1. Road Warriors: Arkansas isn’t playing a power conference opponent this week. But coach Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks know they’ll face a big challenge in Northern Illinois.

1. Road Warriors: Arkansas isn’t playing a power conference opponent this week. But coach Bret Bielema and the Razorbacks know they’ll face a big challenge in Northern Illinois.


"They play extremely hard," Bielema said. "There’s an edge to them. They play in every phase of the game – offense, defense, special teams - with an edge to them that is very, very apparent, I think even to the naked eye to see that it’s very, very real."


The Huskies, who are members of the Mid-American Conference, have won 11 or more games in each of the past four seasons. The Huskies also have two MAC championships (2011 and 2012) during the stretch and the 2012 success led to an invitation to the Orange Bowl, where they lost to Florida State 31-10.


But there’s something even more impressive about Northern Illinois. The program carries an NCAA-best, 17-game road win streak into Razorback Stadium.


Northern Illinois extended the streak with a 48-34 win at UNLV last Saturday. The Huskies beat Northwestern 23-15 a week earlier. Northern Illinois hasn’t lost a road game since 2011 and the streak includes a 3-0 mark against the Big Ten.


"I don’t know that there’s something you can go ahead and say," Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey said about the success. "There’s no magical dust we wave on our heads when we go on the road. … Life of MAC teams, you play on the road quite a bit. Last year we had seven. This year we have seven again. I think confidence comes from repetition. Whether that’s football in practice or going on the road. We have a lot of repetition of going on the road. I think that breeds some of the confidence."


It’s no surprise to Bielema. He has kept a close eye on the program for a few years.


Bielema led Wisconsin to a 49-7 win against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago during the 2011 season. But Bielema said he’s expecting a big challenge from the Huskies when they travel to Fayetteville this week.


"They’re an extremely confident group," Bielema said. "I mean they - not to steal Pat Hill’s Fresno State philosophy - but any time, any place, anywhere. I think they really buy into that. Dave Doeren, who was a great friend of mine, coached there and I think when we got together during the out of season and talk about things, one of the things that he said was just how much of an edge those kids played with that was installed before he even got there. And it’s very, very evident on film."


2. Collins Earns SEC Honor: Running back Alex Collins was named the SEC’s offense player of the week after rushing for a career-high 212 yards and 2 touchdowns at Texas Tech.


Collins was selected over teammate Jonathan Williams, who rushed for 145 yards and 4 touchdowns. The two combined for 357 yards and 6 scores in the win.


"Both those guys in their own right played extremely well," Bielema said. "Very patient in some of the blocking schemes. Some of those plays were a little bit of a delayed run. To sort it out, and then make some yards after contact, were huge."


Bielema said Arkansas couldn’t decide which running back to nominate for the weekly award. So they selected both and let the SEC decide.


Collins was the choice after recording the sixth 100-yard rushing performance of his career. He had a 15-yard touchdown run in the first half, then wrapped up the scoring with a career-long, 84-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.


Both backs have powered an offense that leads the NCAA in yards a carry (7.9) and is second in rushing yards (362 yards a game). Collins leads the SEC with 411 rushing yards, while Williams is third (322). Williams has scored an SEC-high six touchdowns and Collins is tied for second with five.


"They’re working well with one another. I think that’s very evident," Bielema said.


3. Uekman Scholarship: Arkansas offensive lineman Luke Charpentier has been named the first recipient of the Garrett Uekman Memorial Endowed Scholarship.


The Garrett Uekman Foundation is awarding the scholarship in memory of the former Arkansas tight end, who died in Nov. 2011. Charpentier — who was in Little Rock for the announcement Monday — was in the same signing class as Uekman.


"Garrett was somebody very close to me," Charpentier said, according to an Arkansas news release. "We came to Arkansas together in the same recruiting class and he was like a brother that I never had. I’m honored that I’m receiving this scholarship. It means the world to me."


Bielema said he was informed Charpentier was being selected as the first recipient week ago and called it a "tremendous honor" for the senior, who started the first two games of the season at left guard. Bielema told Charpentier he was being recognized last Monday and said it was "cool to watch his reaction."


"When the Foundation first made the pledge almost two years ago, they had some concern that they may not be able to fully fund the scholarship in the five year timeline established," said Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, who was in attendance in Little Rock. "However, thanks to their hard work and the generosity of many throughout Arkansas and around the nation, we are proud to be presenting the inaugural scholarship this year to Garrett’s close friend and roommate Luke Charpentier. Luke is an outstanding young man and a most deserving selection of this special scholarship carrying on the legacy of Garrett Uekman."


4. Extra Points


• Bielema handed out most valuable player awards for the second straight week Monday. The five recipients were Williams, Collins and left guard Sebastian Tretola (offense), linebacker Martrell Spaight (defense) and long snapper Alan D’Appollonio (special teams).


• The Arkansas/Texas A&M game in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 27 has been selected for a CBS broadcast with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. It will be Arkansas’ first appearance on CBS this season. Texas A&M won 45-33 in Fayetteville last season.


• Nicholls State coach Charlie Stubbs, whose team lost at Arkansas 73-7 two weeks ago, resigned Sunday because of health reasons. His team was coming off a 27-10 loss to Henderson State. Bielema said he was made aware of Stubbs’ decision to resign Monday. "I’ll definitely reach out to him and wish him the best with everything that he’s going through right now," Bielema said.


• Bielema said the Razorbacks got through the Texas Tech game without any significant injuries. "Our guys were really, came out of it pretty healthy and showed up on Sunday ready to work," Bielema said.


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau