Hogs: QB Allen sore but healthy; Hatcher doubtful; notes
FAYETTEVILLE - Other than possibly senior receiver Keon Hatcher, all the Razorbacks who played in last Saturday’s 45-24 SEC loss to Texas A&M should play Saturday against Alcorn at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Hatcher, 14 catches for a team-leading 281 receiving yards for the AP 20th-ranked 3-1 Razorbacks, couldn’t finish against Texas A&M because of a hamstring injury.
“We’ll rest him a little during the early part of the week,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Monday. “Expect him back out there at the end of the week.”
Given that No. 1 Alabama looms Oct. 8 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Bielema presumably will be cautious about playing Hatcher against heavy underdog Alcorn State (1-2) from the lower FCS division SWAC.
HOGS VS. TIDE NOT SET, YET
The Oct. 8 Arkansas vs. Alabama kickoff time has not been set, yet as CBS Monday exercised its option to wait until after the Oct. 1 games for its first choice in the SEC televised rotation that involves ESPN, the SEC Network and SEC Network Alternate Channel.
CBS likely Oct. 8 deliberates between Arkansas vs. Alabama in Fayetteville and No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 11 Tennessee at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field in College Station. So the CBS brass will evaluate Arkansas vs. Alcorn State, and in SEC games Alabama hosting Kentucky, Tennessee visiting Georgia and Texas A&M visiting South Carolina.
Saturday’s Arkansas vs. Alcorn State game, marking both Arkansas’ final non-conference game and the only game this season at Little Rock, kicks off at 11 a.m. and will be televised by the SEC Network Alternate Channel.
AUSTIN TICKING DESPITE LICKING
Though junior Austin Allen is “sore,” Bielema reported Monday that his starting quarterback is good to go to practice all week and play against Alcorn State.
Helped by its reputation of running the ball augmented by Allen’s effective play-action passing, Arkansas protected Allen well in the 17-17 first half against A&M.
However, upon the Hogs falling behind two touchdowns and having to pass down after down, the Aggies unleashed their pass-rushers. They constantly hit Arkansas’ QB despite him officially getting sacked but once.
Bielema called his quarterback “a relentless competitor.”
“When you have a quarterback who plays the way he does, you've got a chance every Saturday,” Bielema said.
COLEY FULFILLS PENALTY
Because he missed the entire second half following his ejection from last Saturday’s game against Texas A&M, junior backup safety De’Andre Coley should be SEC reinstated for Alcorn State, Bielema and defensive coordinator Robb Smith said.
Coley was ejected for targeting on his late hit that both voided a third-down pass breakup by Arkansas cornerback Ryan Pulley, and gave A&M a first down instead of punting from deep in its own territory.
“From what I’ve been explained and what I saw, and they confirmed it in the booth, it was just a little bit late and he kind of got the forearm involved,” Bielema said. “It was a huge teaching moment.”
BIELEMA SAW MORE IN LES
Bielema was asked to comment about LSU firing Coach Les Miles Sunday, and that USA Today mentioned him as a coach that LSU should consider.
“Well, first Les, there's been nobody more hospitable, more gracious,” Bielema said. “I think he's a tremendous person. I think he's done a lot for our game. It's kind of like last year when Mark (Richt) got fired at Georgia. It's just amazing the numbers (Miles was 114-34 at LSU) that they have and the results that have come out of there.”
What about USA Today bandying Bielema’s name?
“I have no interest in being a coach anywhere other than Arkansas,” Bielema said. “And especially in the SEC. This is what we came to do. We're so close. We were knocking on the door Saturday of doing something really special.”
CONDOLENCES TO SPRINGDALE
Bielema teared up when asked about Kyler Williams, the Springdale High School player killed Saturday night in an automobile accident.
“It just made me sick,” Bielema said. “So to Kyler and his family and everybody at Springdale, just know we’re thinking of you.”