Arkansas QB Allen's status uncertain after injury
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Surging Arkansas faces the possibility of finishing the regular season without injured starting quarterback Brandon Allen, though coach Bret Bielema is leaving open the possibility of his return this week.
Allen missed the second half of Arkansas' 30-0 win over Mississippi after being hit on his right hip, hobbling off the field midway through the second quarter.
The injury is one of the few negatives at the moment for the Razorbacks (6-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference), who have won back-to-back games with shutouts over ranked teams to earn bowl eligibility for the first time in three seasons.
Bielema said Allen is unlikely to practice for the next few days as Arkansas prepares to face No. 17 Missouri (9-2, 6-1) on Friday. He didn't, however, eliminate the possibility of Allen playing even if he's unable to practice this week.
''You certainly would like him to throw the ball around, I think,'' Bielema said. ''Especially as well as that's been going for him. But I do think a guy that's a junior starter that's started an entire year ... If there's a guy that could get away with a minimal amount of practice time, it would be (Allen).''
Allen suffered through an injury-plagued season last year as a sophomore, finishing 128-of-258 passing (49.6 percent) for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
This season, the junior has rebounded to become one of the more consistent performers on offense for the Razorbacks. He's completed 165 of 286 passes (57.7 percent) with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions - helping Arkansas end a 17-game SEC losing streak with shutout wins over LSU and the Rebels the last two weeks.
If Allen is unable to play against the Tigers, who can win the SEC East with a victory on Friday, his younger brother, Austin Allen, will get the start for the Razorbacks.
Allen replaced his older brother against Ole Miss and completed 3 of 5 passes for 65 yards. The redshirt freshman is 8-of-16 passing for 153 yards overall this season, having won the backup job over freshman Rafe Peavey in August.
''I feel like I can throw the ball with the best of them out there,'' Allen said after the win over the Rebels. ''That's kind of why I'm here, I feel like. It's football for me.''
Allen led Arkansas on an 8-play, 60-yard drive to end the first half, putting the Razorbacks in position for a field goal attempt. They missed the 37-yard kick, but offensive coordinator Jim Chaney was pleased with what he saw from the backup - who he was ''very confident'' in if he has to start against Missouri.
''I thought Austin played a solid ballgame for us,'' Chaney said. ''I think he did what we needed him to do. It was good to see him get some good experience in there against a good opponent.''