Opponent Scouting Report: Arkansas Razorbacks Offense, Position-By-Position

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Oct 12, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Alex Collins (3) runs with the ball during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. South Carolina defeated Arkansas 52-7. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

The running back position is easily the biggest strength of this team.

Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins are one of the best duos in the SEC, if not the nation after rushing for 900 and 1,026 yards last season, respectively. Those numbers put them both in the league’s top ten in rushing yards, but they struggled to find the end zone with only four touchdowns apiece.

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Williams is a junior, and should technically be considered the starter. He is a big, sturdy back listed at 6-foot and 223 pounds. Williams had 150 carries last season and averaged six yards per attempt. He also caught seven passes for 72 yards, two of which were touchdowns.

On most teams, Williams would be asked to do more, but he’ll have to share the load with AP SEC Freshman of the year, Alex Collins and speedster Korliss Marshall. Because of the Razorbacks’ depth at running back, Williams should be able to stay fresh and he may eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in 2014.

Collins is the fourth leading returning rusher in the SEC and carried the bulk of the load for the Razorbacks last season. He led the squad with 190 carries, and could have even more in 2014. Collins led the nation in rushing among freshmen in 2013.

Sep 28, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Jonathan Williams (32) rushes against the Texas A&M Aggies at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Texas A&M defeated Arkansas 45-33. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

He had over 100 yards in each of his first three games, making Collins the first freshman in SEC history to do so and the country’s first true freshman to achieve that distinction since Adrian Peterson.

The Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native ran for an average of 85.5 yards per game last season and 5.4 yards per carry. However, against SEC opponents, he averaged only 68.1 per contest. Collins also had 63 receiving yards on eleven receptions.

Like Williams, Collins is solidly built. He is listed at 5-foot-11 and 216 pounds and has shown good vision and quickness, but is not a true home run hitter. Korliss Marshall, on the other hand, is.

Marshall is the fastest player on the Arkansas roster. He excelled as a kick returner, but saw some action in the backfield last season as well. The sophomore is a former safety that only carried the ball 17 times in 2013, but he ran for 146 yards – an 8.6 average. Expect Marshall to get more work in 2014, perhaps in the passing game as offensive coordinator Jim Chaney looks to make the most of his talented running back trio.

Kody Walker will start at fullback for the Hogs, who operate primarily from 21 personnel (two backs, one tight end). Walker is primarily a blocker, but is athletic enough to carry the football in short yardage situations or as a receiver out of the backfield.