Arkansas junior Brandon Allen was one of the most-protected quarterbacks in the country two weeks ago after being sacked once through five games.

Arkansas junior Brandon Allen was one of the most-protected quarterbacks in the country two weeks ago after being sacked once through five games.


That has changed the past two weeks and left guard Sebastian Tretola isn’t happy.


"We pride ourselves on things like our quarterback not being touched," Tretola said after Tuesday’s practice. "And that genuinely makes me angry when he gets hit. That’s like my little brother or my mom or somebody getting hit.


"That is our precious jewel and he doesn’t need to be touched."


Allen, who was sacked four times by Alabama on Oct. 11, went down three more times in the 45-32 loss to Georgia last Saturday. He had the ball stripped out of his hand twice and lost one fumble in the loss. It was returned for a touchdown.


It was all part of a rough afternoon for the junior, who had to leave the field for one snap after landing on the football. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema credited Georgia’s defense for creating havoc, but said the Razorbacks must do a better job in pass protection after the quarterback his the ground 11 times against the Bulldogs.


"Obviously B.A. got up slow a couple of times," Bielema said. "You’re just playing Russian Roulette there if you let your quarterback get hit."


Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said Arkansas was "loose up front," but added that Allen held the ball too long on a couple occasions. So he said everyone plays a role in making sure Arkansas does a better job in pass protection Saturday.


"It’s the wide receivers being where they need to be, when they need to be there," Chaney said. "It’s the line declaring who the (middle linebacker) is and getting the line where they need to be. It’s B.A. taking the proper drop and getting the ball out of his hand. It seemed like on several occasions all or a few of the above took place."


Allen said Tuesday he was "perfectly fine" after getting roughed up by Georgia in the first half. While he got up slow a couple of times, the junior said it was nothing more than "bumps and bruises and normal things in the game of football."


But right tackle Brey Cook said the line wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again.


"That’s something we have to prove, something we will improve," Cook said. "I have no doubt we’ll do a lot better and communicating and getting those things down."


Extra workload


Center Mitch Smothers has been splitting work with freshman Frank Ragnow most of the season. But the junior has logged every snap at center the past two weeks with Ragnow continuing to work his way back from a concussion.


Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman said Smothers has played well in the extended work. But the Razorbacks plan to get Ragnow back in the mix Saturday to help Smothers stay fresh for the fourth quarter.


"I think if we can spare Mitch maybe eight reps in the first quarter and maybe eight in the second half, I think he might finish a little stronger," Pittman said. "But I feel like he played pretty well the entire game last week."


Smothers said it felt good to play two full games. But he’ll welcome Ragnow back.


"Of course the selfish side of me says I want to play the whole game, but ultimately it’s about the team," Smothers said. "If it helps the team, I will do whatever it takes."


Kirkland at tackle


Right guard Denver Kirkland played nine snaps at left tackle against Georgia, sliding out to the position after the Razorbacks pulled sophomore Dan Skipper.


Senior Cameron Jefferson is normally the backup at the position, but is wearing No. 89 while he contributes at tight end. So Pittman said the Razorbacks need a contingency plan if something happens to Skipper. Kirkland moves to tackle until Jefferson is able to change into the No. 79 jersey that will allow him to play the position.


"So we went through the four plays," Pittman said Tuesday. "We scored a touchdown with that group in there, so I elected to keep the group out there for another series. That series didn’t work out quite so good. So we went back with Dan and went back with Denver at right guard and Sebastian at left guard."


Extra points


• Running back Alex Collins has struggled the past two weeks, gaining just 44 yards in losses to Alabama and Georgia. But Tretola said Collins isn’t alone in his struggles. "A.C. is a great back," Tretola said. "There’s no doubt in that. It’s just the swagger. I think that goes with the whole offense. It’s just the swagger. We are the baddest 11 on the field and that’s what it is. A.C. falls in that category with the rest of us as far as just getting that swagger back and getting what we do back to what we do."


• UAB is 2-21 against SEC opponents. But the Blazers have lost 15 straight against the SEC. Its last win came in 2004, when UAB beat Mississippi State 27-13. The Blazers only other win came in a 13-10 victory at LSU in 2000.


• Bielema believes linebacker Martrell Spaight is "playing lights out" this season. Spaight had 10 tackles against Georgia and leads the Razorbacks with 63 stops. "I can’t say enough about what he’s doing," Bielema said. "And for our younger players to see him walk into a meeting room and prepare the way he does and play with the intensity that he does is really special. He’s playing phenomenal football."