Arkansas’ quarterback battle may not even be settled exiting spring and could ensue throughout the summer and on into fall camp, but Brandon Allen has emerged as the early leader for the Hogs’ starter at quarterback this spring, with Brandon Mitchell right on his heels.
Allen worked with the first team during Saturday’s 74-play scrimmage, while Mitchell worked with the second team.
Allen connected on 11 of 19 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Mitchell finished 7 of 14 for 112 yards with a touchdown pass.
“I would think going into today Brandon Allen might’ve had a little bit of an edge,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema told reporters. “But I really like the way Brandon Mitchell’s got great presence with the team. The kids are into it.
“Like I say to the kids all the time, competition brings the best out of people,” Bielema said. “I wish I had that type of competition at every position just because it puts a stress on the people involved. It makes you coach better.
“You can’t have enough competition in my mind.”
Allen is the more conventional pro-style quarterback Bielema is looking for on offense.
The rising sophomore completed 21 of 49 passes for just 186 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions with mixed reviews last season. Allen took over in Tyler Wilson’s absence against Louisiana-Monroe and Alabama, two games the Hogs lost, but I’m not sure we can accurately judge him from those two appearances.
Allen was a former four-star prospect and was ranked as the third-best player in the state of Arkansas in the 2011 recruiting cycle.
A more potent running game and a veteran offensive line should provide either quarterback – likely Allen – a situation to have more success than 2012.
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