Is the stress of the season getting to Bret Bielema? Coming off a terrible 39-38 win at home against a 1-8 Coastal Carolina that felt more like a loss to most fans, the Arkansas coach may be allowing the pressure of the job get to him.

During his Monday press conference to preview the week of preparation for the LSU game, the Razorback coach made some interesting remarks regarding his quarterbacks.

First, he led with a status update on senior Austin Allen, who has been battling a tough shoulder injury, and redshirt freshman Cole Kelley, who was injured against Coastal Carolina.

“Cole actually got his foot stepped on, or his toe. He’s got an extreme turf toe so he is in a little bit of a boot, but he’s fully functional, shouldn’t be an issue for him,” Bielema said. “Austin Allen practiced last week, really from Wednesday forward but he’s cleared 100 percent to go. If we would have practiced Sunday, he would have been there. Could have put him in the game Saturday but obviously the way the game unfolded we didn’t want to put him into that situation.”

Bielema went on to say the plan was to play Allen against Coastal but the way the contest played out, he decided it would be best to leave Kelley in the game. He also indicated that Allen was very supportive of his teammates on the sidelines, despite not getting a chance to get in the game.

“I bet you no one is pulling for Austin to play more than Cole if that makes sense — and vice versa,” Bielema continued.

Bielema was later asked in the press conference if he planned to name a starting quarterback before the LSU game and this is how he responded.

“I think I covered that Saturday,” he said, “anything that could be a strategic advantage for us, whether it’s the quarterback or how much T.J. (Hammonds) is going to play or whether we’ve done certain things with them is better staying in-house and showing up on Saturday.”

So it would appear Bielema wisely decided not to let the cat out of the bag and force LSU to prep for both QBs. However, just moments later when discussing all the Louisiana natives on his roster — including Kelley — Bielema revealed the freshman would start against the Tigers in Death Valley.

“Cole is a young quarterback in his career that’s very excited,” Bielema said. “He’s a guy that plays with high energy and high emotion and now he goes to his home crowd, and he’s going to be a starting quarterback — that’s a lot of emotions for him to deal with. You just have to get him to temper that and play within himself.”

One of the media members at the presser immediately pointed out to Bielema that he just named Kelley the starter. Bielema’s response was as strange as you might expect given the press conference comments up to this point.

“Well, I think he can be a starter, absolutely. There’s no reason to change where we are going. To give us the best chance to win, you have to take that part into it,” Bielema responded. “Like I said last week, we have two quarterbacks that have started and have done a nice job.”

Take that for what it’s worth but it appears Kelley will start against LSU and Allen may come off the bench — if he’s even healthy enough to play.