1. Bielema Remembers Kingsbury: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s first encounter with Kliff Kingsbury came in the 2001 Alamo Bowl.

1. Bielema Remembers Kingsbury: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema’s first encounter with Kliff Kingsbury came in the 2001 Alamo Bowl.


Bielema was a young linebackers coach on Kirk Ferentz’s staff at Iowa, while Kingsbury was a record-setting quarterback in coach Mike Leach’s offense at Texas Tech. The Hawkeyes kept Texas Tech’s Air Raid offense in check during a 19-16 win, but Bielema still remembers Kingsbury’s performance.


"The checks and the calls and the things that he did in Mike’s system were very impressive," Bielema said Monday. "A very good player who has now developed into an outstanding football coach."


Bielema and Kingsbury will meet again when Arkansas and Texas Tech renew their Southwest Conference rivalry in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday. The 35-year-old Kingsbury is now in his second season as Texas Tech’s head coach, running an offense that Bielema said resembles the one he used to guide to big numbers.


"There’s a lot of things predicated, obviously, on the up tempo, the passing game, certain things they’ll do in the run game off the look that they want to run to," Bielema said about the similarities. "A lot of really, really good things that come from a couple good plans and good coaching."


Texas Tech is producing much like it did when Kingsbury was under center.


The Red Raiders average 570 yards (11th in the NCAA), including 365 through the air, after two weeks. Those numbers rank 11th and ninth, respectively in the NCAA.


Kingsbury — who worked with Johnny Manziel during his Heisman Trophy season at Texas A&M in 2012 — is getting plenty of production from another quarterback. Sophomore Davis Webb threw for 730 yards and 7 touchdowns in wins against Central Arkansas and UTEP, leading the Red Raiders to two wins.


So Bielema said it’s no secret the Razorbacks must slow down Kingsbury’s version of the Air Raid offense.


But he said it’s not simply up to the defense to accomplish it.


"Your offensive philosophy has to tie into your defensive philosophy and both of those have to tie into your kicking game," Bielema said. "Obviously, the more that we can monopolize the clock and the more efficiently we can operate and do certain things, it’s only going to help our defense. But, bottom line … when Texas Tech’s offense is out there against our defense, it really doesn’t matter what happened on offense. It’s how we perform out there and how we are able to defend them."


The game will be the first between the programs since they were conference foes in 1991. It also will be the first time in Bielema’s nine season as a head coach he was faced a Big 12 team.


So Bielema said it’s "kind of cool" to renew the old SWC rivalry and "get a feel for the Big 12" on Saturday.


"Nobody in the generation of players that I’m coaching have been in that rivalry, but I know it means a lot to the people in the stands," Bielema said. "I’m excited. … I think they’ve got a good football team that is waiting to hit on all cylinders, and we’re going to go over there on Saturday hopefully playing our best football."


2. Injury Updates: Bielema believes Arkansas will have nearly everyone available for Texas Tech.


Running back Korliss Marshall (undisclosed reasons), defensive end Deatrich Wise (knee), linebacker Randy Ramsey (ankle), safety De’Andre Coley (hamstring), safety Davyon McKinney (heel) and receiver Jojo Robinson (leg) missed the Nicholls State win. Bielema believes all six should be ready, although Wise may be limited this week because of the injury he first suffered in camp.


"We might limit him a little bit in practice right now, and I’m not saying he’s going to go out there and play 60 snaps, but he should be involved with us," Bielema said.


Bielema said cornerback Tevin Mitchel (hamstring) isn’t ready to return and is on track to miss his third straight game Saturday. Bielema said last week redshirting Mitchel was a possibility and mentioned it once again Monday.


"We’re getting to that point to be quite honest where the redshirt thing really becomes a tangible issue right now, to see where he’s at," Bielema said. "I know he’s gotten closer. He’s probably as close as he’s ever been this week. But as of right now, he’s not involved in that game plan and if he’s not involved in this next week’s game plan then it’d probably be a decision to redshirt unless something catastrophic happens at corner."


3. Jefferson’s Two Numbers: Arkansas offensive lineman Cameron Jefferson wore two numbers Saturday.


The senior came out to the field for pregame work wearing No. 79, but switched to No. 89 before kickoff. He went back to the No. 79 jersey to play the second half.


The number change was necessary in Arkansas’ plan to play Jefferson at fullback and tight end in some offensive formations Saturday. The No. 79 is not an eligible number to play off the line of scrimmage in college football.


"What he basically did is he warmed up in No. 79, which we’ve done in the past," Bielema said. "I’ve done this for years. He started off in his O-line (number). When we came in from warmups he flipped to 89 and our goal was to use him in the first half as a tight end. And then in the second half when we knew we wanted to get tackle reps he basically switched back to the 79."


It may not be the last time Jefferson wears both numbers. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said the Razorbacks liked what they saw from Jefferson in his new role.


"We think Cameron has earned the right to get on the field a little bit," Chaney said. "And I’ve been looking for a little more mass at that position. So we asked Cameron if he’d be happy to do it and he said he would. I think it helped out. I look for us to stay with that package a little bit and just see how we can evolve it."


4. Extra Points


• Arkansas’ win left Bielema with an opportunity to announce his most valuable players for the first time in nearly a year. He recognized guard Denver Kirkland (offense), nose guard Taiwan Johnson (defense), tight end Jeremy Sprinkle and linebackers Dwayne Eugene and Khalia Hackett (special teams) for their performances Saturday. Bielema only announces players of the week after wins.


• Bielema also announced Monday that he has awarded two players with scholarships this season: Fullback Patrick Arinze and receiver Scotty Thurman Jr. Bielema announced last summer that Arinze was being put on scholarship. Thurman, who is the son of former Arkansas basketball star Scotty Thurman, has been awarded in his third season with the program. "He had just done so well academically and on the field," Bielema said of Thurman. "Gives us everything he’s got every day at practice, and I thought it would be cool to reward him."


• Kickoff time for the Arkansas-Northern Illinois game on Sept. 20 has been set for 6 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU. It will be the first meeting between the programs since 1994, when Arkansas beat Northern Illinois 30-27.


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau