1. On Austin’s Debut: The blowout win against Nicholls State gave Arkansas a chance to get its first look at backup quarterback Austin Allen running the offense.

1. On Austin’s Debut: The blowout win against Nicholls State gave Arkansas a chance to get its first look at backup quarterback Austin Allen running the offense.


Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said the redshirt freshman had a solid debut.


"For the most part I thought Austin went out and knew the game plan very well and executed it," Chaney said. "We had a lot of check with me’s in the running game and he handled that marvelously well and I was pleased with him. There’s always a couple plays you’d like to take back and I’m sure Austin can concur."


Allen completed 4 of 9 passes for 72 yards and rushed for a touchdown. He also threw an interception. Allen was on the field for four series and the Razorbacks scored on three of them, collecting 17 points in the 73-7 win.


The interception came late in the third quarter when Arkansas had reached the Nicholls State 4. Allen tried to throw a pass to the flat, but didn’t get it over linebacker Joh Williamson’s head. Williamson caught it and returned it 50 yards.


"I thought Austin, I’m sure he’ll say the same thing, he missed a couple throws," Chaney said. "The interception down on the goal line, we’d like for him to flip that over that linebacker a little bit. He’ll learn to do that. I’m not too worried about it."


Allen showed some toughness in getting Arkansas into the end zone later.


The Hogs faced third-and-goal from the Nicholls State 5 after Allen threw an incomplete pass to receiver Kendrick Edwards. The quarterback couldn’t find an open receiver on the play, but made sure the Razorbacks got into the end zone one final time by fighting through tacklers to cross the goal line.


"I thought he did well," Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen said. "He took the offense down. Now he needed to close out a couple more drives. But he took them down there. I thought he moved the offense well, threw a couple of nice passes. We tried to get him a touchdown pass, but I guess he wanted to run one."


2. Penalty Problems: Texas Tech is one of the most penalized teams in the nation after two weeks.


The Red Raiders are ranked 123rd out of 124 Football Bowl Subdivision teams after committing 25 penalties in wins against Central Arkansas and UTEP. Texas Tech also enters Saturday’s game ranked 122nd in penalty yards (204).


The sloppiness has played a part in Texas Tech’s close calls to start the season. But coach Kliff Kingsbury said there was progress against UTEP. After committing 15 penalties against Central Arkansas, the number was trimmed to 10 last Saturday.


"It was a big emphasis last week," Kingsbury said Monday. "If we can cut that number in half again, you’re right where you want to be. But if we want to win these games coming up, we have to cut that number down significantly."


3. Young Group: Eight of the 12 true freshmen Arkansas has played this season are on defense.


Linebacker Khalia Hackett, defensive end Anthony Brown and cornerback Cornelius Floyd were added to the list after making their debuts last Saturday.


Hackett finished with 5 tackles and earned special teams player of the week honors. Floyd had one tackle and broke up a pass. Brown didn’t record a tackle, but was credited with a pass break up and hurry after hitting quarterback Kale Henderson.


The three join defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson, linebackers Dwayne Eugene and Randy Ramsey, and defensive backs Henre’ Toliver and Josh Liddell as true freshmen contributors on defense. Defensive coordinator Robb Smith said the young players will continue to help the Razorbacks this season.


"In order for us to get where we want to go, we need all hands on deck," Smith said Sunday. "Those guys, like I said, they had a great training camp. They had a great week of practice. And we want to get them involved."


4. Extra Points


• Arkansas is preparing for an important test against Texas Tech this week. But offensive line coach Sam Pittman said his group didn’t exactly get off to a great start with Tuesday’s practice. "I wish it would have been better," Pittman said. "I didn’t think we finished our blocks as well as we should have with the game as big as this one is coming up. I felt our intensity should have been better up front and they know it. I’m assuming it will be better (Wednesday)."


• Running backs coach Joel Thomas didn’t have his entire group available for the Nicholls State win because Korliss Marshall was held out by the staff. But he said the backfield was back to "full speed" for Tuesday’s practice. "Good day to have them out there," Thomas said. "It got a little muggy at times. Who knows what it’s going to be like (today). Good to have all the legs."


• Freshman Frank Ragnow played 44 snaps against Nicholls State, according to Pittman. Starter Mitch Smothers logged 12. Pittman said Ragnow did well in his debut and will continue to play, but "Mitch is definitely the starter center."


• Redshirt freshman Damon Mitchell earned his first playing time as a Razorbacks against Nicholls State and rushed for 36 yards on three carries. All three were toss plays. Chaney was asked Sunday if Arkansas plans to play Mitchell more this season. "We haven’t even talked about that yet," Chaney said. "Duwop did fine. I think we have a strong tendency to toss the ball to Duwop. In our self-scout I believe we’ve noticed that. I bet maybe (opponents) have also."


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau