1. Ready for the Run: The Arkansas defense had to prepare for an explosive passing offense last week.

1. Ready for the Run: The Arkansas defense had to prepare for an explosive passing offense last week.

The Razorbacks expect to see an offense with a different mentality Saturday night.

"It’s going to be a physical game," Arkansas linebacker Martrell Spaight said. "They like to pride themselves on the run, so this week we’ve really been burying ourselves with the run game and making sure we go out there mentally and physically tough and just prepare for a physical game."

Northern Illinois’ offense has enjoyed plenty of success behind its productive ground game so far this season. The Huskies rank seventh in the NCAA in rushing yards a game (325.3) and are averaging 67 attempts in three wins.

They’ve topped the 200-yard rushing mark in every game, too, and are coming off a 331-yard performance at UNLV. Akeem Daniels led the Huskies in rushing the first two games, compiling 199 yards on 31 attempts. Senior Cameron Stingily — NIU’s leading rusher in 2013 — led the Huskies with 102 yards in last week’s win.

Daniels is "bumped and bruised," according to NIU coach Rod Carey. But Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon said the Huskies have plenty of options.

"They have three guys I’ve seen on film that rotate a lot," Shannon said. "They bounce around. They’ve got a rotation. When they want to grind it out they put the big guy (Stingily) in there and they pound it, pound it. When they want to go to a new situation, want to get some speed on the edge and maybe a little bit of things quick, they get the smaller guys in."

Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith said NIU’s rushing stats "really jump out at you" and the success has made the Huskies a dangerous play-action passing team. He said NIU is doing it all behind an experienced offensive line that is tough and physical. Each starter is either a junior or senior.

But the Razorbacks believe their work against a powerful ground game in practice will pay off as they prepare to face their next test.

"It’s going to be different, but we’re used to it going against our offense all fall camp," Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis said. "It’s nothing we’re not used to."

2. Collins Earns Maxwell Honor: Arkansas running back Alex Collins was named the Maxwell Award’s player of the week after his performance in the 49-28 win at Texas Tech.

Collins rushed for a career-high 212 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, leading an Arkansas ground game that piled up 438 rushing yards. Collins also was named SEC Offensive Player of the week for his efforts in the win.

The sophomore’s 212 rushing yards were the most by an Arkansas player since Darren McFadden tied the SEC record with 321 yards against South Carolina in 2007. It also ranks as the ninth-highest single-game rushing total in school history.

Collins is the first Arkansas player to earn Maxwell player of the week honors. He leads the SEC with 411 rushing yards and has scored five touchdowns. Junior Jonathan Williams has rushed for 322 yards and an SEC-best six touchdowns.

"They’re good players, and any time you can hand the ball to someone you trust is going it give it their all and have a certain amount of talent and physical toughness, you feel pretty good about that," offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said.

3. Marshall Bouncing Back: Arkansas running back Korliss Marshall didn’t get much work at Texas Tech because of some ball security concerns.

But Chaney said the sophomore — who rushed for 13 yards on 5 carries — has been productive on the practice field and should be part of the team’s plans Saturday.

"We felt like when we left the game, that was one of the things we’re still not doing at the rate we’d like to be able to do, is secure the football," Chaney said. "And Korliss had a few of them on the ground, so some of that fell on his shoulders.

"As an individual player and as a coach, we’ve got to do what we can to help Korliss put himself in position to be successful. And he’s got work his hind end off to clear up that mistake. And I feel like he’s done that this week."

4. Extra Points

• Smith said freshman Randy Ramsey has practiced this week and will be part of the rotation at linebacker Saturday. Ramsey played in the season opener, but has missed two straight games because of an ankle injury. "He’s moving around well," Ramsey said. "No ill effects and I thought he was phenomenal all week. He was around the building and really studying the game plan."

• Arkansas DE Trey Flowers was selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS award on Thursday. Flowers was selected as one of 30 candidates for the award that recognizes community, classroom, character and competition.

• Former Arkansas offensive lineman Kenny Sandlin will be the honorary captain for Saturday’s game. Sandlin played for the Razorbacks from 1998-2001 and earned second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press in 2001.

— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau