Gimme Five — Keys to today’s game


1. Start Strong

Arkansas is aware of the FCS vs. FBS statistics from week one. The Razorbacks know an upset can happen. But Arkansas also knows it can squash Samford’s upset hopes with a strong start tonight. So the goal: Bury the Bulldogs in the first quarter.

2. Lean On Your Line

The Arkansas offensive line was dominant in its debut last Saturday, setting a physical tone in the trenches against ULL. The improved front wants to do it again against the Bulldogs. Similar results will lead to another comfortable win.

3. Sound On Special Teams

Samford could hurt Arkansas on special teams if the Razorbacks aren’t prepared tonight. Especially Fabian Truss. The running back returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a TD and had a 46-yard punt return in the win against Georgia State.

4. Turn Up The Heat

Arkansas’ defense enjoyed a nice debut in collecting four sacks against an offense that had allowed just 13 in 2012. Trey Flowers, Chris Smith and the rest of the Razorbacks’ front want to put even more heat on Samford’s offensive front.

5. Avoid Sloppy Play

Turnovers and penalties are always prominent to upsets. Sloppy play can make a big favorite like the Razorbacks struggle. Arkansas was pretty smooth in its opener (one turnover, four penalties) and knows it must avoid those costly miscues once again.

TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP

Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams (6-0, 222, So.)

Key Statistics: 18 carries, 151 yards, TD vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

The sophomore showed his durability in the opener, shaking off a second quarter shoulder stinger to return in the second half and enjoy the SEC’s second-best rushing performance of the week. It included a 75-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter, when Williams started to his right, cut back left and outran defenders to the end zone. Williams should continue to get plenty of help from freshman Alex Collins tonight, but the back remains the Razorbacks’ No. 1 threat on the ground as they work toward another dominant rushing performance.

Samford LB Justin Shade (5-10, 229, Sr.)

Key Statistics: 6 tackles, PBU in win against Georgia State

Shade is wearing No. 5 after being named the ninth recipient of the Charles Williams Memorial Jersey, which is given to one of Samford’s senior leaders each season. The middle linebacker is at the heart of a defense facing a big task tonight. Arkansas ran at ease against Louisiana-Lafayette and intends to do the same against the Bulldogs in War Memorial Stadium. Arkansas should have no trouble blocking Samford’s front, leaving Shade and the rest of linebackers to play a key role in keeping leading rusher Jonathan Williams from turning minimal gains into game-breaking plays.

EDGE: Arkansas RB Jonathan Williams