It has been a rough year for Arkansas. After winning their first three games, the Razorbacks have dropped their last eight. The biggest positive Arkansas can take away from their season is how well their young running backs have ran the football.
Arkansas has had an atrocious passing game this year. Opposing defenses have loaded the box against them because they did not have to respect the pass. Even with defenses expecting the run, sophomore Jonathan Williams and freshman Alex Collins have been a dynamic duo running the ball.
Williams has been a quality second option for Arkansas this season. Even as the Razorbacks’ second most used back, he is still 59th in the country in total rushing yards with 842. His yardage has been solid, but it has not been resulting in points. The Razorbacks are 110th in the country in points per game, with 20. Williams had a touchdown run in three of Arkansas’ four non conference games, including every one that they won. However, in the past eight weeks he only has a single touchdown to his name.
Collins has burst into the National spotlight as a sensational freshman running back. Even with opponents crowding the box, Collins has performed well. As a true freshman, he is 30th in the country in rushing yards with 998. However, similarly to Williams his best production has sharply declined since the Razorbacks three victories. After his first three games, Collins had two touchdowns and was averaging over 139 rushing yards a game. Since then he has only scored two touchdowns in eight games, and has only one game of over 100 yards rushing.
The LSU defense has not been great against the rush this year, but they did completely shut down Texas A&M’s running game last week. As a team the Aggies only managed 75 yards on the ground with no rushing touchdowns.
LSU will try to continue their recent defensive success on Friday, but the Arkansas running backs will most likely be fired up for this rivalry game.