Mediocrity at the quarterback position does not stand a chance against Alabama’s defense. Georgia recognized it last week, as signal callers Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey combined for 106 passing yards on 11 of 31 completions. Neither recorded a touchdown pass.
Arkansas’ Brandon Allen is an experienced quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.He has consistently improved each year, since enrolling in 2012. Allen was very efficient last season, completing 56 percent of his attempts for 2,885 yards with 20 touchdowns to five interceptions.
The senior has played well through five games, increasing his completion mark to 66 percent. Allen has thrown for 1,360 passing yards with eight touchdowns to just three interceptions.
Regardless of his improvement, one team has always been a thorn in Allen’s side, the Alabama Crimson Tide. He is winless against Alabama in three tries, connecting on 38 of 83 passes for 397 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions. Allen’s been held to a 45.8 percent completion clip against the Crimson Tide. Will it all change for Arkansas Saturday?
Razorbacks’ head coach Bret Bielema has built this team on a heavy run game and defense. Running back Alex Collins is going to do what he can to create opportunities, but Allen must be on time delivering the ball. A mark of 60 percent has to be his goal against Alabama. It will not have wide receivers Keon Hatcher and Cody Hollister; however, Drew Morgan, Hunter Henry, Jojo Robinson and Dominique Reed all will suit up. These guys need to come up big for Allen.
Cameron Newton, Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel, Nick Marshall, Stephen Garcia and Bo Wallace all have something in common. Each quarterback found a way to defeat the Crimson Tide.
They had a balanced game plan going in, and despite most of these guys being dual threats, each one did enough through the air to earn a victory. Current Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly joined the list this season. He completed 18 of 33 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Mississippi stunned Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium by a score of 43-37.
Saturday will be Allen’s final chance at a win against Alabama.
The Hogs have an opportunity to spoil homecoming for the Crimson Tide.
Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.