Arkansas running game ready to explode against Penn State

·1 min read

The difference between confident and cocky is all about the delivery. Arkansas’ running game has a reason to be either.

For now, the Hogs are confident. And why not. Arkansas has the No. 12 rushing attack in the nation after averaging more than 217 yards a game on the ground during the regular season.

Combine that with Penn State’s loss of four defensive starters because of opt-outs and starting Hogs running back Dominique Johnson thinks he and his mates have a big opportunity in the Outback Bowl against the Nittany Lions on New Year’s Day.

“I’m very confident coming into this game, knowing that I have the other backs behind me,” he said. “I feel like we’re going to come in and dominate this game just because of all the talent we have in that room.”

Anyone who may try to glean how good the Razorbacks are by simply looking at individual totals are going to be misled. Trelon Smith, the starter for about three-quarters of the season, leads the team with 592 yards. It’s the lowest individual total for a team leader since Broderick Green ran for 443 yards in 2009.

But look closer and it makes more sense. Just behind Smith is quarterback KJ Jefferson with 554 yards. Rocket Sanders has 499. Johnson has 498. Even freshman AJ Green chipped in 201 yards. Arkansas has the sort of balance few teams in college football can manage.

“We all run the ball a different way, all different styles,” Johnson said. “I don’t think as a defense you can prepare for all the different run styles we bring to the table, so I feel that’s a plus for us.”