Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas-Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Allen's status unknown for Rutgers
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen (10) heads to the sidelines after scoring a touchdown but injuring his shoulder Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, during the first quarter of play at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen's status for Saturday's game at Rutgers depends on how fast his bruised throwing shoulder heals, Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema said Monday.
Allen left last weekend's 24-3 win over Southern Miss after a first quarter touchdown run. Bielema said nothing was structurally broken in Allen's shoulder, but said backup quarterback AJ Derby will be prepared in case Allen can't play.
Allen has completed 26 of 44 passes for 388 yards and 5 touchdowns this season. He threw his first interception of the season Saturday against the Golden Eagles.
Arkansas relied heavily on its run game after Allen's injury. Derby passed the ball just six times, completing four passes for 36 yards in his first appearance in a Razorbacks uniform. Arkansas rushed for 258 yards on 56 carries in the game against Southern Miss.
Bielema said the Razorbacks will try to open up the passing game some if Derby is the quarterback at Rutgers, noting he will have a full week to prepare as a possible starter instead of going into the game as the known backup. Bielema said the quarterbacks won't be made available for interviews this week.
Rutgers (2-1) is also facing quarterback uncertainty heading into Saturday's game. Scarlet Knights starter Gary Nova suffered a concussion in the first quarter of a win over Eastern Michigan last weekend. Nova passed for a career-high 397 yards and 5 touchdowns in a win at Arkansas last season.