No head coach wants to receive a 4 a.m. phone call. Usually those calls mean a player is either injured or in serious trouble.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema received such a call early Monday morning from his starting quarterback, Brandon Allen. Thankfully, there was no injury nor was Allen himself in trouble, but there was one major issue he had to tell his coach: his truck was set on fire.
"Your breath kind of stops for a moment when I saw it was (Allen) calling me," Bielema said at his press conference on Monday. "He just kind of explained to me that he was calling to let me know that his car was on fire and he was watching it across the street and the fire department was there and his dad was on the way. That, unfortunately something had put his car on fire, that he didn't really know at the time what had taken place."
According to police, Allen's car was one of three to four vehicle fires in the Fayetteville area on Sunday night. Bielema suggested it might have been the work of somebody from out of town, but authorities are being cautious considering the same truck was egged last year after the Razorbacks lost to Mississippi State.
"If it is someone that targeted him, then obviously we've got to deal with that situation as it comes," Bielema added.
Allen threw for 1,552 yards and 13 touchdowns last season as an 11-game starter in 2013. Both the signal-caller and his little brother, Razorbacks backup quarterback Austin, were put off limits to the media following the incident.
Arkansas opens the season against Auburn on Saturday.
Here are 11 other things you need to know from Monday:
- The number of teams without a starting quarterback continued to dwindle. Arizona's Rich Rodriguez named redshirt freshman Anu Solomon as the first off the bench for the Wildcats when they open the season on Friday. Solomon, a highly regarded recruit from powerhouse high school Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, beat out USC transfer Jesse Scroggins and Texas transfer Connor Brewer. From the sounds of Rodriguez, don't be surprised if the other candidates see some playing time, however.
- North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, on the other hand, didn't say who would start for the Tar Heels against Liberty on Saturday. He said one reason he won't is "because it bothers everybody, and that just gives me pleasure."
- Tennessee released its depth chart, and the Vols' starting offensive line for Sunday against a tough Utah State team will feature a little-used former walk-on at left tackle (senior Jacob Gilliam), a true freshman who opened fall camp on the defensive line at right guard (Jashon Robertson) and a little-used junior who spent most of camp playing guard at right tackle (Kyler Kerbyson). The Vols have an all-new offensive line and an all-new defensive line. The d-line includes three holdovers and one true freshman.
- Fresno State is already facing a tough opener at a top 15 team this weekend and will be without wide receiver/starting kick returner Dillon Root. The school gave only a vague "violation of Athletic Department policy" as the reason why he'll miss the game against USC.
- According to ESPN, Nebraska starting defensive tackle Aaron Curry will be transferring to TCU. The 6-foot-1, 280-pounder announced his intentions to leave Lincoln a few weeks ago and was rumored to be going to Oklahoma initially. Curry should be able to redshirt in 2014 and have two more seasons of eligibility for the Horned Frogs, a program that is not too far from where he attended high school.
- Iowa suffered a blow to its defensive line depth when junior Darian Cooper announced he would miss the season with an injury. He played in every game the past two years as a backup defensive tackle and was expected to rotate in behind senior starters Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat. Cooper wasn't the only Big Ten defensive tackle to be lost for the season on Monday either as Northwestern's Sean McEvilly confirmed he won't play in 2014. He started 13 games the past two years but was injured after the third game last season due to a foot injury.
- With Texas A&M moving to the SEC and Houston in the AAC, there are a number of options for Big 12 players to transfer within the state of Texas. Rarely does one see a Big 12-to-Big 12 transfer, but that seems to be the case with former Texas offensive lineman Rami Hammad. He told ESPN.com on Monday that Waco is indeed where he was headed and he'll have two seasons left to play for Baylor.
- Brady Hoke said that Derrick Green, who was the jewel of Michigan's 2013 recruiting class, will start at tailback for the Wolverines on Saturday against Appalachian State. Green struggled with his weight as a true freshman and was used less than expected. He nudged out fellow sophomore De'Veon Green for the starting job.
- Chris Dunkley was a consensus national top-40 prospect overall and a top-10 wide receiver in the 2010 signing class. He signed with Florida before eventually moving on to USF. Now a senior, Dunkley (6-0, 188) was moved to cornerback during fall camp and it was announced Monday that has won a starting job. Athleticism and speed never have been issues with Dunkley; if he is fully invested this season, he should be able to impress scouts enough to at least get an NFL camp invitation next year.
- Miami (Fla.) tight end Beau Sandland went into fall camp as the likely No. 2 guy behind starter Clive Walford. But Sandland struggled during camp, fell to No. 3 on the depth chart, then decided Sunday night to transfer closer to his home in the Los Angeles area. No decision has been made on where Sandland will end up, but unless he transfers to a FCS school, he will have to sit out the season.
- Quarterback battles were also decided at North Texas (Juco transfer Josh Greer), Ohio (Derrius Vick), Eastern Michigan (redshirt freshman Reggie Bell) and Louisiana Tech (Cody Sokol).