Run and Shoot: Crimson nation is happy

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Crimson nation is happy

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - There were no game defining missed field goals. There were no, “should we go for it?” moments. There were no "deer in the headlights" looks coming from the Alabama sidelines.

The Crimson Tide overcame a seven point deficit with 8:08 remaining to defeat Arkansas 41-38 on Saturday.

With 92,138 fans howling, Matt Caddell out leaped Arkansas cornerback Jamar Love, to catch the game-winning touchdown with eight seconds left. Alabama never had a come from behind victory with former coach Mike Shula at the helm. It only took three games for Saban to accomplish the feat.

"You always talk about playing for 60 minutes," Saban said. "When you score a touchdown with eight seconds left, it's an easy way to reinforce a point. There was a lot of character in the game to get the ball back in the end of the game."

Every win every week seems to be a step up for Alabama (3-0). First, it was Western Carolina, then it was Vanderbilt, and now a defining victory for Saban, against the 2006 SEC West champs.

The Crimson Tide now has some momentum as it prepares to play Georgia next week, and Florida State the following week.

It was one Alabama wanted to have, it was one that it needed to have, with the winner of this game, the past two seasons, going on to 10 win years.

For a point in the second half, it appeared that Alabama wouldn't emerge with the win.

By the eight minute mark of the fourth quarter, Arkansas had the lead after a seven yard pass play from quarterback Casey Dick to fullback Peyton Hillis put the score at 38-31.

But Alabama drove down the field, and Leigh Tiffin, atoning for last year’s Arkansas debacle nailed a 42-yard field goal.

Then with 2:13 remaining, Alabama got the ball back on its 27-yard line. Wilson locked onto Caddell who had four receptions on the drive for 42 yards including the touchdown.

When Caddell caught the pass all the Crimson Tide players jumped on the 6-foot-0 wide receiver.

"There is a lot of positive self-gratification to see people that happy," Saban said. "We made a lot of people in the state of Alabama proud."

The Crimson Tide carried a 21-10 lead into halftime. And then with 5:15 left in the third quarter, after a Javier Arenas 38-yard punt return to the 2-yard line, quarterback John Parker Wilson found tight end Nick Walker in the back of the endzone to put Alabama up 31-10.

The almost out of nowhere, the Razorbacks came back. First, Dick found Andrew Davie for a 2-yard pass in the end zone to bring the score to 31-17.

Then there were the two turnovers that tied the game.

Saban always preaches to his defense that it needs to be hawkish in creating turnovers and giving Alabama more scoring chances, but the Razorbacks were the ones who took that philosophy more to heart.

Near the end of the third quarter, Wilson fumbled a snap between him and center Antoine Caldwell. Seven plays later and 42 yards later, McFadden bulled his way into the end zone.

Then off a Wilson interception in Alabama territory Arkansas went 26-yards, mixing up running plays with Felix Jones and McFadden nicely to see McFadden score from under center in the Arkansas to put the score at 31-31.

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