There are 25 days till college football season, and today we talk about one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the SEC.
As long as Bret Bielema has been the Arkansas football coach, there’s been an Allen at starting quarterback. Let that sink in.
2017 will mark this fifth straight season that an Allen will be quarterbacking the Razorbacks. Austin’s older brother, Brandon Allen was the starter from 2013-2015. In his final two seasons in Fayetteville, he completed 61.2 percent of his passes and threw for 50 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Now, in a conference filled with young, talented quarterbacks that have yet to reach their potential, Austin Allen is the seasoned veteran. Allen is one of three senior starting quarterbacks in the SEC this season. And while last season was his first year as the quarterback for the Razorbacks, with the family legacy, it feels like so much longer.
And that leads us to no. 25 on the Southbound and Down College Football Countdown.
Austin Allen threw 25 touchdown passes last season
Last season, Allen was second in the SEC with 25 touchdown passes. Only Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs threw more with 27.
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Allen was near the top of the SEC in nearly every passing statistic, even some of the less desired statistics. He completed 61.1 percent of his passes, led the conference with 3,430 passing yards and was second with 25 touchdowns. But he also led the league with 15 interceptions and was sacked a conference-most 34 times.
In the first five games of the season, Allen threw 12 touchdowns and 2 interceptions as the Razorbacks went 4-1. But in the final eight games of the season, Allen threw 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as Arkansas went 3-5.
It’s time to put up or shut up for Bielema. He is entering his sixth year in Fayetteville, and while the Razorbacks have showed signs of improvement, that progress has yet to be reflected in their win/loss record.
The Arkansas football program is at a crossroads. If the Razorbacks are going to take the next step in 2017, they are going to have to rely on their senior signal caller.