Midseason Report Card – Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas Razorbacks RB Alex Collins runs past Florida LB Michael Taylor during the first half of the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas Razorbacks

QB: D+

Through the first seven games, QB Brandon Allen has completed less than 50 percent of his passes. The SEC season has been even worse for Allen. In the first three league games, the first-year starter is 38-of-89 for 476 yards, 3 TDs (all against Texas A&M) and 4 INTs. The Razorbacks rank last in the SEC in passing offense.

Rest of offense: C+

Until Arkansas reached the SEC portion of its schedule, RB Alex Collins appeared to be on track for a potentially record-setting true freshman season. His production slowed considerably once the competition stiffened. Still, it’s easy to see why Razorbacks coaches were thrilled to get his commitment. The line has been exposed against more talented defenses.

Defense: D+

Against BCS opponents this season, the Razorbacks allowed at least 28 points in each game. SEC opponents, including Florida, scored 30 points or more against Arkansas. That’s with two of the best defensive linemen in the SEC in DEs Chris Smith and Trey Flowers. LB Jarrett Lake has been one of the most prolific tacklers in the nation.

Overall: D

For first-year coach Bret Bielema to lead Arkansas to a bowl game in Year 1, the Razorbacks need to upset at least three of the remaining five SEC West opponents. At least winnable games against Auburn and Mississippi State are at home. Bielema prefers a hard-nosed, ball-control style capable of beating opponents into submission. He simply doesn’t have the personnel on either side of the ball right now.

Offensive Spotlight: WR Javontee Herndon

With Arkansas desperately looking for something in the passing game, Herndon could be a much-needed answer. The senior started the season hot with 143 yards and 3 TDs in his first two games. Since then, though, he has just 145 receiving yards and 1 TD over five contests.

Defensive Spotlight: DE Chris Smith

Though much of Arkansas’ team has underachieved in recent weeks, Smith has been a steadying presence for the Razorbacks. The junior has racked up a league-best 6 sacks as part of his 8 TFLs. He is one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the conference this season.

Topics: Arkansas Razorbacks, SEC

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