At the beginning of the season, many people questioned how Arkansas was going to replace Brandon Allen.
The answer was Allen’s younger brother, Austin. But to those outside of the Arkansas practice facility, few knew how good Austin was.
“From the outside world looking in, when we lost BA(Brandon Allen), everyone was a ‘little woe is me, what are they going to do?'” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said on the Paul Finebaum show.
But Bielema had seen how well Austin had studied the game knew that he could be handle just about anything, whether that be a Nick Saban defense or one of the many SEC pass rushers.
So it’s no surprise to the Arkansas head coach that Allen is leading the SEC in passing yards and touchdowns through seven weeks.
“The thing I knew was that I had seen this kid grow in practice for three years. The greatest thing about this kid is that he’s a great learner. We always talk about taking reps when you’re not in the game, and he learned so much from watching his brother and took advantage of every opportunity he had.”
Bielema has had tremendous success now with both Allen’s brothers. Brandon threw 30 passing touchdowns last year as he guided Arkansas to eight wins. Finebaum asked Bielema what separates the younger Allen from the older one.
“He’s got a different body, he probably throws a little bit more accurate deep ball,” Bielema said of Austin. “He’s a very, very good athlete. He sees things very well at the line of scrimmage as well as when he begins to run around in the pocket is pretty special.”
Brandon Allen is now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but was back in Fayetteville two weeks ago to see his younger brother take on Alabama. The Allen’s have long been associated with Arkansas, as Austin played his high school football in Fayetteville as his father is the Razorbacks director of high school and NFL Relations.
And Bielema said that Austin’s Arkansas up bringing as helped him become a better player for the Razorbacks.
“All he knows is Arkansas,” Bielema said. “He was brought here as a small child and this is kind of what he loves to do and it shows every Saturday.”
Allen, Bielema and the Razorbacks travel to Auburn on Saturday to take on the Auburn Tigers. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.