FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas first-year starting quarterback Austin Allen has been exceptional in the first five starts of his career.
Allen leads the SEC in quarterback rating (168), is second in completion percentage (68) and tied for third in passing touchdowns (12). He’s helped lead the Hogs (4-1, 0-1 SEC) to their best start through five games since 2011 and No. 16 in the AP Top 25 Poll.
This weekend he has a chance to add to his quickly growing list of impressive accomplishments as Arkansas looks to knock off No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) for the first time in 10 years.
Allen recently spoke with the media about hosting the Crimson Tide, which visits Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium at 6 p.m. CT Saturday. Here’s some of what he had to say:
Q: Alabama’s defense has scored a touchdown seven games in a row. Are you aware of that?
A: “Yeah, (offensive coordinator Dan) Enos has brought that up to our attention. You’ve just got to take care of the ball. Be cautious with the ball. They’re coming after the ball. They want to strip the ball out. You’ve got to have great ball security.”
Q: What do you think about the opportunity to play No. 1?
A: “It’s a great opportunity for us. Anytime you can play the No. 1 team in the nation, especially in your home stadium, it’s a great opportunity for us and we’re excited for it. There’s a sense of excitement around our team and around our state just having this opportunity. It’ll be fun.”
Q: Is this Alabama team any different?
A: “They’re Alabama. Coach Saban, he does the same things. He always has them in the right spots. They rarely have a mental bust on film. They’re a great team with a lot of great athletes all over the field. They’re No. 1 for a reason.”
Q: Has your brother (former Arkansas QB Brandon Allen) shared any memories of this game with you?
A: “No, he hasn’t really shared too many memories about that. But I have seen more ‘Bama games with Arkansas than I can remember. I remember when we beat them in 2006 with Mitch Mustain and Ben Cleveland. I remember all of it. I’m excited to be part of this series. I’ll be ready to go out there on Saturday.”
Q: What do you expect the stadium to be like on Saturday?
A: “I expect it to be loud. There’s a sense of excitement around our program. I know it’s sold out and it’s going to be a nice day on Saturday. So, I’m sure everybody will be fired up and ready to go at 6 p.m.”