3 Things You Should Know about the Arkansas Razorbacks
The Alabama Crimson Tide hits the road for their third SEC game of the season Saturday evening against Arkansas.
While Alabama is 5-0 and has a nine-game winning streak against the Razorbacks, Arkansas is experiencing their best start to a season since 2011. The Razorbacks are 4-1 overall but are still searching for their first conference win of the season.
Coming into an important game for both teams, here are three things that you should know about the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Austin Allen’s Productivity
When you think about the top quarterbacks in the SEC, names like Chad Kelly, Trevor Knight and Josh Dobbs come to mind for the average person. However, when you look at the statistical leaders in the conference, a newcomer appears at or the near the top of multiple categories.
Junior Austin Allen ranks at the top of the SEC in quarterback rating (167.69), second in completion percentage (.676) and yards per attempt (8.86 yards/attempt), fourth in passing touchdowns (12), passing yards (1,232) and pass completions (94).
Allen has thrown for two or more touchdowns in every game this season. If Allen throws for multiple touchdowns against Alabama, he’ll be the first quarterback in Razorbacks history to start a season with two more touchdown passes in a game through the first six games of a season.
The junior from Fayetteville, Arkansas, has also done a magnificent job of protecting the football. Allen has not thrown an interception in his last 120 pass attempts.
Underrated Big Play Receivers
During the Bret Bielema’s tenure, Arkansas has developed a reputation for physical rushing attacks on offense. In addition to Brandon Allen, a handful of receivers have added a new dimension offensively for the Razorbacks.
Concerning yards per reception, two of the top four receivers in the SEC belong to Arkansas. Senior Keon Hatcher is second in the conference with 20.1 yards/catch while junior Jared Cornelius is fourth in the SEC with an average of 18.7 yards per catch. Both Hatcher and Cornelius rank in the top 10 of the SEC in receiving yards per game with Hatcher sixth with 70.3 yards/game and Cornelius tenth in the league with a 65.5 yards/game average.
Hatcher also has the knack for making receptions at the right time. Of his 14 catches this season, 11 have resulted in first downs while nine of his receptions have resulted in plays of 15 yards or more.
Dan Skipper the Kick Blocking Specialist
Senior Dan Skipper anchors the Arkansas offensive line at left tackle, but you may not be fully aware of his ability to block kicks. Skipper has blocked two kicks this season including TCU’s last second field goal attempt that would have won them the football game in regulation. The senior left tackle also blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt last week against Alcorn State.
In his career, the 6-10, 319 pound lineman from Arvada, Colorado, has seven career blocked kicks and is three blocked kicks away from setting a new FBS career record.