiver Calvin Ridley for Alabama’s first touchdown, causing a momentum swing in Alabama’s favor.

After a three-yard reception by wide receiver Richard Mullaney, a one-yard run by running back Derrick Henry and a 35-yard field goal by Griffith, Alabama came back from its first half slump and had a 27-7 lead.

“When we prepare well and we’re really focused, we seem to play well,” Saban said. “I was really pleased with the way we played the second half.”

It looked like Arkansas’s first touchdown was going to be the only time it saw the end zone, but with under two minutes left in the game, Brandon Allen had one last, big throw in him. He completed a 54-yard pass to Dominique Reed and with a successful extra point, made it the final score of 27-14.

“[I’m] very, very proud of how our players responded to the challenge,” Saban said.

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