Bielema said Allen shed the sling for his injured shoulder "Tuesday or Wednesday," but still hasn't thrown any passes. The coach said he'd want both clearance from the doctor and to see his quarterback try some passes before he'd put him in a game.
"It's an afternoon game so we might want to see him earlier in the day, maybe at the hotel," Bielema said. "I would not want to put him in the game unless he could protect himself. It's always going to be up to the medical people."
"AJ has handled the majority of the work (at quarterback) this week," Bielema said after practice Thursday. "He threw it extremely well today. We scripted today a lot like it was a game and he was more in rhythm."
However, Bielema still said that if Allen gets clearance and can throw, Allen would start.
"If Brandon can go, he's number one," Bielema said. "Then it's AJ, then Austin Allen, then Brian Buehner and then Damon Mitchell."
Bielema said wide receiver Keon Hatcher would play after battling through hamstring issues the last two weeks. He said that gives the offense a boost. He noted that losing two playmakers like Hatcher and D'Arthur Cowan, still out with a broken foot, has been a blow to the wide receiver position.
"Wide receiver is the position that you need game reps more than any other spot," Bielema said. "To lose two of your playmakers, that makes it harder. But Javontee Herndon has raised his stock more than any player with the guys at the next level. He's had to be a one-man show."
Defensively, the Hogs should be close to full strength with the return of middle linebacker Otha Peters and strong safety Rohan Gaines.
"We've got a lot of our defensive personnel intact now," Bielema said. "And we've got Austin Tate back at tight end. We are tapping into that there."
Bielema said with Tate back, starter Mitchell Loewen and true freshman Hunter Henry might see their snaps drop. He said asking Loewen to play 60 snaps was unreasonable for a guy with limited experience.
"Hunter is back to full speed," Bielema said. "He took a shot to his leg in the second game that slowed him down last week. He feels right this week.
"For Loewen, less reps might be better. Cutting his reps from 60 back to maybe 30 will help him. Austin Tate back might make them all more effective."
Bielema continues to field questions about the playbook and the lack of passes.
"We haven't shown everything," he said. "In the first game, we thought we needed more balance. Then in the second game, we stubbed our toe in the middle of the game and we needed to pound it out and get the win. Last week, we lost our quarterback and that called for a different strategy."