Bret Bielema on Arkansas QB Brandon Allen: “Nice to see people eat a little crow”
Finally, a player got carried off the field in a good way for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Arkansas’ offensive linemen lifted quarterback Brandon Allen onto their shoulders and carried the senior off the field after Saturday’s 53-52 overtime win at Ole Miss. Coach Bret Bielema said that scene is quite rare in this day and age.
“It doesn’t happen as much anymore like when I played,” Bielema said on Wednesday’s SEC teleconference call. “Our offensive line did it, so it was pretty cool. He had fun in the moment.”
Allen had one of the best games in his career with 442 passing yards and a school-record six touchdowns. Allen completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Drew Morgan in overtime, and then plunged in for the game-winning two-point conversion.
For his performance, Allen was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Week and the Football Writers Association of America’s National Player of the Week.
“I told the team Brandon was the sportswriters National Player of the Week and our guys went crazy,” Bielema said. “It’s so much of a blessing to see it come through, and it’s nice to see people eat a little crow.”
Allen’s career hasn’t exactly sparkled until recently at Arkansas, which is a stone’s throw from his alma mater, Fayetteville High School. He earned the starting quarterback job midway through his sophomore season — the first year under Bielema’s tenure.
Allen directed the Razorbacks offense for much of the team’s unbearable 17-game conference losing streak, which he helped end last season with a 17-0 win over LSU.
The Hogs went 7-6 in 2014 with a win over Texas in the Texas Bowl. The 2015 season began with a win, but was followed by three losses, including a 16-12 loss to Toledo. But even as fans grew more disgruntled, Bielema kept faith in Allen.
Allen has meshed well with offensive coordinator Dan Enos, Bielema said. Allen now leads the SEC in quarterback efficiency at 164.7, which is ninth in the nation. In Arkansas’ last 10 quarters and five overtime periods, Allen is 59-of-81 for 825 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions.
He’s led Arkansas to touchdowns on 16 of his last 23 possessions under center. Allen is just eight touchdown passes away from breaking Ryan Mallett’s program record of 62.