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Arkansas vs UAB: Final Grades

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Back on track!

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback(s)

Brandon Allen had to have taken a deep sigh of relief this week with UAB next up on the schedule. Brandon enjoyed his "day off" against UAB. He looked poised and confident behind his line for the first time in weeks. He had a great game, forced no throws and had the type of stats Bielema wants from his quarterback (15 of 24, 205 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions). It would appear that the sweet spot for passing attempts is right around 25. Any more than that and the things start getting dicey. Credit to the Hogs for not letting a team like UAB catch them napping.

However, the real story is Sebastian Tretola! Who knew we had talent like this blocking for Allen? The question I pose to you, though, is who do you think gets put in at QB first: AJ Derby, or Sebastian Tretola?

Grade: B+

Running Backs

In a weekend when some running back at Nebraska was setting records, Hog fans were witnessing the Jonathan Williams show. J-Will averaged a measly 8.5 yards a carry while gouging UAB for 154 yards, a career high. I really hope we get 4 years out of this fella. I would certainly love to see him up for the Doak Walker Award next year!

Finally back in the swing of things, Alex Collins seemed to return to form with 83 yards on 15 carries. 5.5 yards per carry means he's back to his old self.

Arkansas had 4 rushers with at least an 11 yard gain, three different backs scored, and they all totaled a cool 288 yards. If I was a high school running back you better believe I'd be at that mailbox everyday looking for that Razorback envelope.

Grade: A

Receivers

Allen did a great job spreading the ball out, and in turn the receivers got what was thrown their way. Tight End U is on its way up after Jeremy Sprinkle earned some recognition with a pretty TD grab. I watched the replay several times just to see him pluck that ball out of the air like that. Great hands! Arkansas is already loaded at tight end, and with the recruiting class looking like it does, the Hogs could make some runs at more Mackey Awards.

I want to make note of the great job our guys did blocking Saturday, as well. It wasn't just the tight ends out there; Keon Hatcher, in addition to leading the team with four receptions, had some excellent blocks at the line, one of which freed Williams for a TD.

Of course, there would be no Sebastian Tretola without an Alan D'Appollonio. Who knew long snappers had such soft hands? I hear he's single, ladies.

Not content to just run the ball, J-Will had 2 receptions for 13 yards and another score. Greedy!

Grade: A

Offensive Line

Another solid effort from this group that had seen better days. It starts up front, and the big boys made sure of that. They got back to their old ways of opening up some serious holes for the running backs. Pass blocking was better too, resulting in BA only getting turfed once.

I was a little upset to hear during the telecast that Pittman had to get onto the players about slacking off. They need to take these games seriously. Sure it's hard to get jazzed about UAB, but it's about building a game mentality, not a single game. We've gone soft in the fourth quarter so many times this year that it needs to be our guys' desire to be nasty in the trenches for 60 minutes straight. Let's hope we can get there and pull off a couple more victories this season.

Grade: A-

Defensive Line

I don't know what to make of the defensive line in this game. Watching the game I couldn't say they were bad. But they had almost no stats. Call them ineffective, I don't like the fact that we didn't record a sack by our linemen. We are in the thick of our schedule and our guys need to be running at top performance. I'll call this one a day off for the line. I get that this was probably a week for them to get their bodies right after 3 brutal games, but really? Taiwan, Flowers, and Philon had 6 total tackles...

Grade: C+

Linebackers

Martrell Spaight had another solid game as the head of the linebackers. He led the team by example with 9 total tackles, another for a loss, and a pass breakup. He's continued to be steady even after the loss of Brooks Ellis.

Ellis, by the way, should be returning for the Mississippi State game this weekend. I would have liked to see him play so he could tune up before the biggest game of the season, but I understand the reason behind not rushing him back. I just hope his body is ready for the Bulldogs.

As a unit, even the linebackers didn't have a GREAT game. They were solid as usual however, which is all we needed against UAB.

Grade: B

Secondary

Jared Collins, take a bow! He led the team with 3 solo tackles, was the only Hog to register a sack, and topped it off with 3 tackles for a loss of 20 yards and a pass breakup! The kid did everything out there. Kudos, Jared, kudos!

He wasn't the only cornerback doing work out there. Carrol Washington was second on the team with 5 total tackles, and Tevin Mitchel, even though didn't record a tackle, had the only forced turnover of the game in an interception and added a pass breakup to boot. You know what no tackles means right? Tevin Island!

Great play by the safeties rounded out this group, aside from one stupid mistake DJ Dean made on the punt return. We won't bring it up again.

Grade: A+

Final Thoughts

The Hogs took care of business in the fashion expected of them. Credit to this team for never letting a poor team bring down their game. A clean game Saturday hopefully means that our guys are prepared and in the zone for MSU. How incredible would it be for Bielema's first SEC win to come on the road against the #1-ranked team!? MSU looked vulnerable this weekend, so let's hope that our Razorbacks smell blood in the water. I can't wait till Saturday night!