Razorback QB Battle: Austin Allen vs Rafe Peavey


Head Coach Bret Bielema has stated that QBs Austin Allen and Rafe Peavey have set themselves apart during spring practices thus far. The QB battle, also featuring Ty Storey and Ricky Town, is one of the most competitive in the country. But has it narrowed down to just two?

No other team in the country is as deep in battle at the QB position like Arkansas. Four quarterbacks, none of whom having any great collegiate experience, are duking it out right now in Fayetteville.

Questions surrounding the QB position have been looming ever since the beginning of 2015, when veteran Brandon Allen‘s days behind center were, consequently, numbered. After a poor showing two years in a row for BA, there wasn’t really an Arkansas fan around that was truly going to miss him. But after a jolt of confidence and talent, Allen began throwing the ball like never before in 2015. The record breaking stats that he racked up gave Hog fans like me insight as to how much we needed a quarterback once Brandon Allen was gone.

That brings us to the four candidates. Austin Allen, brother of Brandon Allen, was pretty much given the No. 1 slot since the ending of last season. With Austin Allen having extremely limited amounts of time playing in his two years as a Razorback, throwing him into the role could get any loyal Hog worried.

But then again, he is our most experienced quarterback. So…who else we got?

The other three candidates are Rafe Peavey, Ricky Town, and Ty Storey. With no collegiate experience between the three of them, it was a toss up as to who would take the reign. As it turns out, the quarterback with the second-most experience as an Arkansas Razorback decided to step things up.

Rafe Peavey, a sophomore out of Bolivar, Missouri, is beginning to prove himself to the coaching staff and Hog fans. Not only that, Peavey is digging himself out of a ditch with Ty Storey and Ricky Town in order to make a name for himself.

Now it’s just a matter of continuing to surpass expectations and competing with the No. 1 QB Austin Allen.

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When it comes down to it

, Rafe Peavey and Austin Allen have two contrasting styles. Allen is the ideal pocket passer, staying in the box long enough to find his receiver. Peavey on the other hand is the ideal mobile quarterback (or the not-so-pocket-passer, whichever way you want to look at it).

Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Nitro quarterback Rafe Peavey (16) drops back during the second half at Tropicana Field. Team Highlight defeated the Team Nitro 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Nitro quarterback Rafe Peavey (16) drops back during the second half at Tropicana Field. Team Highlight defeated the Team Nitro 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Peavey’s style evolves around his ability to scramble, something that we haven’t seen out of an Arkansas quarterback in too long of a time (unless you call running for your life scrambling). While he recorded 16 passing touchdowns in his senior season, he racked up a whopping 27 TDs on the ground. It was that style of play that not only led his high school team to a conference championship, but landed him a spot in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Game.

Is it surprising that these two QBs are sticking out from the rest? Probably not. Because the main difference between Peavey/Allen and Storey/Town, as mentioned earlier, is that they have the upper hand in overall experience. With nobody really expecting Ty Storey to jump up the depth chart, the attention was drawn to USC transfer Ricky Town.

Being the one of the highest recruited QBs to transfer to Arkansas since Ryan Mallett, Town had all eyes on him. But it came as a shock to everyone when Bielema said shortly before the Liberty Bowl that Ricky was not picking up any of the “Hoganese”. Still, throughout early spring practice, there is no indication that Town has improved his ability to click with this offense. This inability to show off any of his talents has put him at the bottom of the totem pole. 

So has the battle truly slimmed down to just two? Luckily, we still have plenty of time to figure that out. But for now, it’s Allen’s and Peavey’s job to win or lose. Their different ways of playing the game make it an interesting battle for sure. My money will be that Allen gets the start against Louisiana Tech in that opening matchup, but hopefully we’ll get to see Peavey thrown in for a few plays. Maybe even designed QB runs?

A boy can only hope.

More razorbacks: Hogs Look to Improve Pass Rush

In the meantime, we wait for more information regarding the quarterback position. Who do you think will get the starting job once fall rolls around? Will an Allen get his fourth year as an Arkansas starting QB? Will the Allens ever go away, or are we stuck with more? Did Bret Bielema truly invent a new language called Hoganese?

Find out next time on Razorbackers!