FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen was “sick to his stomach” for how he played against LSU last Saturday.
Allen completed under 50 percent of his passes for the first time this season and threw 2 interceptions. The poor performance came as the Hogs fell 38-10 in the Battle for the Golden Boot.
“In my 26th season as a coach, I tried all my psychological ploys Saturday,” offensive coordinator Dan Enos said Monday. “He just had one of those days, and you’ve got to give them credit on defense. The plan they had and the way they executed on defense first and foremost. But, obviously, he didn’t play as well as he wanted to, or we wanted him to.”
Enos cited Allen’s “eye discipline and footwork” as main issues for his subpar play against the Tigers. He also suggested those problems could be a result of the 24 sacks and numerous hits Allen has taken.
“We’ve got to do a better job of protecting him and then he’s got to do a better job, when he does have protection, that we’re going through our progression quickly,” Enos said.
“He’s been a little antsy, and when you’re antsy sometimes you’ll make decisions too quickly or you’ll get off receivers too quickly. I think that’s what he did a little bit Saturday night. We’ve got to get back to being comfortable, being confident, being poised. That’s just not him, that’s the whole group. We’ve all got to help him.”
According to coach Bret Bielema, the most egregious of Allen’s errors last Saturday was his second interception. With Arkansas trailing 31-10 in the fourth quarter, Allen threw an interception on first down in the red zone.
“If there’s anything I told Austin, it’s I’m not going to tolerate first-down interceptions,” Bielema said Monday. “It’s unacceptable. It’s bad football.”
Bielema and Enos both stated they expect Allen to bounce back this Saturday at Mississippi State (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU).
“It’s his first year starting,” Bielema said. “We had failure as a football team and he weathered the storm with all of us.”