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Allen, Mitchell continue QB battle at Arkansas

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 19, 2013 at 2:28 am •  Published: April 19, 2013

Chaney, whose career has included stops at Purdue and the NFL along with a stint at Tennessee, said the transition has gone about as expected this spring. He initially took a simple approach to installing the offense and admitted it was "tough for me to say anything positive about what we've been getting done in the passing game," but he saw much-needed progress in a recent scrimmage.

Allen connected on several deep passes in that scrimmage, as he has done with growing frequency this spring.

"Right now, I feel we're a little bit smoother, it appears, with Brandon Allen but not considerably," Chaney said. "And statistically, he might be a little bit ahead, but not considerably. I mean, there's no great separation in my opinion."

Chaney said he's comfortable letting two front-runners carry on their competition as long as Bielema sees fit.

The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Allen emerged last summer as a viable backup to Wilson following Mitchell's move to receiver and after a redshirt season his first year on campus. He struggled, however, in the second half of Arkansas' loss to Louisiana-Monroe after Wilson suffered a concussion and the following week in a 52-0 loss to Alabama.

Even if a starter isn't named after Saturday, Allen plans to fill the role of offseason leader that Wilson took on in each of the last two summers.

"Different faces have to step up with a pretty young group of there," Allen said. "It's really going to come down to people leading each other. I'm going to do my best to lead everyone, and that's a role I think I'm trying to step into."

Mitchell, for his part, is on board with whatever decision Bielema makes — whenever that might be.

"It's going to be crazy because we don't know when coach is going to decide," Mitchell said. "I guess whenever he feels like he is ready to make the decision, that's when he'll make the decision."