Arkansas jumped out to a 3-0 start for new head coach Bret Bielema, and here are three takeaways:
Brandon Allen injury: Brandon Allen ran in for the first score of the game for the Hogs, but upon doing so he injured his throwing shoulder. Allen did not return, and JUCO transfer AJ Derby struggled to get any rhythm in the passing game. Derby finished just 4 of 6 for 36 yards. As a result of the injury, Arkansas turned to their smash-mouth running game.
Ground and pound: Speaking of smash-mouth football — once Allen left with the injury, the Hogs threw the ball just six times, for a total of 11 on the day. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams once again dominated the running game and combined for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Arkansas can afford to grind out victories against teams like Southern Miss and Samford, but things get real next week with a road trip to Rutgers. Collins and Williams have rushed for 100 yards each in three consecutive games, but don’t only credit the backs – credit FB Kiero Small and the offensive line.
Travis Swanson: Is he the best center in the country? Swanson pulling and blocking is really fun to watch. It’s a part of the game that isn’t sexy and isn’t recognized by most, but Swanson reminds me of Florida’s former star center Maurkice Pouncey with his athleticism and ability to put a hat on a hat as a pulling blocker.
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