Not so clear is Allen's status for the Rutgers game. The first year Arkansas head coach said if it were up to Allen he'd be on the field come Saturday but, he noted, "You got to be full strength. I wouldn't want to put him in harms way at all."
If Allen is a no go junior A.J. Derby is the number one option.
"Obviously if B.A. doesn't play then A.J.'s going to get the majority of them (reps in practice). Austin Allen (No.3 quarterback), I told him to prepare as if he's going to play on Saturday because that's the way a number two has to," Bielema explained.
Derby was pretty much protected on Saturday following Allen's first quarter injury throwing just six passes in a game that was put on the shoulders of the defense and Arkansas' running backs. Will the Hogs' offensive coaches unleash Derby more against Rutgers?
"Certainly we will," offensive coordinator Jim Chaney answered. "I feel like we'll go into the game full throttle and do what we've go to do to win the football game. We're going to have to throw the ball a little bit more than what we did on Saturday and we're aware of that."
Meanwhile, Arkansas' offensive line coach says his guys are going to have to do a better job of supporting Derby this week if he does get the difficult road start at Rutgers.
"There was a stretch in there (the Southern Miss game) when nothing was going too well for us up front," Sam complained. "We've got to help the kid when he goes in there and we didn't. We need to run the ball better in those situations."
The Golden Eagles held the Hogs to 258 yards rushing, a season low. They did it by jamming the line of scrimmage and attacking Arkansas with a run-blitz defense.
"They'd done it to the other two opponents they'd played and we knew they were going to do it," Pittman revealed. "We can't take that long to figure it out I can tell you that. It was embarrassing there for a while for us."
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney took responsibility for one of the biggest issues Derby faced against Southern Miss, a trio of bobbled shotgun snaps one of which almost resulted in a disastrous turnover. As the backup quarterback Derby had been working almost exclusively with the number two center in practice. According to Chaney starting center Travis Swanson snaps the ball with much greater velocity than his backup.
"I was unaware of the differences in the level of the snap from the number two center to Travis," Chaney admitted, "and I didn't really have A.J. ready to go so that's on me. We will rotate our quarterbacks with different centers in practice from now on."
Beliema expressed total confidence in Derby telling reporters that the former Iowa and highly recruited high school quarterback is no rookie.
"He started at Iowa, went through some adversity then went to a junior college and played a lot," Bielema explained. "It's not like he sat on the bench somewhere else as a reserve. He was a starting quarterback."