'Bama routs Arkansas in SEC opener
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Eddie Lacy scored three rushing touchdowns, AJ McCarron added another score through the air and the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide opened SEC play with a 52-0 road win over the reeling Arkansas Razorbacks.
The game was supposed to be one of college football's early marquee matchups this season, but the defending national champions faced a Razorbacks team coming off a stunning upset and without its starting quarterback.
McCarron completed 11-of-16 passes and finished with 189 yards for Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC), while Lacy carried the ball 12 times for 55 yards.
"I think they started the game a bit average today. But as we got into the game, I was really pleased with the way we played, especially offensively," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
With signal-caller Tyler Wilson out with a head injury, Arkansas (1-2, 0-1) turned to redshirt freshman Brandon Allen as his replacement.
Wilson was hurt in last week's 34-31 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe, a defeat that dropped the Razorbacks from No. 8 in the country to unranked in the AP poll.
Allen finished with only 60 yards on 10-of-18 passing and threw two interceptions, both of which resulted in touchdowns for Alabama.
"That's about as bad as I can ever remember as a football team," Arkansas coach John L. Smith said. "What we have to do is not point any fingers and make sure we wrap our arms around each other and support each other."
The interceptions represented a handful of miscues committed by Arkansas.
A high snap on a punt spotted Alabama an early score. Punter Dylan Breeding illegally kicked the ball through the end zone, giving the Crimson Tide the ball at the 6-yard line. On the first play of the next drive, Lacy powered his way across the goal line.
Arkansas moved into Alabama territory on the ensuing drive, but another high snap likely played a role in Zach Hocker missing a 41-yard field goal.
After Alabama's Cade Foster connected on a 51-yard field goal inside the opening minute of the second quarter, Vinnie Sunseri picked off Allen and the turnover led to a 20-yard touchdown grab by Amari Cooper.
Foster missed from 52 yards later in the first half, but Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix intercepted a deflected Allen pass on the first play of the ensuing drive and his 46-yard return set up a short touchdown run by Lacy.
Lacy capped the second half's opening drive with a 10-yard TD run, and T.J. Yeldon reached the end zone from a yard out 43 seconds later. Yeldon's touchdown run came after Arkansas lost a fumble on the kickoff.
Another Razorbacks fumble led to a 12-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake in the fourth quarter. Blake Sims rushed for a 27-yard score after Arkansas turned the ball over for a fifth time.
The Crimson Tide have won 21 straight SEC openers ... Arkansas had forced at least one turnover in 11 straight games ... Alabama recorded its sixth straight win over the Razorbacks.
09/16 01:34:27 ET