Instant analysis: Alabama 24, Arkansas 20

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat the No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks 24-20 on Saturday at Razorback Stadium.

How the game was won: Robert Lester’s interception and return to the Arkansas 12-yard line set up a Mark Ingram 1-yard touchdown run a few plays later. The Crimson Tide sealed the win when Dre Kirkpatrick intercepted Ryan Mallett on the sideline, Mallett’s third interception of the game. The Tide also converted on fourth-and-inches from their own 44 to keep from having to punt the ball back to the Hogs in the final seconds.

What it means: The Crimson Tide extended their winning streak to 18 games and passed their first big road test. It was the first of three straight tough games. Alabama returns home next week to face Florida and then goes on the road to play South Carolina the following week.

Stat of the game: The Hogs had 301 total yards at the half, but were held to 120 yards the rest of the way.

Player of the game: Ingram, in only his second game back after undergoing knee surgery, showed once again why he’s the best player in college football. He finished with 157 yards on 24 carries.

Unsung hero: After making a couple of bad decisions in the first half, Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy responded like a champ in the second half. He converted one key third down after another and methodically led his team back from a 13-point deficit.

Turning point: Alabama, trailing 20-14, was backed up on its own 8-yard after a holding call on D.J. Fluker early in the fourth quarter. But the Crimson Tide went on to keep the ball for 15 plays and moved into position for a field goal to pull within 20-17.