Football Arkansas sports writer's view of the game

#1
Know the foe: Arkansas should have its hands full with Alabama
Tony Tsoukalas | Alabama team writer

BamaInsider.com team writer Tony Tsoukalas asked five key questions about the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2 in the SEC) going into Saturday’s game and HawgSports.com’s Trey Biddy answered them.

1) How do you expect the quarterback situation to shake out for the game?

Austin Allen only did light throwing and handoffs on Tuesday, and we didn’t have a chance to talk to him after that. But he said on Tuesday that if he is healthy he will play. He is reportedly doing everything he can in the training room obviously, but my gut tells me they’ll be forced to go with redshirt freshman Cole Kelley. Until the fourth quarter last week, most of Kelley’s action has been in a short-yardage package they call ‘Steamboat.’ But he did play well given the circumstances last weekend.

2) If Cole Kelley does play, what should Alabama fans know about him?

He’s a big, confident guy at every bit of 6-7, 268, and he’s fairly mobile for that size. He also has a really strong arm. Bret Bielema used to say that it took years for Brandon Allen to recover mentally after the former staff gave him his first start as a redshirt freshman following Tyler Wilson’s injury the previous week. The Hogs lost 52-0 that year. While Kelley seems to be ahead of where Allen was back then, this is not an ideal situation for a first start.

3) Is Arkansas going to be able to protect its quarterback whoever it is?

No, the offensive line has been a real eyesore the last two seasons. Whether people point to receivers not getting open or to Allen holding the ball too long, those issues are in addition to the offensive line not protecting Allen. Frank Ragnow has been solid at center, and guards Johnny Gibson and Hjalte Froholdt have had their moments, but they have really struggled at offensive tackle. Arkansas has tried several combinations at tackle but nothing has worked. They still have not played Brian Wallace, who was a big-time recruit and started the second half of last season and fared well. It would not surprise to see them try another combination Saturday.

4) How will Arkansas attack Alabama on defense?

Arkansas will utilize a 3-4 base defense and will typically only rush four defenders with the three down linemen and one of the linebackers. They are not a heavy blitz team. They will play a decent amount of press-man coverage. Arkansas has actually been okay for the most part this season on defense. Twenty-one points last weekend were surrendered on interceptions and fumble returns. They will try to keep everything in front of them and try to capitalize when Alabama makes mistakes.

5) What’s the mood around Arkansas’ locker room heading into the game?

They’re saying all the right things obviously, but I’m sure they’re disappointed in the way the season has started. The talk this week is how if you can’t get up for a game against the No. 1 team in the country you don’t have a pulse. Outside the locker room, even Bret Bielema’s biggest supporters have started to turn on him. Fans are getting more and more vocal with their displeasure, talking about who the next coach should be and the like.

BamaInsider.com - Know the foe: Arkansas should have its hands full with Alabama
 
#2
Don't want to hi-jack the thread, but I was pondering a thought earlier this week and have to ask.

If you were ol' Bert and knowing that Allen is banged up pretty bad. Do you make Allen sit this one out even if he could possibly start? We all know how physical the play of Alabama is and with a gimpy QB, there is blood in the water already. It will just make it all the worse when our guys introduce him to the prescription athletic turf at BDS on Saturday night.

Do you make Allen sit this out in order to protect his health? This would give you the opportunity to get him really healthy and make a run at the rest of the season and salvage a little bit and possibly go bowling. Under Bert Arky has finished the season on an upswing his entire tenure.
 

rick4bama

Bama Fan since 1965 and counting....
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#3
Don't want to hi-jack the thread, but I was pondering a thought earlier this week and have to ask.

If you were ol' Bert and knowing that Allen is banged up pretty bad. Do you make Allen sit this one out even if he could possibly start? We all know how physical the play of Alabama is and with a gimpy QB, there is blood in the water already. It will just make it all the worse when our guys introduce him to the prescription athletic turf at BDS on Saturday night.

Do you make Allen sit this out in order to protect his health? This would give you the opportunity to get him really healthy and make a run at the rest of the season and salvage a little bit and possibly go bowling. Under Bert Arky has finished the season on an upswing his entire tenure.
Is it me, or does the Ark. coach always have these QB's that could just play a back? I mean the one from a few year ago M.Jones he a running back now in the pro?