The Arkansas Razorbacks are nine games through the 2014 football season with just a 4-5 record, but have been to the brink with the nation’s best teams.
Let’s take a deeper look at who has been the best and worst for the Hogs thus far.
The Best –
Nov 1, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Jonathan Williams carries the ball against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs defeat the Razorbacks 17-10. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Williams – There’s no doubt running back Jonathan Williams has been one of the best for the Hogs. Williams came into the season unsure if he’d be the team’s premier running back. However, he’s turned heads as coaches continue to feed the junior the pigskin. Williams has 877 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. He’s averaging 6.4 yards per carry, 97.4 yards per game and leads the team in all-purpose yards. His hard work and determination has led to some electrifying runs where he’s pounded defenses into the endzone. Williams gets a huge vote from me!
Hunter Henry – Next, tight end Hunter Henry should get everyone’s vote thus far. Henry has been a bulldozer of a blocker and an enormous threat to opposing defenses. He currently has 26 catches for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns and has been an even bigger contributor than the numbers. For weeks now, Henry has been drawing double teams because many opponents can’t cover him with just their linebacker. It’s hard to believe Hunter is only a true sophomore. The future looks bright.
Trey Flowers – Last, but not least, defensive end Trey Flowers has been wreaking havoc in the backfield all season. Flowers has 46 tackles, 9.5 for a loss and 2 sacks. He’s also added 1 forced fumble, knocked down 4 passes and hurried the quarterback 5 times. The senior defensive end doesn’t need the numbers to tell you what a force he’s been though. Play after play, Flowers is seen chasing the quarterback from the pocket. You’ll be missed Trey!
The Worst –
Brandon Allen – As you probably know, I’ve been a huge supporter of Fayetteville native Brandon Allen, but he’s been one of the Hogs worst players so far this season. The year started out promising for the junior quarterback, but a significant decline in production and confidence has loomed in SEC play. Allen’s statistics don’t look too bad as he’s thrown for 15 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions, but the decision making and crucial throws in the fourth quarter has fans reeling about his ability. Can we please see the Brandon Allen that started the first four games for Arkansas in 2014?
John Henson – Hog fans weren’t sure what to expect from the kicker position after the departure of Zach Hocker, but we certainly didn’t expect it to lose us games. Henson is only 2 for 4 on field goals this season and has had two extra points blocked, one of which lost the game to Alabama by a final of 14-13. He’s also been passed up numerous times on makeable attempts. Henson has also attempted 7 kickoffs and only landed 1 for a touchback. Let’s hope Adam McFain keeps up the good work.
Most Surprising –
Sep 20, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Northern Illinois University Huskies quarterback Drew Hare (12) looks to make a pass under pressure from Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker Martrell Spaight (47) during a game at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated NIU 52-14. Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports
Martrell Spaight – What a huge surprise this was for Razorback Nation! Spaight has been a tackling machine under new defensive coordinator Robb Smith. The new system could’ve been exactly what Spaight was looking for in his time at Arkansas. He leads the Hogs with an incredible 87 tackles, almost doubling the 51 tackles of our second leading tackler. He’s also added 5.5 tackles for a loss and 1 interception. Spaight has been a tremendous player and honestly a shock to me. His thunderous hits and tackling ability has helped move Arkansas’ total defense rankings from 73rd in 2013 to 44th this season.
AJ Derby – What else could you possibly say about this kid? Derby has been an amazing story this season. He’s a senior tight end that started his career at Iowa. Then, he played his junior season as the backup quarterback at Arkansas. Now, he’s the team’s second tight end and has flourished at the opportunity. Derby has 17 catches for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns and probably the play of the year for the Hogs when he caught a pass for 54 yards, breaking two Alabama tackles to score a touchdown. I wish you could come back for another year AJ.
Biggest Disappointment –
Korliss Marshall – In five games, Marshall has only 116 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. This was a guy who came into the season as the starting running back. Marshall has been a real disappointment to me personally and now has been suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules. Marshall is a significant loss to the team as he’s “the most explosive” player on the roster.