FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Last year may have been within a touchdown but it wasn't that close.
Sorry, but having to recover an onside kick with 62 seconds left is like hoping lightning hits that tree you want down.
Arkansas hasn't beaten Alabama since 2006 and the best fans have been able to do is talk about when they could just get close.
Saturday's game at 2:30 p.m. in Razorback Stadium will be on CBS and FuboTV (free trial).
You can listen to the game online at HitThatLine.com or on the radio at ESPN Arkansas 99.5 in Fayetteville, 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs and central Arkansas, 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.
The Crimson Tide are a 17-point favorite and fans along with some of the talk radio shows are hoping that's way out of line because, well, Alabama is not as good as they have been in recent years.
Yes, the Hogs are an improved team and they did stay within a touchdown of the Tide last year mainly because they scored with 1:02 left in the game. All Alabama had to do at that point was keep the ball after a kickoff, which they did and it was over.
At one point in the third quarter, the Crimson Tide were ahead 31-14 and kept scoring. It never really felt like the Hogs were going to catch up enough in that game.
Now Arkansas gets to be the best team Alabama has faced this season. Historically, that hasn't worked out well for the Hogs, even at home.
The biggest knock is the Crimson Tide's offense not being what it was the last couple of years. Watch it get a whole lot better when they arrive in Fayetteville.
Defense is the Hogs' biggest issue the next two weeks.
It's not really complicated. Teams that can accurately throw the ball in the middle of the field and hit a deep one enough to hold the secondary's interest can move the ball.
If they have receivers that can make plays after the catch, it might be a real problem.
Maybe keeping it close is something Hog fans want to accomplish. If they don't win, though, they are effectively out of any playoff consideration and the odds may be impossibly long to reach Atlanta.
Then there's the whole mental thing ... on both sides.
Don't assume the same Alabama team shows up Saturday.
They could be better and that may be the biggest problem of all.
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