As its SEC opener with Texas A&M nears, it appears that injured Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen is no closer to returning to action. Allen did not throw during yesterday’s practice.
Juco quarterback AJ Derby got the start in last week’s loss at Rutgers. The Razorbacks’ run game — with little threat of the pass to support it — slowed considerably in New Jersey. Derby will again be the starter against A&M this weekend if Allen does not improve from a bruised shoulder he suffered two weeks ago against Southern Miss.
Meanwhile, the folks in College Station are hoping their defensive woes are behind them. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder — while accentuating the positive — hasn’t completely forgotten the negatives that came from his unit’s last tangle with a power-run team (Alabama won 49-42).
“The fear’s gone,” Snyder said this week. “It’s behind us in my eyes. Hopefully we gained some experience the last few weeks. This week will be telling. We’ve played spread teams and now we’ve got to face a power team, which we didn’t fare well against the first time. We’ve faced about everything you can face during a football season.”
Arkansas’ offense will be tougher to face if Allen’s health improves.