Previewing The Arkansas Razorbacks

We take a look at Auburn's opponent this Saturday night, the Arkansas Razorbacks.

When the Auburn Tigers roll into Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday evening, Coach Gus Malzahn's team will face a hungry Arkansas squad itrying to end a five-game losing streak in Bret Bielema's first season.

Struggling on both sides of the ball and looking to try to salvage its season, Arkansas has put plenty of focus on this week's game following an off-week and has the weapons to make this one interesting.

That starts on the offensive side of the ball with talented running backs Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. A true freshman, Collins is as skilled as any back Auburn will face this season. With 141 carries already for 797 yards and four touchdowns, Collins averages just under 100 yards per game. A physical runner, Williams has carried the ball 100 times for 612 yards and four scores as well.

Coach Bret Bielema's team has a 3-5 record and the Razorbacks are 0-4 in the SEC.

While the Arkansas running game is strong, averaging 209.9 yards per game (173 in SEC play), the same can't be said for the passing game and the the play of quarterback Brandon Allen. Completing 44.9 percent of his passes for 955 yards and eight touchdowns with seven interceptions, Allen has been dreadful in SEC play. Completing 17-36 throws for 282 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions against Texas A&M, he has followed that by completing just 28-78 passes for 285 yards in losses to Florida, South Carolina and Alabama the last three games.

His top target is senior Javontee Herndon with 20 catches for 330 yards and a team-high four touchdowns. Tight end Hunter Henry is a huge target at 6-6, 250 and has 17 receptions for 318 yards and a score. Fullback Kiero Small (13-94) and Keon Hatcher (11-125) are the only other players for the Razorbacks with double-digit catches.

The Arkansas offensive line is led by one of the top centers in the country, senior Travis Swanson. A Rimington Trophy candidate, Swanson has started all 46 career games for the Razorbacks. Big left tackle David Hurt has started 19 consecutive games for the Tigers while right tackle Brey Cook started at right guard before making the move outside three games ago. Guards Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland are both true freshmen with four career starts under their belt.

Defensively, Arkansas is led by a strong front four featuring two of the top pass rushers in the Southeastern Conference. Even with an athletic defensive line, the Razorbacks have struggled with physical running teams this season. In the last four games Arkansas' opponents are averaging 251.5 yards per game on the ground.

Big and physical, senior end Chris Smith is tied for 18th in the country with six sacks this season and has added eight tackles for losses. On the other side Trey Flowers has been very active as well with four sacks and eight and a half tackles for losses.

Chris Smith is a key player for the Arkansas defense.

Without senior Robert Thomas in the middle, who was injured in the loss to South Carolina, the Razorbacks have turned to Mobile native Darius Philon to be the playmaker and he has been solid so far. In eight games this season he has made 26 tackles with three sacks and six tackles for losses.

At linebacker senior Jarrett Lake has been busy,. He is currently second on the team and 15th in the league with 52 total tackles. To his side are juniors Braylon Mitchell and Martrell Speight. Mitchell is third on the team with 51 tackles with Speight adding 22 stops. It is not always a good sign when your secondary is as active as the one Arkansas has, but safety Alan Turner leads the team with 54 total tackles with fellow safety Eric Bennett fourth with 48 stops and cornerback Tevin Mitchell fifth with 41 tackles. Mitchell also leads the team with six passes defended.

Arkansas Offense

WR 4 Keon Hatcher (So., 6-2, 210)
6 D'Arthur Cowan (So., 6-3, 183)

WR 19 Javontee Herndon (Sr., 6-1, 197)
5 Eric Hawkins (RFr., 6-0, 185)

TE 84 Hunter Henry (Fr., 6-6, 250)
87 Austin Tate (Sr., 6-6, 263)

LT 69 David Hurd (Sr,. 6-6, 318)
68 Austin Beck (So., 6-7, 305)

Lg 76 Dan Skipper (Fr., 6-10, 317)
65 Mitch Smothers (So., 6-4, 315)

C 64 Travis Swanson (Sr., 6-5, 315)
75 Luke Charpentier (Jr., 6-4, 316)

Rg 55 Denver Kirkland (Fr., 6-5, 345)
72 Cordale Boyd (RFr., 6-3, 310)

RT 74 Brey Cook (Jr., 6-7, 330)
50 Grady Ollison (So., 6-5, 307)

QB 10 Brandon Allen (So., 6-3, 218)
11 A.J. Derby (Jr., 6-5, 245)

RB 32 Jonathan Williams (So., 6-0, 222)
3 Alex Collins (Fr., 5-11, 206)

fB 36 Kiero Small (Sr., 5-10, 242)
87 Austin Tate (Sr., 6-6, 263)

Arkansas Defense

DE 42 Chris Smith (Sr., 6-3, 270)
89 Brandon Lewis (RFr., 6-5, 260)

DT 91 Darius Philon (RFr., 6-3, 300)
93 DeMarcus Hodge (So., 6-1, 345)

DT 54 Byran Jones (Sr., 6-2, 318)
95 Horace Arkadie (So., 6-4, 303)

DE 86 Trey Flowers (Jr., 6-4, 265)
48 Deatrich Wise Jr. (RFr., 6-6, 275)

SLB 47 Martrell Spaight (Jr., 6-0, 226)
15 Price Holmes (Sr., 6-3, 220)

MLB 39 Jarrett Lake (Sr., 6-3, 235)
49 Austin Jones (Sr., 6-2, 237)

WLB 34 Braylon Mitchell (Jr., 6-3, 230)
5 Otha Peters (So., 6-2, 237)

CB 8 Tevin Mitchel (Jr., 6-0, 180)
1 D.J. Dean (Fr., 5-10, 190)

SS 27 Alan Turner (Jr., 6-0, 200)
26 Rohan Gaines (So., 5-11, 195)

FS 14 Eric Bennett (Sr., 6-0, 200)
25 Kelvin Fisher Jr. (So., 5-11, 197)

CB 21 Carroll Washington (Jr., 6-0, 180)
29 Jared Collins (RFr., 6-0, 175)

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