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Damien Harris, Alabama defense shines in first half vs. Arkansas

John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– In a first half filled with confusion on offense and struggles in the punt return department, Alabama went into halftime with a 24-0 lead over Arkansas. 

Running back Damien Harris was the spark plug offensively, totaling 94 yards rushing with two touchdowns on five carries. The junior averaged 18.8 yards per rush – including a 75-yard run to the end zone on the Crimson Tide’s first possession of the game.  

Harris’ second score came on a determined 4-yard run in the first quarter, which moves him to nine rushing touchdowns on the season. Bo Scarbrough came behind him with 35 yards rushing on four carries, and quarterback Jalen Hurts had 24 yards with a touchdown on nine attempts. 

Calvin Ridley leads the Tide in receiving with two catches for 29 yards. 

Jerry Jeudy caught one pass for 29 yards, while Devonta Smith, Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs brought in Hurts’ other three passes. He has completed six of 11 throws for 94 yards. 

Defensively, Ronnie Harrison leads the team with four tackles. 

Defensive end Raekwon Davis chimes in with three stops, and four defenders – Tony Brown, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Rashaan Evans and Isaiah Buggs – all have two tackles apiece. Minkah Fitzpatrick had three total stops.

The trio of Davis, Hamilton and Evans combined for two sacks for the Tide. 

Alabama outgained the Razorbacks, 275-111 in the first half, but Arkansas’ defense sacked Hurts twice and has created three tackles for loss. After three fumbles on punt return and sloppy play on offense, head coach Nick Saban will have second adjustments in order for Brian Daboll. 

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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