FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen saw the pressure coming from the right side of the offensive line Saturday, but didn’t lose his cool.

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen saw the pressure coming from the right side of the offensive line Saturday, but didn’t lose his cool.


The junior sidestepped the defender and rolled to his right. He scanned through options and, just before reaching the sideline, found the best one. Allen zipped a pass on the run to receiver Jared Cornelius for a 10-yard touchdown, capping a key scoring drive with less than a minute remaining in the first half.


"I was rushing out of the pocket," Allen said about the play after the game. "We got a little pressure and I was kind of looking for people to get open in the end zone."


Arkansas may have running backs Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins and Korliss Marshall to handle the rushing load, but Allen’s back-breaking touchdown pass in the 52-14 win against Northern Illinois offered another sign they’re not the only ones making plays with their legs this season. Allen — who will lead Arkansas (3-1, 0-1 in SEC) into Saturday’s game against No. 6 Texas A&M (4-0, 1-0) in Cowboys Stadium — has made an impact as well in his team’s three wins.


No one is confusing Allen’s abilities for some of the SEC’s best dual-threat quarterbacks like Heisman trophy winners Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton or Tim Tebow. But Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said he’s doing enough on the run to make defenses think as they prepare for the Razorbacks.


He has kept plays like his touchdown pass to Cornelius alive by avoiding pressure, moved the chains by scrambling for first downs, and has even reached the end zone twice the past two weeks. He’s third on the team in rushing touchdowns.


"Anybody who can move the chains with their feet when they make the decision to do so and it’s a correct decision – let me add, when it’s a correct decision to do so – I think it’s immeasurable," Chaney said. "It’s hard on the defense. When they know that you have a quarterback that can tuck it and scramble in a situation it changes some of the coverages that they’re able to call."


Allen’s rushing statistics aren’t gaudy: He has 49 rushing yards the nine times he has taken off to run this season. But he has been successful in meeting a goal the past three weeks. Allen has at least two first downs a game with his feet.


In fact, six of his rushing attempts have resulted in first downs or touchdowns.


"I’m confident running," Allen said. "We talk about in our QB room about getting two first downs with our feet and that’s kind of when pass plays break down or something happens, just scrambling and keeping the chains moving.


"I think we’ve done a better job this year of doing that."


The impact was obvious at Texas Tech, when Allen picked up a key first down with a career-best, 21-yard run in the first half at Texas Tech. He made an even bigger play with his feet in the third quarter, turning a bad play into a 5-yard touchdown run.


Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said it was Allen’s best play as a Razorback.


"Obviously, certain quarterbacks that make their mark as an athletic quarterback," Bielema said. "And when he scrambled for that first one a week ago at Texas Tech, I made the reference, ‘Who would’ve known that we had an athletic quarterback?’"


Allen’s success won’t keep Arkansas fans from cringing when he tucks the ball, though, which is understandable because of last season.


Arkansas’ hopes for the season ended when Allen dove into the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter of the win against Southern Miss. He separated his right shoulder on the play and the injury stuck with him the rest of the year.


Arkansas’ passing offense suffered because of it. Bielema said the Razorbacks were affected in other ways, too, because their quarterback couldn’t run free.


"As a defensive coordinator, if you have a guy back there that you know is never going to leave the pocket, you have a whole different game plan for what you can do to attack him," Bielema said. "And that’s basically what was happening a little bit last year. It was mainly due to injury that we couldn’t put him in that spot."


Bielema said Allen is confident now after working on his hook slide to avoid as many collisions as possible. But Bielema said Allen is still learning to stay out of danger.


He pointed to his last rushing attempt in the NIU win. Allen scrambled with the Razorbacks holding onto a comfortable in the fourth quarter and took a big hit.


"I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to let you stay in for one more series. But if you scramble again or take a hit, you’re done,’" Bielema said. "I still wanted to do things efficiently, but on the same account I didn’t want to put himself at risk."


Said Allen: "He told me to throw that one away."


It didn’t change Bielema’s belief in Allen’s value as a runner, though.


The quarterback’s ability to make something happen with his feet has become part of an offense carving out its identity this season.


"It’s not like we’re going to run him 20 times a game or anything like that," Bielema said. "I think he has to take advantage of the opportunities that come his way."