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Trough Talk: Brandon Allen, Penn Wagers, Coach Crying, Dominating Defense

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A full scale review of the Alabama game.

Wesley Hitt

It is time for us to have an adult conversation about Brandon Allen. This has really been bothering me since the off-season, but now that the Hogs are midway through the season, there is enough uninjured playing time to judge him. The verdict is in, for me at least.

He isn't nearly as bad as his haters make him out to be and not nearly as good as his pimps say he is. I've heard people compare him, in a negative way, to Casey Dick/Ryan Sorahan/Zak Clark/that guy that started between Barry Lunney Jr. and Clint Stoerner (Pete Burks). That's just ignorant. I would take Brandon Allen over every one of those guys simply because he knows his limitations and plays within himself.

Now, the Allen lovers say he is the fifth best quarterback in the SEC. You guys know that's like saying you're the fifth best team in the Big Ten, right?  Duh, Florida would rather have Allen over Jeff Driskel. They would take Arkansas State's quarterback over Driskel. When you tell people that, keep it in perspective of what you are really comparing him to.

After the game, I saw on twitter a blasphemous comparison between Tyler Wilson and Allen. That is like comparing the pro careers of Brett Favre (Wilson) to Jeff George (Allen). Some blame Allen's receivers on his struggles. However,  Wilson's receivers didn't get him drafted into the NFL. Wilson's arm got him drafted into the NFL. I don't think any NFL teams are looking to draft the fifth best quarterback in the SEC right now.

Just for perspective, this is SB Nation College Football Writer Adam Jacobi's take away of Allen's performance.

2. Brandon Allen isn't the answer for Arkansas. The Razorbacks needed to do something in the fourth quarter—something involving points, obviously, but sustaining a drive and giving the defense a breather would have been nice. But Arkansas went pass-heavy and QB Brandon Allen had his worst quarter of the four. His stats: 3-11 for 27 yards, the backbreaking pick and (obviously) no touchdowns. Allen's stats had been great coming into today, but Arkansas' unholy leveling of Nicholls State in Week 2 (in which Allen went 4-5 for four TDs) skewed things. Against good competition, Allen struggles, and it cost Arkansas a serious chance at winning a big, big game.

(You can read all of his thoughts about the game here)

*****

Can people who get paid millions of dollars to make sure the Razorbacks win football games stop crying when the Hogs lose/when times get tough?

I get it. I'm glad you care. But, I've been doing this Razorback thing for almost 25 years now and this is like the 100th time I could have cried after a game. I still haven't cried. I've sat in every type of weather to see the Hogs find any way possible to lose. Maybe it is because Saturday night was a movie I've seen too many times, but you have to know by now that to be a Razorback is to struggle..

*****

The moment I saw Ol' Penny Wagers was assigned to be the referee for the Hogs game, I knew there were going to be people who blamed him for the loss. I'm not going to say Pennsylvania (I hope that's his real name) doesn't always find a way to make the game about him, because he does, but blaming him is getting old.

My first memory of Big Money Wagers was the Auburn game in '03 when he called a pancake block by George Wilson a hold that called back an 80 yard touchdown run by Matt Jones. The Hogs lost the game 10-3 in regulation and went into a downward spiral. Ever since then, I have known only one thing, Penn Wagers=pain.

*****

I know this is the second column in a row I've done this, but I have to congratulate the defense on an outstanding game. Seriously, these guys have done a complete 180 from last season. I couldn't be more impressed by Clay Jennings and Robb Smith's coaching performance so far this season. Those guys are the real mid-season MVPs for this team in my eyes.