[title_box title=”Saturday’s player of the game: Alex Collins”]
After an excruciating loss to Florida in Gainesville a week ago, Tennessee suffered a 24-20 heartbreaking defeat against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday. In front of a wet crowd of 101,265, the Vols yet again squandered a double-digit lead.
Tennessee started the game with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Evan Berry, his second of the year, on their way to scoring 14 points in the first seven minutes. But the Vols did very little to adjust to Arkansas’ ground-and-pound style of play, allowing 275 yards rushing to the Hogs. Leading the way for the Hogs and garnering player of the week honors was star running back Alex Collins.
The junior running back and future NFL draft pick continued his stellar year with 154 yards on 27 attempts and added two scores in the process. This was his third straight 150-yard game, joining fellow running backs Darren McFadden and Knile Davis as the only Arkansas players to do so.
Without his counterpart, Jonathan Williams, who underwent left foot surgery in preseason camp, Collins has been expected to carry the load for the Razorback offense. He has risen to the occasion, averaging 5.8 yards per carry this year.
With his bulky frame at 215 pounds and his complementary speed, Collins was able to wear down Tennessee’s defensive front, especially in the second half where Arkansas had the ball for all but eight minutes. This was the key for Arkansas to break their three-game losing streak. Now, they look to continue that momentum in Tuscaloosa next week against Alabama.
As for Tennessee, there are more questions than answers at this point in the season. The Vols will try to resolve some of those as they welcome SEC East rival Georgia on Saturday.
The game will be featured on CBS at 3:30 ET.
Edited by Cody McClure
Dominic is in his second year writing on staff at TNJN. Along with being a staff writer, he also covers the UT men's basketball beat. He is currently a senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media. Follow him @dominiclobianco on Twitter!