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Allen Named Hogs’ Post-Spring Starter At QB

Brandon AllenWith spring practice at an end, it looks like Arkansas has a starting quarterback.  And according to Bret Bielema, it’s the guy most expected would grab the job before spring ball began:

 

“Brandon Allen really from the first week until the game that you saw on Saturday made progress all the way along.  But just really the last weeks have been exceptional.  He’s just continued to make strides…

Brandon Mitchell does a lot of really good things as well.  One thing we can’t do is we can’t turn the football over.  We can’t create negative plays on our own.  I think Brandon Allen did a lot better job of that just overall and has progressed in a way that has put him in that position…

As far as with Brandon Mitchell, obviously, I think at quarterback he’s got some special gifts that we definitely can use or make better.  If there’s another role, him at another position, it’ll be something that we kind of work through together.”

 

Could Allen, a sophomore from Fayetteville, still botch up the works with an offseason slip-up or a poor fall practice?  Probably.  But it’s noteworthy that a first-year coach with no proven starter has gone ahead and listed one QB hopeful over another on the post-spring depth chart.  Had he decided to milk the competition thing a bit longer — and many coaches do so just for the sake of doing it — Bielema could have listed Allen and Mitchell neck and neck.

But he didn’t.  And the fact that the possibility of moving Mitchell to another position — he was moved to receiver some last year — was brought up should provide a clue as to just far ahead Allen is in Arkansas’ quarterback derby.

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Bielema On Hogs’ QBs: “They’ve Got To Be Junkies”

gfx - they said itNew Arkansas coach Bret Bielema knows what he wants out of the two men vying for the Razorbacks’ starting quarterback spot — dedication:

 

“The more reps and the more time — they’ve got to be junkies.  Quarterbacks have got to be those guys that are always last out of there and always asking to do more.  And I think we’re getting that culture more and more.”

 

Brandon Allen continues to run with the first string while Brandon Mitchell toils with the backup unit.  It sounds like Bielema is expecting more from Allen than from Mitchell.  “There’s just some urgency (Allen) needs to get.  I was all over his tail (in practice).  There was a snap where we had a positive third-and-short but our wide receiver wasn’t quite lined up and an itchy official could have flagged us there.  I said ‘It’s your responsibility.’  He’s got to dictate those other 10 guys that are in his control and be very aware of that situation.  He can do it.”

Bielema added that Mitchell “continue to impress” him.  “He’s got a gamesmanship to him.  He’s got a little rhythm.  He’s got a little fire in him.  He’s a great competitor.”

Allen, who’ll be a sophomore in the fall, completed 21 of 49 pass attempts for 186 yards at Arkansas last season.  He tossed three interceptions to his one touchdown.  Mitchell, a senior-to-be, has completed 25 of 43 career attempts for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.  He was moved to receiver during the 2012 season.

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Wilson Misses Practice, Hogs To Make Decision Today About QB

A day after returning to practice and impressing teammate Chris Smith — “… his throws were sharp and everything like that, so he’s going to be ready to go Saturday” – Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson missed yesterday’s session.  Asked why his star couldn’t go on Thursday, interim coach John L. Smith simply said: “He was busy.”

The coach also told ArkansasNews.com that Wilson had not suffered a setback from the concussion-like symptoms he experienced after taking a hit to the head last weekend against Louisiana-Monroe.  So that much is positive.

So where do things stand for tomorrow’s game against #1 Alabama?

“I’ve got no answers,” Smith said.  “Nothing for you today.”  He then said “a decision has to be made” and suggested Wilson would need to be cleared by this morning at the latest if he’s to play tomorrow.

Backup QBs Brandon Allen and Brandon Mitchell have gotten plenty of reps in practice this week should Wilson’s return to action be delayed by doctors.

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SEC Headlines – 3/13/12 Part One

1.  Alabama first-round NCAA foe Creighton is up-tempo, offense-first while the Tide is just the opposite.

2.  Whichever team can impose its will – meaning: style of play — on the other will likely advance to face North Carolina.

3.  Knile Davis is ready for spring ball, but will Arkansas allow him to have contact?

4.  Two-sporter Brandon Mitchell is ready to rejoin the UA football program as the squad’s backup quarterback.

5.  It’s back to work for LSU in the NIT tonight at Oregon.

6.  It sounds like Mississippi’s Terrance Henry is ready to keep playing.

7.  Mississippi State’s opponent — UMass — is excited to play in Starkville tonight, but will the Bulldogs be equally motivated?

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SEC Headlines – 1/16/12 Part One

1.  The SEC has named its Players of the Week.

2.  As we noted earlier today, Lance Thompson — the man who recruited Trent Richardson to Alabama — is returning to Tuscaloosa as linebackers coach.

3.  Doug Nussmeier continues to be mentioned as the frontrunner for Bama’s offensive coordinator gig.

4.  Bobby Petrino’s got nice things to say — naturally — about Arkansas’ new linebackers coach Taver Johnson.

5.  Petrino has also given his blessing to backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who intends to walk-on with the Hog basketball team.

6.  After “an amazing season,” LSU will look for even bigger, even better things next fall.

7.  But folks on the Bayou aren’t quite done dissecting what went wrong in the Tigers’ 21-0 loss to Alabama a week ago.

7.  Mississippi State’s ongoing billboard campaign — including one smack dab in Oxford — is causing a stir in the Magnolia State.

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SEC Headlines – 8/10/11 Part Two

1.  Alabama linebacker/defensive end Courtney Upshaw is back from a bum ankle that slowed him last season.

2.  Tide players say the team’s quarterback battle is still tight.

3.  Here’s a UA practice report… and the Duron Carter wait continues this morning.

4.  Auburn’s three quarterbacks will be trying to get a leg up in the Tigers’ first scrimmage today.

5.  True freshman Kiehl Frazier is the wild card in the QB race.  (He’s also our pick to be running the Tiger offense by October.)

6.  Top incoming freshman Kris Frost is “gone for the year” with a shoulder injury.

7.  Bobby Petrino says there’s no rush to name a starting quarterback at Arkansas… but Tyler Wilson ran the first-team offense and Brandon Mitchell ran the second string yesterday.

8.  This writer expects the Hogs’ quarterbacks to use their feet more than Ryan Mallett did.

9.  The Razorbacks are “hungry” for contact drills.

10.  LSU’s coordinators are both high-energy, fast-talking.

11.  New quarterback Zach Mettenberger says he’s okay with his backup role… but he expects to play.

12.  The Tiger defense will be all about speed this year.

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Petrino Says Next QB Will Have To Earn The Job

Speaking to a group of Arkansas lawmakers yesterday, Bobby Petrino joked that this spring’s quarterback battle won’t be decided by politics. 

“We all saw Tyler Wilson do some great things when he came in that Auburn game (last year), but I can tell you this, there is going to be some great competition for that quarterback spot in the spring,” the coach said.  “We all know we’re down here because of politics, politicians and everything that happens here in the state capitol, but there will be zero politics on that football field for that quarterback job.”

Wilson is expected to take over for Ryan Mallett, who he replaced in last season’s loss at Auburn.  Brandon Mitchell and Jacoby Walker are also expected to compete for the job in the spring.

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