Arkansas Game Balls: Top performers from 24-20 win over Tennessee
Arkansas snapped its three-game losing streak on Saturday, but that doesn’t happen without one player — Alex Collins.
The junior running back rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night to pace the Razorbacks offense. He averaged 5.7 rushing yards per attempt while scoring the go-ahead score in the third quarter on a goal-line carry.
“Alex is playing as good as football that I’ve seen out of him and it’s because he’s preparing well,” coach Bret Bielema told reporters after the game.
Collins rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown in last weekend’s loss to Texas A&M, and followed that up with another big night Saturday. The junior has been forced to take on a bigger role this season with senior running back Jonathan Williams out for the season after undergoing season-ending foot injury.
The heavy workload hasn’t seemed to wear on Collins though, as he ranks third in the SEC in rushing behind LSU’s Leonard Fournette and UGA’s Nick Chubb. Collins has accumulated 691 yards and six touchdown so far this season.
For his immense production, we’re giving Collins the Game Ball. Here are some other worthy candidates:
Rawleigh Williams (honorable mention, offense)
Collins’ partner in crime had a big night as well. The freshman running back recorded his first 100-yard performance of his career, while picking up 100 yards on 14 carries. The young back also broke off a 44-yard run in the second quarter that led to the game-tying score. Williams has stepped up nicely for the Razorbacks the last two weeks after scoring his first career touchdown last weekend against Texas A&M.
Dre Greenlaw (honorable mention, defense)
Greenlaw is only a freshman but based on Saturday’s victory, his future looks promising. Greenlaw collected a team-high 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry against the Vols. The true freshman played a huge role in limiting Tennessee to just 133 rushing yards. Greenlaw now has 29 tackles through five games this season.
Toby Baker (honorable mention, special teams)
The junior punter put together a quality night Saturday, punting five times for an average of 41.8 yards. While the yardage may be a little below par, it was improved from his 39.6-yard average that he entered the game win. Baker also placed two of his five punts inside the 20-yard line.
I like winning ???
— Rawleigh III 22 (@The3rdRawleigh) October 4, 2015