No. 2 Alabama Survives Injured Young Buried Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – After Bryce Young Dropped out of the game with a shoulder injury in the second half, No. 2 Alabama moved on Jahmyr Gibbs and backup midfielder Jalen Milroe to pull away from 20 Arkansas 49-26 Saturday.
Young went away with 10:34 left in the second half with what coach Nick Saban called a right sprain, shoulder throw and no return. Young was on the sidelines in uniform in the second half.
“Bryce has a slight sprain in his shoulder. We’ll have to treat it every day,” Saban said. “I think he’s okay. He’s not seriously injured.”
Alabama (5-0, 2-0 Southeast Conference) took a 14-0 lead when Young was hurt. Milroe led Alabama to encounter in the first two steering to open the score 28-0.
20 Arkansas (3-2, 1-2) scored the next 23 points and held Alabama, without Young, to minus 1 yard in the third round.
Young won the Heisman Trophy last year, throwing 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns.
On Wednesday’s first drive, Milroe restored order to Alabama.
His 77-yard scramble in the third and 15th puts the Crimson Tide on Arkansas 3 and Jase McClellan score three turns later.
After squeezing an Arkansas pitch, Gibbs ran 73 yards around the right to the bottom in the first inning and gave Alabama a 19-point lead with a 12:17 left. Razorbacks never recover.
“It stopped the bleeding for sure because it was third and long in a bad field position,” said Saban. “It was a huge dynamic in the game, in my opinion. After that, we played better. After that, I think they didn’t play well.
Arkansas regrouped after a touchdown pass from KJ Jefferson to Ketron Jackson, the 11-yard touchdown from AJ Greena rebound kick and a short TD from Rocket Sanders hitting himself after a failed Alabama catch.
Milroe, a sophomore, was 4 for 9 in 65 meters with a touchdown and ran in 91 meters and two points.
Gibbs had 206 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts, including a 76-yard touchdown to make his mark in the fourth half.
Sanders, the top SEC racer entering the game, had 101 yards on 22 executions in his fourth 100-yard run of the season. Jefferson was 13 of 24 passes in 155 yards with a touchdown.
Jefferson did not return for the last two Arkansas drives. Pittman said that the quarterback hit his head on a play before exiting and with the results unquestionable, he chose not to bring Jefferson back into the game. It is not clear if it was because of the injury or the score.
“Right now, we’re one-way,” Pittman said. “We have to be able to throw and catch and defend. We can’t just spin, serve and beat really good teams.”
Alabama has won 16 straight games against the Razorbacks.
Alabama always has the answer. Without Young, it simply relies on its running game.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman dared with a back-kick to steal the ball, but the Razobacks’ defense failed to capitalize on Young’s absence.
EXTREMELY HAPPY FOR HEISMAN
Young is again among the favorites for the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Saban said he did not bring him back to play because an injury has limited his ability to throw.
“He couldn’t come back to the game today because I don’t think he throws the ball much,” Saban said. “He’s had these before and in a few days he’s responded very well. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
BACK TO EARTH
Arkansas broke into the Top 10 two weeks ago after starting 3-0, but could drop out of the rankings after two consecutive losses to Alabama and Texas A&M. The Razorbacks lost three in a row last year before winning five of their last six.
“We have to regroup,” Pittman said. “Last year, we lost three in a row and turned the game around. We had to find a way to turn it around.”
Alabama is likely to stay at least in second place in the rankings, but with more than half a season to play, Young’s position will likely determine whether they stay there long-term or not.
Arkansas could drop out of the Top 25 after a second straight loss.
Alabama: Hosts Texas A&M, the only team to beat the Crimson Tide last season, next week.
Arkansas: Head to Mississippi State for Week 6.