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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Can the Hogs hold up against Tide's pressure?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The key matchup Saturday in the Alabama-Arkansas game will undoubtedly be whether or not the Hogs’ pass protection can hold up.

Arkansas has only allowed two sacks for a loss of 9 yards in its first two games, although Georgia was able to force Ryan Mallett out of the pocket more as the game got into the later stages last week.

Alabama has 10 sacks in its first three games. That’s after getting 26 all of last season.

The Crimson Tide are using sophomore linebacker Dont’a Hightower in more of a pass-rushing role at that hybrid jack linebacker position on passing downs, and sophomore defensive end Marcell Dareus has also helped beef up Alabama’s pass rush.

The thing Alabama’s defense and Nick Saban are so good at is getting teams in third-and-long and then dialing up the pressure from all sorts of different angles.