Who will be the starting quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks?
That is the burning question surrounding Bret Bielema during his first year as the Hogs' head coach. Both Brandon Mitchell and Brandon Allen played last season behind the departed Tyler Wilson.
Mitchell, a senior, and Allen, a sophomore, saw very limited time though. Allen was 21-of-49 for 186 yards and three interceptions while Mitchell was 2-of-8 for 45 yards. Mitchell spent the majority of his time at wide receiver.
“Obviously I’d love to have a first team All-SEC quarterback, lineman, linebacker, a (defensive back) but the reality is you have to work with what you have and where you are at,” Bielema said. “I’m saying someone won’t emerge out of that group.”
With the installation of a new offense, Bielema will obviously be looking for certain requirements of his signal caller.
“Three things are important for me as quarterback play,” Bielema said. “How to manage a game. Be able to handle the huddle, handle the communication, handle the snap. Just do the things a quarterback by given rights should be able to do. Second thing is be able to execute the play.... The third thing and most prevalent to me and you’re not going to find this in practice three, four or the course of 15 (spring practices) but a quarterback needs to be triumphant in the most difficult times.”
Bielema said that he has never used a multiple quarterback system but added that it would be possible to see a "segment where a quarterback has a unique skill set" see some time at the position.
“As a head coach, just my philosophy would be, we will be really, really good at fewer things rather than be mediocre at a lot of different things,” Bielema said. “It’s just what I believe in.”
Arkansas will put both quarterbacks on display in the annual Red-White game on April 20th.