Checking in on the early-season temperatures in Fayetteville, Ark. … 


Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins. The two running backs are coming off another incredible game, running for a combined total of 357 yards and six touchdowns in the Hogs’ blowout win over Texas Tech. What’s made them even more dangerous is the power they have in their north-south running style. It takes at least a couple hits to even think about bringing these guys down recently. Last week against the Red Raiders, Collins gained 156 yards after contact, while Williams gained an additional 101 yards after initial contact. So not only are they hitting the running lanes hard out of the backfield, but they are simply refusing to go down. As of this point, Collins and Williams are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the SEC for rushing yards. At this rate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them topping the leaderboard by the end of the season.


The Arkansas offensive line. As much success as guys like Collins and Williams are having running the football, it wouldn’t be at all possible without the outstanding play of the offensive line. Regarded as the biggest offensive line in the SEC, they have been playing as well as you can imagine. They’re big, physical and do a great job of creating the running lanes for the running backs. Numerous times against Texas Tech, you’d see the offensive line manhandling the Red Raiders front seven. So much so that the offensive linemen were pushing the defensive line at least five yards down the field with no signs of letting up. They wear down defenses and are an incredibly important reason for the Hogs’ early season success.


Brandon Allen. I’m not here to say he necessarily isn’t playing well. However, because of the success of the running game, Allen’s production was severely limited in the passing game last week. He only completed six of his 12 passes for 61 yards and didn’t look very well. Even two weeks ago, he threw just five passes. As great as the running game has been lately, the Hogs will need Allen to produce this season, especially against the tougher competition that awaits him. He’s got both the physical and mental capabilities to be a solid SEC quarterback, but he’s been largely handcuffed as of late. Let’s see if he gets more chances to throw the ball against Northern Illinois before taking on Texas A&M in two weeks.


Missed tackles. This continues to be a problem for the Arkansas defense, especially in the secondary. The Texas Tech offense was largely limited in the second half, but in the first 30 minutes of the game, the Arkansas defensive backs struggled to wrap up Texas Tech’s skill players. One of the specific moments that comes to mind was on a DeAndre Washington run that went for 14 yards in the red zone. Arkansas had two big chances to hold him for a minimal gain, but both linebacker Brooks Ellis and cornerback Henre’ Toliver whiffed on their tackles, which led to the 14-yard gain. Texas Tech scored just a few plays later. Arkansas needs to wrap up with more success against the high-powered offense of the SEC if they want to have a chance of competing in conference play.