Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
RB Alex Collins
It's hard to believe Alex Collins having a bigger role than he did after a record-breaking freshman season, but he is going to see his work load increase in his second year.
Collins started off 2013 on a tear, becoming the first freshman back in SEC history to rush for over 100 yards in each of his first three games. However, Bielema chose to protect his young asset's legs and body by reducing his carries as the season wore on.
After carrying the ball at least 20 times in his first three games, Collins never had more than 18 attempts the last nine games. In the last three games, he had a combined 31 carries for an average of 10.3 per game.
It was no surprise to see Bielema opt to keep Collins' future in his mind by reducing his carries as time went on. Anyone who follows football knows that preserving young running backs' longevity by limiting their number of carries is what a lot of coaches do, especially with big-time talents like Collins.
But you can expect his attempts to go up during his sophomore year.
Collins averaged 15.8 rushes per game in 2013. That number won't increase a lot because of fellow back Jonathan Williams, who will get his fair share of carries, but it could be anywhere from 18 to 20 a game in 2014.
There's just too much going for Collins to not give him more carries in his second season. His ball-carrying vision is well advanced for a back his age, and he has the ability to run over defenders with power or scoot by them with his quick feet and strong juke moves.
You should also see the Hogs use Collins more around the goal line and run the ball more in general when threatening. Arkansas had just 14 rushing touchdowns all last season, and Collins had only four. If the Razorbacks want to win games, they must play to their strengths.
With a big, physical offensive line and talented backs, the Hogs need to run the ball more when they are inside the red zone. That means giving the ball to Collins and Williams, who also had just four touchdowns, a lot more.
With one of the best backs in the country, Bielema knows that having the ball in the hands of Collins more is going to give his team a better shot at winning games. He is only going to get better, and his role is only going to get bigger.