The Arkansas Razorbacks had an open competition for the starting quarterback job this spring. And Brandon Allen made it clear that he should be the starter again this season.
Allen, who played in 11 games last season, mostly as the starter, had a strong spring practice and is the clear choice of head coach Bret Bielema and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
Last season, Allen was less than spectacular, to say the least. He completed just 49.6 percent of his passes for 1,552 yards, with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The interception number was entirely too high for a team whose strength was running the football with Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams.
So Allen was forced to compete for his job this spring, and he was able to survive the test. Allen beat out four other candidates for the job: Austin Allen (Brandon’s brother), A.J. Derby, Damon Mitchell and Rafe Peavey. Derby and Mitchell have since changed positions, while Peavey is probably the quarterback of the future in Fayetteville.
Now that Allen has secured the starting spot (barring a disaster in fall camp), it will be his job to lead Arkansas from the depths of last year’s 3-9 disaster. It will be tough, especially in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference.
If Allen can improve his accuracy and cut down on the number of interceptions he throws, it would boost the Arkansas offense in multiple ways. It would obviously make the passing game more efficient and effective, but it could also open running lanes for Collins and Williams, which would help keep defenses off balance.
Now that Allen has essentially earned the starting position, it’s time for him to be a leader for the Hogs.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.