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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Ingram’

Alabama/Arkansas: Air Attack Versus Ground Assault

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Ryan Mallett, Mark Ingram

Alabama and Arkansas get at it on Saturday in Fayetteville, and on one side, you have Bobby Petrino and his Ryan Mallett-led aerial attack, and on the other, you have Alabama, a team that might have the most explosive running back tandem, maybe ever. Of course, Alabama, with Greg McElroy and Julio Jones, can pass the ball just fine, and Nick Saban isn’t afraid to use it, either.

The Tide isn’t as prolific as Arkansas with the pass, but with Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram on the roster — who looks like he’s right back into Heisman form after missing two games because of knee surgery — heavy reliance on the pass by Alabama would be foolhardy.

Conversely, Arkansas uses the running game to set up their dangerous passing attack, and when you have the nation’s leader in passing yards — Mallett (who also has 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions and a QB rating of 186.5) — and three legitimate receiving threats in Greg Childs, Joe Adams, and D.J. Williams, it would be foolish not to throw the ball downfield. Clearly, the Petrino/Mallett marriage is a match made in heaven.

Here’s what we can expect out of both teams. First off, Arkansas:

As for Alabama:


The video starts at the 1:11 mark, but if you want an idea of their passing game, rewind it.

As for Saturday’s game, can either team take away what the other wants to do on offense? Can Bama stop Ryan Mallett from throwing the ball all over the field? Can Arkansas stop Bama’s two dynamic running backs and get their offense back on the field? That’ll be the real trick, because the Tide have questions in their secondary. As for Arkansas, they’ve done well against the rush so far this season, but then again, they haven’t been up against one as powerful as Alabama’s either.

Saturday will be a true test for the Razorbacks, obviously, but if they commit too much to stopping the run, McElroy and Jones will make them pay for it.

Other areas of interest are the fans. Both teams are pretty damn awesome supporters. Observe:


Got to get them started early.

And then there’s the “Ryan Mallett for Heisman” ditty we featured earlier this week, made, of course, by Arkansas fans:


Pure, unadulterated fan brilliance.

With that in mind, who wins? Arkansas gets a nod for being at home, but then again, Alabama is road-tested, battle-tested and test-tested (just to cover all “tested” bases), so it’s hard to see them wilting in the face of a loud opposing crowd. My pick:

Alabama 27
Arkansas 24

Guesses such as final scores are subject to change at any moment and without notification.

Mark Ingram To Play Against Duke

Mark Ingram

When the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to play the Duke Blue Devils this weekend, it will be with a full team. Word is, last season’s Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, will take the field for the first time this season, after recovering from recent knee surgery. Yes, that’s right: Alabama’s workhorse running back had knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and is still going to play. This season.

Balls, son. Balls.

Nick Saban addressed the return of his stud running back at his weekly press conference and he sounds quite confident Ingram will be ready to roll:


The important quote follows:

“Mark is doing extremely well, hadn’t had any issues or problems has done quite a bit in practice”

While Duke’s chances probably weren’t that good before the news of Ingram’s return broke, I’d say they’re even worse now. But hey, does Saban get credit for going on the road to play a team that has been historically terrible, but under David Cutcliffe’s tutelage, has improved over the last few seasons? Or is this a case of Alabama scheduling out-of-conference cream puffs? It should be noted that in the first two games of the season, the Blue Devils have put 89 combined points on the board.

Granted, they haven’t played a defense as talented as Alabama’s, but you never know. Maybe Sean Renfree has the game of his lifetime and puts a ton of pressure on the Crimson Tide to score. Unfortunately for Renfree, Bama defensive end Marcell Dareus is also returning to the field after serving a two-game suspension. Ingram or no, the fact that Dareus will be on the field can’t be good news for the Blue Devils.

Mark Ingram’s Knee Gets in The Way

Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram’s defense of his Heisman trophy, as well his efforts towards helping the Alabama Crimson Tide win another BCS Championship has been put on hold, at least for one game. According to al.com, Ingram had “minor” arthroscopic surgery on his left knee after injuring it during a Monday evening practice session. Ingram will miss Bama’s opener against San Jose State, but Nick Saban doesn’t think Ingram’s left knee will be an issue later in the season; a result of repairing Ingram’s knee immediately, as opposed to treating the issue with rest and a “wait and see” attitude.

“It was a situation where everyone involved thought it would be better to take care of now, so he would not have any issues with it later in the season,” Saban said.

While it’s unlikely Ingram will be missed against San Jose State, if the issue does happen to linger, the idea of Alabama going back-to-back becomes less likely; although, Trent Richardson — who some say is the best running back on Bama’s squad (Richardson disagrees) — might have something to say about that.

As it stands, Richardson will get the staring nod as Ingram continues to heal.

Jones and Ingram Cleared

Julio Jones
Fear not, Alabama fans. Both Julio Jones and Mark Ingram, perhaps the Tide’s two most important offensive players, have been cleared by the NCAA to play against Virginia Tech. Their eligibility was put in question when the two accompanied a Georgia businessman on a fishing trip over the summer. Needless to say, it was said businessman who paid for the trip, raising the potential red flag. The NCAA confirmed Alabama’s insistence that the man who paid was not affiliated with the university as a booster or otherwise.

While the news is indeed good for Bama fans, I doubt Hokies fans share the same sentiment.

Mark Ingram and Julio Jones: Gone Fishing?

Julio Jones and Mark Ingram
Will a summer fishing trip with an Athens business man affect the eligibility of Alabama players Julio Jones and Mark Ingram, perhaps two of Nick Saban’s most important offensive weapons? It could very well.

While Saban has decided not to punish his two stars, he acknowledged the NCAA has yet to rule and their decision could be different from his, meaning there’s a chance neither player could see the field against Virginia Tech on Saturday. The issue surrounding the suspect fishing trip has to do with whether or not the person who paid for the trip, Curtis Anderson, is a booster for the University of Alabama.

More on Ingram and Jones after the jump >>

An SEC Championship Primer

Nick Saban and Urban Meyer

There’s a fairly substantial game taking place in Atlanta, Georgia tomorrow. I think maybe it’s referred to as the SEC Championship? It could also be called the semi-final game before the national championship. The thinking is, whoever wins the game between Florida and Alabama goes to the BCS Championship to face Oklahoma the winner of the Big 12 Championship game — well, not Missouri, but someone from the Big 12.

There’s this scenario to consider as well: Florida may not jump Texas even if they beat Bama.

So who wins? Alabama’s strength or Florida’s speed? Nick Saban or Urban Meyer? Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin or John Parker Wilson and the Coffee/Ingram express (there’s entirely too much talent on this field to list, so I’ll just stick with these guys for now)? For what it’s worth, pretty much the entire nation think Florida will be the champion, as demonstrated by ESPN’s poll.

The Hulk and The Flash after the jump >>