FAYETTEVILLE — Much of the storyline surrounding Arkansas’ sputtering ground game leading up to Saturday’s game against Alabama-Birmingham had been sophomore Alex Collins’ recent struggles and Korliss Marshall’s suspension.

FAYETTEVILLE — Much of the storyline surrounding Arkansas’ sputtering ground game leading up to Saturday’s game against Alabama-Birmingham had been sophomore Alex Collins’ recent struggles and Korliss Marshall’s suspension.


The other member of the three-back rotation has simply continued to produce.


Junior Jonathan Williams led the Razorbacks to a 45-17 win against UAB on Saturday by rushing for a career-high 153 yards and scoring two touchdowns in Razorback Stadium. Williams was part of a ground game that ran for 273 yards, getting back on track after enduring its recent struggles.


"It was definitely good to see, definitely good to feel," Williams said. "The power running game is kind of our identity and we got it back (Saturday)."


Williams — who ran for 108 yards in the Georgia loss last week — topped the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season in Saturday’s win.


He gave Arkansas the lead with a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, capping the Razorbacks’ first possession. It was his 10th rushing touchdown this season, making Williams the first Arkansas running back to reach double digits in a season since Knile Davis in 2010 (13 rushing touchdowns).


Williams also added his first touchdown catch of the season a few minutes later, grabbing a 17-yarder from Brandon Allen early in the second quarter.


"He’s been very consistent," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. "He’s been that guy since I arrived here. J-Will has been a phenomenal football player."


Williams did have help from Collins, who bounced back from his struggles against Alabama and Georgia. Collins — who was limited to 44 yards in the two losses — ran for 82 yards on 15 carries against UAB.


Collins scored his ninth rushing touchdown on a 3-yard run in the first quarter.


"Alex came around a little bit," Bielema said. "I’d like to see him finish a little bit better."


Toliver, Ellis Out


Arkansas played without two defensive starters — linebacker Brooks Ellis and cornerback Henre’ Toliver — on Saturday. Both were out with injuries.


Ellis missed his second straight game because of a bruised knee, while Toliver couldn’t play after suffering a knee injury against Georgia. Josh Williams started his second straight game at middle linebacker, while D.J. Dean started at cornerback.


"Brooks Ellis worked out (Saturday) morning, is looking real well, so I think we’ll have him back in there next week," Bielema said. "Although Josh Williams has continued to play well. Henre’ Toliver is still a little bit tender. We’ll see if we can get him going this week."


Arkansas also played without Marshall, who is serving a suspension. Junior Kody Walker continued to earn carries in Marshall’s absence.


Walker’s five-yard touchdown run in the first half was his first since the 2012 season opener against Jacksonville State. He finished with 32 yards on 6 carries.


Backup QB


UAB played without its starting quarterback Saturday.


Cody Clements stood on the sideline while backup Jeremiah Briscoe led the Blazers in Razorback Stadium. Clements — who was fifth in the NCAA in completion percentage — was injured late in UAB’s 34-22 loss to Middle Tennessee last week.


Briscoe struggled in Clements’ place, completing 6 of 18 passes for 62 yards with an interception against the Razorbacks.


"We expected the starter," Arkansas cornerback Jared Collins said. "But there’s nothing we could do about that. We just went out and played."


Kicking Success


Arkansas’ field goal troubles may have ended Saturday.


Sophomore Adam McFain made Arkansas’ longest field goal of the season in the third quarter, booting a 49-yarder to give the Razorbacks a 38-0 lead. It was McFain’s first attempt as a Razorback after replacing senior John Henson.


The Razorbacks were 2-for-4 with a season long field goal of 22 yards before Saturday’s game. Arkansas entered the game tied with Illinois for last in the NCAA with just two made field goals this season.


McFain also went 6-for-6 on extra points Saturday. The Razorbacks had an extra point blocked in each of the past two games.


"He’s hit the ball extremely well," Bielema said. "Very, very confident. He’s a kid that gets height on the ball very quickly, which was a little bit of an issue with some of those blocked PATs. So I don’t think there’s ever been a standing ovation for a PAT attempt until today on our first one there. I even clapped."


McGee Wasn’t ‘Good Fit’


The Arkansas-UAB game was supposed to be a homecoming, of sorts, for former Razorback offensive coordinator Garrick McGee. But McGee left the program after just two seasons as head coach and was replaced by Bill Clark.


McGee struggled during his tenure, going 5-19. McGee said Friday night his blueprint for turning UAB around didn’t match the reality with the program.


"Everything they’re saying is right," McGee said. "I wasn’t a good fit."


McGee left at the end of 2013 season to reunite with Bobby Petrino as the offensive coordinator at Louisville. The Cardinals are 6-2 and play Florida State on Thursday.


"I had an opportunity and took it," McGee said. "Everybody should be happy."


Crip Hall Winner


Linebacker Martrell Spaight was named the winner of the 2014 Crip Hall Award.


The Crip Hall Award is presented annually to the outstanding senior during Arkansas’ homecoming game. Spaight led an Arkansas defense that did not give up a touchdown with 9 tackles, including one for a loss Saturday.


First Time Since …


Arkansas’ defense hadn’t forced a turnover or returned a punt since the Texas A&M game. But both of those two-game droughts ended against UAB.


D.J. Dean had an 8-yard punt return in the first half, while cornerback Tevin Mitchel intercepted a pass from Briscoe on the first play of the third quarter.


New Number


Arkansas linebacker Randy Ramsey was wearing a new number Saturday.


The freshman, who had worn No. 11 this season, was in No. 18. The reason? Ramsey and tight end A.J. Derby – who also wears No. 11 — are on Arkansas’ kickoff team.