Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney didn't give away anything for those trying to figure out the status of starting quarterback Brandon Allen on Sunday when he met with the media.
"I've got a quarterback with a tender shoulder," Chaney said at the 6 p.m. session. "But as far as any kind of medical statement, I don't know about that. Those come from the head man."
Bret Bielema meets with the media at noon Monday.
Chaney did say that there is more aggressive packages for quarterback AJ Derby, Allen's backup, than what the quarterbacks coach and playcaller gave him against Southern Mississippi in a 24-3 victory. Derby played the last three quarters and was just 4 of 6 passing for 36 yards.
"We did what we needed to do," Chaney said. "AJ was shaky early and he calmed back down. I was really worried because when you go to the backup, you don't know how they will do as far as the pre-snap reads and the operation. We had zero pre-snap penalties and mistakes for the first time all year.
"I told the offense I was pleased with that just a few minutes ago when I met with them. The operation was pretty smooth."
The only issue was a couple of snaps, one out of the shotgun that squirted past Derby and was recovered for a loss.
"AJ wasn't used to the speed of Travis Swanson's snap," Chaney said. "That was on me. I made notes. Brandon is prepared for that, AJ wasn't. That's on me. We will take care of that this week."
Chaney said the Hogs can't get away with calling so few passes in most situations.
"We'll go into this game full throttle," Chaney said. "We didn't need any more points at that point with the way our defense was playing. We do what is needed to assure victory."
Bielema credited Chaney for coming up with a nice set of plays for Derby in the second half. Chaney said it was more a matter of calming nerves of the young quarterback playing his first Division I game under center.
"I think it was just getting him calmed down at the half," Chaney said. "I appreciate Bret's kind words, but I think you just have to find out where he is and then go from there. You want to get him settled at the half and then you can do some things."
Chaney said he was well aware of the first down ratio of almost all runs.
"We have those stats during the game," he said. "It helps to loosen them up if you are at 14 to 1. We know we are heavy with the run stats. We know we have to have throw more than we did Saturday against the team we are going to play."
Defensive coordinator Chris Ash said playing Rutgers will be a little like playing against the Hogs' own offense. It's heavy on the run, too. The Scarlet Knights are good in the offensive line. Running back Paul James has impressed, too.
"He's good and the run has been productive for them," Ash said. "The offensive line has done a very good job and they are like us, in that they are strong there. There are a lot of similarities in their offense to ours so there will be a lot of carry over for our defense this week."
Ash said safety Rohan Gaines is still day-to-day after missing the last two weeks. He was expected to be one of the leading tacklers after a strong preseason, but Jarrett Lake has stepped up in that department at outside linebacker.
"I thought both Jarrett and Braylon (Mitchell) had good games at outside linebacker," Ash said. "I thought Chris Smith and Robert Thomas had good games. Chris did what we expected, use his speed and quickness to get after the quarterback.
"We were good on third down, four of 15. We got two takeaways. If we keep getting after the quarterback on third down like we did Saturday, more will come. Those takeaways change the complexion of the game.
"We made a few more plays at linebacker this week and our stats are good, but in this case the stats don't tell the true story. We are nowhere near where we need to be. But, looking at what I thought we'd be as far as a progression after three games, we are about where I expected."
Offensive line coach Sam Pittman said Southern Miss caused problems with some run blitzes.
"We were not nearly as good as I'd hoped," Pittman said. "We need to block a lot better than that."
Denver Kirkland had to step in for injured Grady Ollison (ankle). Pittman was pleased with the freshman tackle's performance.
"Denver did fine," Pittman said. "He did have a nice play on the goal line. That was one of his better plays. He was very good in protecting the quarterback."
Chaney said the run blitzes were expected.
"We'd worked on that," Chaney said. "They were trying to get the defensive linemen up the field. As the game went on, we got a little more vertical against that.
"We thought Alex Collins missed a few cuts. He had a nice game, but we showed him on tape how he might have gotten a few more yards. He's gotten off to a pretty good start, though."
Chaney: Full Throttle Ahead
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