Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By STEVE EUBANKS  |  Last updated 9/11/13
After winning his debut game in Fayetteville against Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas coach Brett Bielema admitted that his team was not ready to beat teams in the SEC. A week later, almost everyone in the college football universe agrees. We are the only team in the SEC that plays eight straight games without a bye week, Bielema said after his inaugural victory with the Razorbacks. Our last game of an eight-game stretch is at Alabama, two-time defending national champs. For us to be where we want in eight weeks, we have to get better. The Razorbacks need to improve well before the Oct. 19 trip to Tuscaloosa. They are 2-0, which is better than Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida and Mississippi State, but the Razorback victories have been anything but emphatic. After beating the Ragin Cajuns 34-14, Bielemas team trailed Samford, the Birmingham-based team from the Football Championship Subdivision, 21-17 in the fourth quarter. The Hogs came back to win with two touchdowns in the final minutes, and Bielema has done his best to paint that victory in a positive light, but there are understandable concerns. The way (the players) finished showed me that they could snap back in and show how dominant they can be when theyre playing well, Bielema said after the Samford game. I never was really concerned.I thought our fourth-quarter mentality would kick in. It was just a matter of time. The Hogs have one more week to iron out the wrinkles. They host Southern Mississippi on Saturday, a team that averages an anemic 42.5 rushing yards per game, 1.7 yards per carry. That places the Golden Eagles dead last among 123 FBS teams. If ever a team needed a blow-out win, it is Arkansas. And if ever there was a week to have it, its this one. Warm-ups end on Sunday morning. The Razorbacks' difficult four-game stretch begins Sept. 21 at Rutgers, followed by Texas A&M at home, Florida in the Swamp and South Carolina in Fayetteville, all leading up to the game Bielema mentioned after his first win the trip to Alabama. On the bright side, Bielema could have the best freshman in the conference in Alex Collins, a big runner who reminds observers of Georgias Todd Gurley as season ago and South Carolinas Marcus Lattimore in his freshman year. Collins carried his teammates to victory over Samford in the fourth quarter with six runs on the go-ahead drive, including a 21-yard run to set up a touchdown, and then running over Bulldog defenders late, including a 51-yard run for a touchdown to extend the lead to 10. For his efforts Collins was named SEC Freshman on the Week. Granted, Collins has yet to face anything resembling an SEC-caliber defense, but in two games he has racked up 303 total yards, the most in the conference, and he leads the nation in rushing among freshmen. He and his teammate Jonathan Williamscombined for 298 yards against Samford, and Collins is the first Arkansas freshman to have back-to-back 100-yard efforts in the first two games of his career. They are the reason the Razorbacks lead the SEC in rushing yards per game with a 312.5 average and six yards per carry. Video: CFB Preview: Week 3 Ever since Ive been in the business, to have a one-two punch the way those guys are in there tapping out when theyre tired, the chemistry that weve got going there withKiero Smalland up front on the offensive line is very, very special, Bielema said after the Samford game. Thats the bright side. In the negative column, quarterback Brandon Allen only completed nine passes against Samford for 125 yards. But Bielema said early in the week that he is happy with the struggles and how they fortify his team. I think it builds (character), he said. Now, if we hadnt won the game, it would have rattled their confidence, big time. But I told our coaches on Sunday morning, after watching the film, in my opinion you couldnt have scripted anything better. I know its not laid out the way everybody wanted it, but for meit was as good as you could ask for. And our guys responded with a win.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Caroline Wozniacki fires back at Rory McIlroy, says ‘move on’

Report: Sammy Watkins underwent second foot surgery

Bulls reportedly interested in signing Chris Bosh

Mike McCarthy: Jordy Nelson ‘making progress,’ now dealing with illness

LeBron James bids farewell to President Obama: 'Enjoy retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

There's not much blue about 'Blue' Jays' new all-red uniforms

Bill Belichick’s reaction to Donald Trump shoutout: 'We have a big game'

Report: Bears block 49ers’ move for DC Vic Fangio

Report: Ravens breakout star retiring due to serious injury

Stanley Wilson arrested again while naked, crying in mug shot

Russell Westbrook leads NBA in scoring, averages a triple-double… and will not start in All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Eight bold predictions for second half of NBA season

Ten bold predictions for the NFL Conference Round

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eat, Drink, Watch for Jan. 20-22, 2017: Dips, rye, football and Death Race 2050

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker