Good pass protection and better play from his receivers helped Brandon Allen turn in his best passing performance in more than a month on Saturday. The signal caller went 10 of 22 for 122 yards. He also threw a touchdown. It came on a 13-yard pass to Keon Hatcher.
“I know they made some tough catches for me that were good confidence builders for them and that’s really what its all about, playing with confidence and being able to go and make the big catch and the tough catches,” said Allen.
Hatcher, only a sophomore, has shown signs of play making ability. So far this season, the wide receiver has caught fifteen passes for 175 yards. He has also racked up 123 yards on the ground.
“He’s a big body guy,” said Wide Receiver Javontee Herndon. “He has great speed. He runs great routes. We can do a lot with him in both the running and passing game.”
“He’s a big physical receiver, so he can go run block if he needs to,” said Allen. “He’s also a talented wideout. He can go make that jump ball play. It was kind of what that touchdown pass was.”
Arkansas has been looking for more ways to get the ball to Hatcher and that’s meant touches in the run game as well.
“When you are running a lot of full flow runs like we do, any misdirection helps,” said Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney. “Herndon’s been on my butt he wants to run the play too, but right now Hatcher is handling it, because Herndon is in my doghouse.”
“Any time you have a threat like him who can run reverses and get yards and you have our running backs that can pound the ball inside,” said Allen. “It’s a multidimensional play that keeps defenses kind of balanced.”
While Hatcher is a threat in both the running and passing game, it’s his confidence that adds an additional weapon to the Hog’s offense.
“I’m very confident in myself and I feel like anything anybody else can do I can do it too at the receiver position,” said Hatcher.