AJ McCarron connected on 15-of-20 passes for 200 yards and two scores in a winning effort for Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
"It was a great team win. When I say team win, I'm talking about all the players, all the fans, all the people in the organization who contribute to the success of the team in every way," said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. "It was a physical game out there. It was two good football teams out there playing"
Tyler Wilson went 22-for-35 for 185 yards and two touchdowns through the air for Arkansas (3-1, 0-1).
Dennis Johnson and Cobi Hamilton caught TD passes for the Razorbacks, who failed to reach 4-0 for the first time since 2003.
Alabama took the opening drive of the game 80 yards down the field for the early lead on a 37-yard touchdown pass by McCarron to Michael Williams on a fake field goal. Richardson carried the ball four times for 32 yards on the drive.
After trading punts, Wilson led a 12-play, 63-yard drive to tie the game at seven. Ronnie Wingo Jr. had a 26-yard touchdown run called back on a holding call, but Wilson hit Johnson for a 10-yard score four plays later.
The Crimson Tide took the lead back with under six minutes to go in the second quarter on Jeremy Shelley's 20-yard field goal. Richardson totaled 58 yards of offense on the 77-yard drive, but the Razorback's defense held on a 1st-and- goal at the one to force the field goal.
DeQuan Menzie then intercepted Wilson on a third-down pass attempt and ran it back 25 yards for a score to give Alabama a 17-7 lead at the half.
Alabama forced an Arkansas punt on its first possession of the second half and Marquis Maze weaved his way down the field on the return for an 83-yard touchdown.
The Razorbacks were held to a three-and-out, and Richardson took a screen pass 61 yards for a score on the Crimson Tide's second play of the drive with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and Wilson hit Wingo for a 39- yard pass before connecting on a 19-yard score to Hamilton in the back of the end zone to bring Arkansas within 31-14.
But the Razorbacks were stopped on a 4th-and-one after forcing an Alabama punt, and a Brad Smelley 15-yard catch and a Richardson 25-yard rush set up Eddie Lacy's four-yard rushing touchdown to give the Crimson Tide back their 24-point cushion.
"They beat us in all three phases of the game," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "They made big plays and we didn't. They hurt us with the fake field goal, the punt return for a touchdown and the screen pass for a touchdown."
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley left the game in the first quarter with a right elbow injury and did not return...Alabama leads the all-time series between the teams, 14-8...Arkansas fell to 10-10 all-time in SEC openers...The Crimson Tide won their 20th straight SEC opener...Arkansas was held to 17 total rushing yards on 19 attempts...Lacy rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries.