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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2007
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Alabama Report

A 4th-quarter rally

It took John Parker Wilson and Matt Caddell a while, but they produced the touchdown they said they wanted before the game.

Wilson found Caddell for a 4-yard touchdown with eight seconds left for the winning points.

“The funny thing is that I was talking to Caddell on the sideline before the game,” Wilson said. “I told him, ‘Let’s go get a touchdown.’ ”

This marked Alabama’s first victory by scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown since a 14-13 win over Iowa State in the 2001 Independence Bowl. Andrew Zow hit Terry Jones with a touchdown pass in that game.

That game also marked the last time before Saturday that the Crimson Tide overcame a fourth quarter deficit to win a game. Alabama trailed that contest 13-7 before winning.

Hall breaks record

It didn’t take long for Alabama’s DJ Hall to break Ozzie Newsome’s school career receiving yardage record.

Hall entered Saturday’s 41-38 win over Arkansas only 34 yards shy of Newsome’s record, and on the Crimson Tide’s first offensive play, quarterback John Parker Wilson found Hall down the middle of the field for a 43-yard pass play.

“I don’t envision records,”Hall said afterward. “You all know me man — I just go out for the team. ... It happened quick. When they lined of for the first play, I saw it and was like, ‘Here we go.’ ”

Hall now has 2,209 receiving yards, while Newsome finished his career with 2,070

Hall finished with six catches for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Only three times in Alabama history has a player gained more receiving yards. David Palmer holds the record with 217 against Vanderbilt in 1993.

Alabama coach NickSaban said afterward that Hall had a sore quadriceps muscle. The injury kept him on the sidelines at times during the fourth quarter.

Razorback thrown out

In the third quarter, there was something of a fracas at midfield. Afterward, Alabama offensive lineman Justin Britt walked off, rubbing his eye, and officials threw Arkansas defensive tackle Ernest Mitchell out of the game.

Apparently, Mitchell swung his helmet.

“I didn’t see it happen, but people told me what happened,” Saban said. “There is no place in college football for that. Emotions are something that we all have to control.”

McFadden goes down

When Alabama said it was going to hit Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, it certainly wasn’t kidding.

McFadden left with a concussion in the fourth quarter and had to watch as the Razorbacks punted to Alabama late in the fourth quarter, setting up the Tide’s game-winning drive.

He finished with 195 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“I’m speechless,” Alabama defensive end Wallace Gilberry said. “To stop the No. 1 Heisman candidate — not really stop him but beat him. ... To take a win from him was awesome.

“It was definitely one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of. At the same time, I’m still gasping for words.”

McFadden gained 49 yards in the first half and 146 after intermission.

“I felt better running the ball in second half than I did in the first half,” McFadden said. “I think their defensive front was getting tired.”

Brown, Hall get to play

Saban has maintained that it will take a lot for wide receiver Keith Brown and linebacker Prince Hall to get back into Alabama’s starting rotation of players.

Against Arkansas, Saban did not start either player and Brown didn’t play until the end of the first quarter. He had his first catch of the year, a 9-yard reception at the beginning of the second quarter.

He finished with two catches for 18 yards

It took Hall midway through the second quarter to get into the game.

Hall, a second-team All-SEC linebacker last year as a freshman, made four tackles.

Langham honored

Former cornerback Antonio Langham was honored before the game as one of Alabama’s honorary captains.

The Hazlewood High graduate played at Alabama from 1990-93 and played with the Cleveland Browns in 1994, Saban’s last year as Cleveland’s defensive coordinator.

Other honorary captains were defensive tackle Paul Boschung (1967-69), running back Derrick Lassic (1989-92) and safety Sam Shade (1991-94).

Lassic, Shade and Langham played on Alabama’s 1992 national championship team.

High-wire act

As per the national telecast, wires were strung around Bryant-Denny to add a camera above the field to give a different view of the game from the traditional sideline shots.

The camera slides along wires, and is almost always used on ABC and ESPNtelecasts. Both networks are owned by The Walt Disney Co.

When asked, Alabama spokesman Doug Walker did not know when a network first used a camera over the field.

Grading the CrimsonTide

Decatur Daily Sports Writer Josh Cooper grades Alabama’s performance in Saturday’s 41-38 win over Arkansas, giving the CrimsonTide a letter grade from A+ to F in four categories.

OFFENSE: B+

This group is looking like it can be explosive in both running and passing. The Crimson Tide put up 450 yards. Quarterback John Parker Wilson fumbled a snap in the third quarter and was intercepted twice.

DEFENSE: C-

Some of Arkansas’ 450 total yards came on a short field, but when you give up 38 points, it’s not a good day. Also, as good as Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden is, Alabama allowed him 195 rushing yards. He did not lose yardage on any play.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-

Leigh Tiffin might have missed a field goal early in the game, but he hit a big one with 4:20 remaining to cut Arkansas’ lead to four points, setting up Alabama’s winning touchdown.

OVERALL:B+

Alabama won, but blew a 21-point second-half lead. Arkansas is a good team, and the Crimson Tide should be happy with the win, but we saw some weaknesses exposed Saturday that will need to be corrected for next week against Georgia.

Best and worst

Best game-winning drive: That, of course, belongs to John Elway and the Denver Broncos in the 1987 AFC championship game. But when you can execute a two-minute drill to perfection and score a go-ahead touchdown with eight seconds left, you’ve done your job.

Best game-winning catch: Over two defenders, little used for his first three years at Alabama, Matt Caddell caught a 4-yard pass to beat Arkansas and was the hero of the day.

Worst color schemes: Was it A-Day or Arkansas? The Razorbacks’ team colors are so similar to Alabama’s that it was next to impossible to figure out who was rooting for whom.

Worst second half adjustments: At one point in the second half, Arkansas scored 28 unanswered points. Unacceptable, if you’re Alabama.

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Josh Cooper
Josh Cooper
DAILY Sports Writer

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