Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen has a dirty truck

Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen isn't looking for any help with taking care of his truck, but did admit that it was aching for some tender loving care. Allen knows the Hogs have to push the Henry Heave to the back burner with a trip to LSU looming large this week.

There was a time when Brandon Allen played on the road and bad things happened to his truck. These days, fans are volunteering to help out with some tender loving care. He said, with a charming smile and a laugh, it could use it.

Allen earned SEC Player of the Week after he threw for 442 yards and broke the school record with six touchdowns at Ole Miss. Told that a fan had offered to wax and polish his truck, Allen said, "Really? I'll tell you what, it's really dirty. Needs washing."

Allen's truck was egged, then later destroyed with a fire bomb. No one even writes "wash me" or "make a play" on his dirty truck these days and he got a ride off the field on the back of teammates after the 53-52 overtime victory over Ole Miss last week in Oxford. He's still not happy about that. He said he's afraid of heights.

"I couldn't stop them," Allen said after practice Tuesday, referring to defensive linemen Mitch Loewen and Deatrich Wise. "They are way too big for me to tell them what to do."

Allen said there have been some fun moments since the Hogs won their second straight SEC game, but all of it has been shoved to the back burner as preparation switched to LSU. The Tigers have their full attention and some of the side notes about the victory at Oxford are not important.

"I think with some of the losses, we learned the importance of focusing on the next game," Allen said. "That's what we do. We move on. We moved on Sunday."

It wasn't easy. There are constant reminders about the big plays the Hogs made against the Rebels, including the fourth-and-25 backward pass that Hunter Henry threw, first tipped by Dan Skipper, picked up by Alex Collins, then ultimately recovered for a first down by Dominique Reed.

Allen said there was some talk of that play as the players left the field after practice Tuesday night. It centered on what to call the play. There have been plenty of suggestions.

"I like The Henry Heave," Allen said. "I've heard some others, like Hail Henry or Henry Heaven."

Henry was within ear shot. He said it didn't matter.

"It's been cool," he said. "We've soaked it in, then moved forward. You have to move on.

"I think we have a mature group, some older guys. It's easy to move on after a loss, but it's just as important to move on after a big win. I think it helps to have a team like LSU next. We know what to expect. They are very good and it's going to be a great environment. It always is there.

"LSU is big and physical. We have to be ready for them to hit us in the mouth and be ready to hit them in the mouth right back. They are really good. Baton Rouge is such a live atmosphere. The fans are crazy and loud."

Offensive line coach Sam Pittman thinks the Hogs are better prepared for the noise in Tiger Stadium after trips to some great venues this year. He said the noise in AT&T Stadium caused some confusion and mistakes, but that wasn't near an issue in trips to Knoxville, Tuscaloosa and Oxford.

"We didn't play well at Alabama but we didn't have the penalties we had against Texas A&M. I think we've learned how to handle that."

Henry said, "First thing, you know you have to watch for the movement of the ball. You aren't going to hear the snap count. You better watch the ball. We learned that."

It appears the Hogs have learned how to make a play, especially Allen. He scored the winning two-point conversion and was spectacular for almost all of the game. What's changed?

"I think we just have more playmakers," he said. "I think we've also learned to relax a little bit. We know we can make the plays. I was probably trying to do too much earlier in the year. I think I always had confidence that I could make a play, but when you do it, you relax some.

"I still look back and think about all of those close games and a play I could have made that would have made a difference. Closing out a game is good for me."

Allen was sacked twice early in the game, but benefited to a few plays that put him on the move as the game progressed.

"That was in the game plan," he said. "We knew we were going to have to distract the eyes in their front. They have a good pass rush. We were going to put things in motion and try to get outside, give our guys some time to get open."

Pittman saw good things from the line, especially from right guard Frank Ragnow. The sophomore  from Minnesota graded out solidly despite drawing a tough matchup, stout tackle Robert Nkimdeche.

"Frankey has played well the last two or three weeks," Pittman said. "He's getting better. We didn't give him a whole lot of help this week and he did a nice job. He kept his pad level down and used leverage. That's a good one he was going against and he did really well.

"I think with Frankey we forget that it's just his second year of college. He's getting better and better. I still think his best position will be center. We'll move him back there next year, but he's getting better at (guard)."

Pittman said it was great fun to watch the overtime play out. He said he's never been a part of anything like it.

"I was amazed," he said. "You don't see too many of those. I don't think anyone has seen many like that play. I was watching it like everyone at home, in disbelief thinking maybe (the game) was over."

The fact that Skipper was involved was fun for Pittman. Did Skipper get a helmet sticker for directing the ball to Collins?

"He got a couple of attaboys,"  Pittman said. "It did help for him to be 6-10. He tipped it, yes he did. But what I like is that he didn't stop. He chased that play down the field and when Alex fumbled it and Reed got on it, Dan covered him up and that was a hustle play. He doesn't stop.

"You know, there have been times that Dan has had a little heat on him. What I know, he loves Arkansas and he plays hard as heck."

Skipper said he's had fun watching the play over and over. He paid attention when ESPN science geeks explained it with physics and odds.

"I like the physics part of it," he said. "And, the odds they explained well. For it to bounce like that for Alex, it's 30-to-1."

Skipper said there was never a thought about trying to catch it and run.

"I was trying to direct it to our guys," he said. "It didn't need to end up with me. I thought Brandon might be somewhere in that direction, or Alex. I just wanted to keep it alive and away from guys in blue."

Looking back, Skipper didn't see a lot of skill in the tip or anything else about the play.

"I think it was an act of God," he said. "I can tell you, I've seen a lot of that kind of stuff go the other way the last two years. Some of it we just did to ourselves. But it seemed like bad stuff was constantly happening to us. I do think it was time for us to get one."

Hawgs Daily Top Stories