Nick Saban calls trip to Arkansas a "Bit of a trap game"

Alabama coach says Razorbacks' 1-4 start is deceptive, they're improving

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Nick Saban is using the "T" word this week, trap.

A trap game is when a team looks past an opponent because it's not doing well and/or it's looking ahead to the next opponent.

No. 1 Alabama hosts Missouri the following Saturday for homecoming, which figures to be its toughest opponent of the season.

But first it visits Arkansas, which is 1-4 overall, 1-2 in SEC play. The Razorbacks are last in the SEC in rushing, total offense and scoring, and 13th in scoring defense.

Despite the venue the Crimson Tide is considered a huge favorite.

"Fayetteville has always been a difficult place to play," Saban said. "We have a lot of respect for Arkansas. Chad Morris being the new coach there, you can see every week, they're getting better and better. Certainly played their best game of the year last week against Texas A&M and had opportunities to come back and at least tie the game if they could have finished with another score. They have a lot of experience. They have a lot of returning starters. I think they've switched around quarterback personnel. Maybe that's sort of impeded some of their progress at times. I think they've now settled on Ty Storey being the starting quarterback. I think he's been prodcutive. This is a very capable team."

Although Arkansas lost to North Texas earlier this season, it kept things close with Texas A&M last Saturday, losing 24-17.

"These guys are playing really a lot better on defense as well, even if the numbers and scores are not indicitative," Saban said. "They've given up a couple of scores on special teams so their defense is really improved and I think playing really well. This is a game that I think our players need to focus on what we need to do to make sure we're ready to play and do a good job of executing in the game."

Alabama hasn't lost to Arkansas since Saban arrived in 2007, the last being 24-23 in overtime in 2006.

The Crimson Tide last won at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in 2016, 49-30, but barely escaped with a 14-13 victory in 2014.

"These are definitely the games you don’t want to overlook because it is a setup and it’s very easy for average people to have an average mindset," senior linebacker Christian Miller said. "So you just have to make sure that you don’t settle."