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Alabama Football Impact Players

Rashaan Evans earns marquee performance in Alabama’s win over Arkansas

John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports

He was never in a situation quite like the one from last week, but give Cole Kelley much credit for the way he handled the atmosphere. The redshirt freshman got the starting nod at quarterback versus Alabama – filling in for senior Austin Allen (shoulder) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

Kelley is used to seeing players that have a combination of talent, speed and physicality; however, the Louisiana native witnessed it in a more brutal form with the Crimson Tide. 

Due to an ineffective rushing attack, the 6-foot-7 specimen was forced to attempt 42 passes and despite totaling 200 yards with a touchdown, Kelley was sacked five times and also threw an interception.  

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans was one of multiple players that suffered an injury after the win over Florida State inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

He would miss the next two weeks with a groin issue, and regardless of his return against Vanderbilt, the senior told reporters that it was not his best moment individually. Evans’ presence aided the Tide in limiting the Commodores to 78 yards and three first downs in a 59-0 win, but he had only one tackle to show for his effort.

Following his game versus Mississippi – three tackles – the senior from Auburn (Ala.) turned in his best outing of the year on homecoming against the Razorbacks. While much of the team resulted to gang tackling Kelley, Evans posted two sacks of the 268-pounder on his own. 

He led the defense in sacks and tackles for loss (3.5) as Alabama rendered the Hogs to 227 yards offensively on 72 plays. Behind Evans, the Tide held Arkansas to 27 yards rushing on 29 carries while generating five sacks, nine tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hurries and six breakups. 

Upon the conclusion of a 41-9 win, Evans enters this week’s meeting with Tennessee on 20 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback pressures. 

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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