Samford at Arkansas – What They’re Saying


Samford at Arkansas

Samford at Arkansas:

The Razorback football game against the Samford Bulldogs is in the books with a 10-point win for the Hogs 31-21. Here is a wrap up of what sportswriters and analysts had to say about the game.

Rant Sports calls Alex Collins the best freshman running back in the nation:

Arkansas has the best freshman running back in the country in Alex Collins, and he could be the best running back in the illustrious history of Arkansas running backs when his Razorback career comes to an end in three or four years.

Collins was the No. 1 rated running back according to 247Sports last year, and the 5-foot-11, 205-pound back with 4.4 speed is off to a scintillating start with 303 yards through his first two college games. With his performance Saturday, Collins became the first Arkansas running back to have more than 100-yards in his first two games.

Collins likely won’t average 150 yards per game when conference play starts, but he certainly can sustain an average of more than 100 yards for the 12-game schedule. Collins should be ahead of the pace McFadden set as a freshman, but his true test will come in his sophomore and junior years.

If Collins produces 1,300 yards as a freshman, he will need to average 1,645 yards the next two seasons to break McFadden’s record, and I’m assuming he’ll leave for the NFL draft after his junior season as most running backs do. This may be getting a bit optimistic two games into the career of Collins, who would need to stay healthy and avoid serious injury, but it’s hard not to get excited when you see him display his talent on the gridiron.

He is the most exciting player in Arkansas since McFadden, and we could be saying he is the most exciting player in Arkansas history in three years.’s David Ching says:

Welcome back: Through two weeks, seven SEC programs are off to a 2-0 start. Included in that bunch are four of the five teams that failed to reach a bowl game last season: Auburn, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas. Enjoy it while it lasts, though, guys. Tennessee faces Oregon and Florida in the next two games. Auburn gets Mississippi State and LSU in the next two weeks. Arkansas draws Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama in a four-week stretch before long. And Missouri faces Vanderbilt, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina in October alone. In other words, the road’s going to get bumpy soon once they jump into conference play, and they can’t feast on the Samfords, Arkansas States and Toledos of the college football world.

Tommy Craft of ESPN Arkansas writes:

When it counted in the 4thquarter Arkansas was the better team.

Samford is likely better than we all gave them credit for all week leading up to the game, and now we all know for sure that Arkansas has a lot  more work to do than we all had hoped following the Louisiana win last week.


Arkansas racked up 458 net yards to Samford’s 231.


Tailbacks Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins combined for 298 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.


This was a bit of a surprise. Bret Bielema’s squad looked polished in Week 1, but may have been looking past the Bulldogs tonight. We’ll know much more after next week’s game against Southern Miss. The Razorbacks don’t face an SEC foe until Week 5 against Texas A&M, so there’s time to work out some kinks.

The Unstoppable Alex Collins, from Reuters:

Arkansas 31, Samford 21: Alex Collins was unstoppable in the third and fourth quarters and finished with 172 yards, allowing the host Razorbacks to hold off upset-minded Samford in a non-conference game.

And here is how the game was reported from Samford:

The Samford football team took a four-point lead into the fourth quarter, but Arkansas came back to win in the final period, 31-21, Saturday night at War Memorial Stadium.

“I’m proud of our football team,” Samford assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Bill D’Ottavio said. “Our kids fought hard the whole game. They played hard, they didn’t back down. No one gave them a chance coming in here, but they believed they could win this football game.”

D’Ottavio filled in for Samford head coach Pat Sullivan again, who is recovering from back surgery.

“Arkansas is a good football team and they played really well down the stretch,” D’Ottavio said. “They made the plays to beat us and you have to give them the credit. I thought their coaches did a great job of adjusting, and they ended up beating us, but I am really proud of our football team.”

The Samford offense was led by senior running back Fabian Truss, rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Andy Summerlincompleted 19-of-28 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Kelsey Popecaught three passes for 29 yards, while senior tight end Zeke Walters had two catches for 20 yards and a score.

Defensively for Samford, senior linebacker Justin Shade had 10 tackles, including Samford’s lone sack of the game. Shade also forced two fumbles in the game. Bobby Wilson also had 10 tackles for the Bulldogs. Trey Wesley had nine tackles and two fumble recoveries.

For Arkansas, Alex Collins rushed 24 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Williams had 17 rushes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Allen completed 9-of-17 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

Arkansas scored on its first possession of the game, driving 75 yards for the game’s opening score. Allen hit Mitchell Loewen for a 24-yard touchdown with 12:02 to go in the first quarter. Zack Hocker added the extra point to give the Razorbacks a 7-0 lead.

Arkansas struck again on its next drive. Allen connected with Javontee Herndon for a seven-yard touchdown, and Hocker’s extra point made the score 14-0 with 7:36 left in the opening quarter.

Samford put its first points on the scoreboard late in the first quarter. Pope scored on a two-yard run with 1:36 to go in the first quarter, and Warren Handrahan added the extra point to cut the Arkansas lead to 14-7. The scoring play capped a 75-yard drive that took six minutes off the clock for the Bulldogs’ first points of the contest.

Arkansas added to its lead on its first drive of the second quarter. Hocker kicked a 53-yard field goal to push the Razorbacks’ lead to 17-7 with 11:54 left in the second quarter. The teams headed to halftime with Arkansas holding a 17-7 advantage.

Samford put the first points of the second half on the scoreboard when Summerlin hit Walters for a two-yard touchdown pass with 11:22 to go in the third quarter. Handrahan’s extra point brought Samford to within three points at 17-14. The drive was set up when Wesley recovered an Arkansas fumble, giving Samford the ball at the Razorbacks’ 24-yard line.

The Bulldogs took the lead with just over five minutes to go in the third quarter. Truss ran for a 16-yard touchdown, and Handrahan’s PAT gave Samford a 21-17 lead with 5:09 left in the third quarter.

Arkansas took the lead again on the third play of the fourth quarter. Williams scored on a one-yard run with 13:38 to go in the fourth quarter. Hocker’s extra point gave the Razorbacks a 24-21 lead. Arkansas added to its lead when Alex Collins scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 9:04 left in the game. Hocker’s PAT made the score 31-21.

As a team, Samford finished with 231 yards of total offense, compared to 458 for Arkansas. The Razorbacks committed two turnovers in the game, both on fumbles, while Samford did not commit a turnover.

With the loss, Samford drops to 1-1 on the young season. Arkansas improves to 2-0 with the win.

Samford will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 14, when the Bulldogs travel to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the Florida A&M Rattlers. Kickoff for the game is set for 1 p.m. (CT).

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