In the second game of his young career, Arkansas freshman running back Alex Collins rushed for a game high 172 yards on a game high 24 carries for one touchdown. That performance was enough to earn Collins recognition as the the 247Sports True Freshman of the Week.
Collins has rushed for over 300 yards combined in his first two games.
The output didn’t exactly come against an SEC heavyweight but it was no less needed. In a 31-21 win over FCS Samford, the Razorbacks needed every bit of those 172 yards to recover from a fourth quarter deficit en route to the win.
Trailing 21-17 in the 3rd quarter, Arkansas took over with 5:09 left in the period at its own 25-yard line. Over the next 14 plays, Collins rushed 6 times including a 21-yard gain inside the 10-yard line to set up the go-ahead score by starting running back Jonathan Williams.
The Razorbacks wouldn’t relinquish that lead. After a Samford three-and-out, Collins struck again with a 55-yard run that set up another score, this one his own. In the two game-clinching drives, Collins rushed for 102 of his 172 yards on nine carries.
The performance was Collins’ second 100-yard rushing effort in as many weeks, following up his 131-yard showing in the first week of the season in a win against Louisiana-Lafayette. That feat puts Collins in the record book as the first Arkansas true freshman to rush for over 100 yards in each of his first two games.
With Bret Bielema’s track record depending on running backs, Collins is likely to have many more 100-yard games to come.
247Sports went against the grain in naming Collins the top back in the nation for the class of 2013. The rest of the industry wasn’t far behind. He was the No. 5 running back in the industry-generated 247Composite
Collins signed with Arkansas out of Plantation (Fla.) South Plantation. He chose the Razorbacks over Miami after building a strong relationship with Bret Bielema and his staff dating back to its time at Wisconsin. In Collins, Bielema landed his first signature recruit as an SEC recruiter and already he looks to be the type of back that can be the focal point of the Razorback offense for years to come.
Also considered: Cameron Sutton, Tennessee, 4 tackles and an interception returned for a touchdown in a win over Western Kentucky; Jared Goff, California, threw for over 400 yards for the second consecutive game in a 37-30 win over Portland State; Christian Hackenberg, Penn State, threw for over 300 yards in a win over Eastern Michigan; Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech, had 433 yards of total offense in the first half during a win over Stephen F. Austin.
Week 1 – Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech