Jimmy Carter is an award-winning reporter covering Arkansas football and basketball for WholeHogSports.com. He was born in Texas and grew up in Tulsa. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Austin Allen likely to play at Alabama
Austin Allen, Arkansas quarterback, throws a pass in the second quarter against South Carolina Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, during the game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
FAYETTEVILLE Austin Allen is day-to-day after suffering a shoulder injury to his throwing arm Saturday, but offensive coordinator Dan Enos said he feels good about his quarterback’s chances to play at No. 1 Alabama this week.
Allen appeared to injure his shoulder after taking a hit in the Razorbacks’ 48-22 loss at South Carolina and was held out of the fourth quarter by the training staff, but the coaching staff is hopeful he’ll be able to practice this week and play Saturday.
“He’s tough,” Enos said. “He’s been through a lot of nicks and things here in the two seasons I’ve been with him, so I would expect if he can go at all, he’s going to be ready to go.
“Hopefully we can get him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That’s the goal.”
Allen finished 12 of 24 for a career-low 84 yards, one touchdown and a pick-six interception while also losing a fumble that was returned for a score. Arkansas again struggled to protect the senior at times, while other hits were the result of him holding onto the ball too long.
“Some of those hits are on him because he won’t throw the ball away because he’s trying to make a play,” Enos said. “There’s a fine line there as a quarterback coach of coaching that out of guys. You don’t want to take their competitiveness away and their ability to make every play last, but he does have to get smarter in the fact that when plays aren’t there, he needs to diagnose that a tick or two sooner and get the ball out of his hands and throw it away and I think he can eliminate some of those hits he’s taking.”
Redshirt freshman Cole Kelley replaced Allen for the final three possessions and led two touchdown drives while also throwing a pick-six. He finished 8 of 13 for 140 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
Allen will be the quarterback if healthy.
“I think probably a great response is Cole,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. “Cole said if Austin can go, he’s our quarterback. I think that’s a great indicator of a guy being in the right frame of mind.”
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