HawgBeat - 2020 First Look: Alabama Crimson Tide
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2020 First Look: Alabama Crimson Tide

Crimson Tide returning rush leader Najee Harris.
Crimson Tide returning rush leader Najee Harris. (Getty Images)

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We don't yet know the dates or the order, but we do know all 10 of Arkansas's 2020 opponents. Over the course of ten days, we'll give Hog fans an early look at each team on Arkansas's schedule, which is perhaps the toughest slate in all of college football. Since we're going in alphabetical order, we kick things off with the Alabama Crimson Tide, ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC in the USA Today coaches' preseason poll.

Alabama Crimson Tide (#3)

2019 record: 11-2 (6-2 SEC)

All time series vs Arkansas: Alabama leads 20-8 (12 game win streak)

Last meeting: Alabama won 48-7 in 2019 in Tuscaloosa. Arkansas faced sophomore QB. Mac Jones instead of Heisman candidate Tua Tagovailoa who had an ankle injury. Jones completed 18 of 22 passes for 235 and three touchdowns, and only played the first half plus one series of the second half. Arkansas QB Nick Starkel threw three interceptions and finished just 5 for 19 throwing. Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd rushed 12 times for just 50 yards while Najee Harris had 86 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns for the Tide.

Head Coach: Nick Saban (14th season, 152-23 at Alabama)

Alabama has won four titles in the last decade under head coach Nick Saban.
Alabama has won four titles in the last decade under head coach Nick Saban. (USA Today)

Offense

Coordinator: Steve Sarkisian (2nd season) Before joining the Tide, Sarkisian was the OC for the Atlanta Falcons.

2019 rushing rank: 56th, 168.5 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 3rd, 342.2 yards/game

2019 total rank: 6th, 510.8 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 2nd, 47.2 points/game

Returning starters: 7

Key losses: Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Tua Tagovailoa, Jedrick Wills

Defense

Coordinator: Pete Golding (2nd season) Golding was co-DC/ILB coach before being promoted to DC. He came to Alabama after a stints at UTSA and Southern Miss where his defenses set program records.

2019 rushing rank: 37th, 137.1 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 11th, 187.2 yards/game

2019 total rank: 21st, 324.4 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 13th, 18.6 points/game

Returning starters: 5

Key losses: Terrell Lewis, Trevon Diggs, Xavier McKinney

Recruiting

Four-year recruiting rankings (2017-20): 1, 7, 2, 3 (Avg. 3.25)

5-stars signed (2017-20): 17

4-stars signed (2017-20): 70

Overall Outlook

Arkansas has technically lost 13 straight against the Tide if you include the vacated win in 2007, and it doesn't look like the streak will end in 2020. We don't know the date of the game yet, but we do know the Hogs will welcome Saban's squad to Fayetteville instead of traveling this year. Home field advantage will mean almost nothing with either severely reduced capacity or no fans at all in D.W.R.R.S. The Razorbacks will likely suffer another multi-score loss at the hands of the Tide, the reigning power in the SEC for the last dozen years.

Difficulty Ranking (1-10): 10