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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quotable: Arkansas' Brett Bielema talks Rutgers in SEC conference call

Arkansas' Brett Bielema (AP Photo)

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema held his weekly SEC conference call Wednesday in anticipation of Rutgers' first game at home against an SEC opponent.

Our story for print is linked, but here's part of Bielema's transcript:

On current status of quarterback Brandon Allen (shoulder): "That might be the question of the day. He's definitely gotten better. I know he was a lot better yesterday. We filled out the roster that we send on the trip to the airline today. He's definitely going with us and will be a game-time decision. He hasn't been able to practice as of yet. The good news is with this type of situation that we've been able to get a lot of quality reps with our next quarterback, AJ Derby, and Austin Allen after that. It's a work in progress to get to Saturday, and if he can't go the next man will be in and we'll take that challenge."

On what Brandon Allen would have to prove to play: "The thing I'm really benefiting from here is from being a prepared starter for three games — I know he only played a limited amount in that third game — he definitely is a guy that gets better with every practice. He's a guy if he felt like Saturday he could roll, then we'd go with him. On the same account, he hasn't practiced yet. The one thing I don't want to do is this is a quarterback who's a sophomore that I think has a very, very bright future. I love the way AJ's handling practice and Austin, to be quite honest. Unless the doctors can guarantee me 100 percent that there's no risk whatsoever and B.A. can look me in the eye and say, 'Hey, I can guarantee you I can go, coach,' and doesn't blink, that's the only way I can let him go."

On Brandon Allen's injury: "I don't want to get into detail. There wasn't anything structurally. It's way beyond any discussion I can carry as a football coach, but he definitely hurt his shoulder. And it's his throwing arm. That's obviously a concern."

On preparing for either Gary Nova (concussion) or Chas Dodd at quarterback: "As a head coach, you know whatever quarterback's back there, I don't think their offense is going to change all that much. I know they didn't throw the ball much with Dodd in there, but they're both very good players. If Chas plays, Chas plays. I know he's a competitor, a guy that you can see really enjoys playing in the game. If he's healthy, I'm sure he'll be out there. We really can't control that. All we can do is worry about the formation we line up against, the personnel we see and execute our plan."

On meeting Kyle Flood last year: "Coach is a very easy to like. He's obviously upfront, pretty straightforward, runs a very, very good football program. (Robb) Smith and I are very, very good friends, and he spoke very highly of Kyle and everything he's done in his career. It's easy to see why. He's very organized, very detailed, plays his kind of football and a guy that I truly enjoy getting to know in the profession. (There are) a lot of good guys out there, and he's obviously one of the best."

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