University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino, Ryan Mallett, Jerico Nelson and Greg Childs met with the media Monday. A transcript of the press conference follows:
Head Coach Bobby Petrino
On LSU:"I know our players are excited to go down there and play against them. We feel like we can play with them. They’re a very good football team. They have a tremendous amount of talent. They have speed and we have to execute and play the game of football better than they do. We have to play well and play physical and play fast and execute well."
On Mississippi State’s defense:"They didn’t have a lot to lose so they were aggressive on their defensive calls and it hurt them at times. We did a nice job of taking advantage of their mistakes. The first touchdown to Joe Adams was on a blown coverage. Mallett and Joe both saw it."
On Paul Petrino’s head coach candidacy:"He’s going to be a head coach at some point. You have to be patient and make sure you take the right job. You have to make sure that first job is a situation where you can go in and be successful and win. It was nice of Western Kentucky to let Paul go in after the game and spend time there and interview and didn’t interfere with our schedule at all. We missed nothing in our preparation for LSU. I don’t think it could have worked out any better than that."
On first road game in five weeks:"We’re excited to go play on the road this week. We need to play well. We need to go win a tough game on the road and get that experience under our belt. It’s certainly something that is a goal for the entire team."
On Arkansas’ current win streak against LSU: "It gives you some confidence. When you watch the video you’re watching the same guys you played against last year. You look at their defense and most of those guys are the exact same guys that were there last year with the exception of a great defensive end and really good line backer."
Quarterback Ryan Mallett
On road game going to LSU:"We’ve won four in a row and we are going into a tough game. This week we are going to have to play our best football. We are going to have to go in there and play physical and tough."
On Miss. State being physical:"They were physical and we just had to mix some things up. They had so many people in the box and gave us chances to throw it deeper."
On using so many running backs:"We have so many guys that can step in and play. It’s an advantage to us and a disadvantage to defenses. They have to prepare for different styles of running."
On Michael Smith:"He has been helping all the freshman and new guys coming in all year. He keeps everyone focused and helps out the team as a whole."
On preparing for LSU:"They are fast and physical. We just have to go to work and it’s going to be a battle that we have to be ready for."
On the bowl scenarios:"Right now we are bowl eligible and we have to go get this win to get a better bowl."
On Dennis Johnson:"There are so many things he can do with the football. When the lights come on is when Dennis turns it on."
Safety/Linebacker Jerico Nelson
On defensive mindset against LSU:"We have to stop their running game and swarm to the ball. We have to put pressure on their quarterback and get some turnovers in Death Valley."
On LSU QB Jordan Jefferson:"I got to play with him two years in high school. He started as a junior. Playing with him was fun and it will help me against him this year."
On game against LSU in 2008:"Last year was a fun game. It was my best performance last year; I had nine tackles and two sacks. We had a different vibe that game. The defense connected the dots last year. We were all on the same page."
WR Greg Childs
On the offense:"Different receivers can do different things. We play in the type of offense that utilizes each wide receiver. We always know that one receiver will have a big day."
On Cobi Hamilton:"He’s a big receiver. He always practices hard. He just wants a couple balls a game. We just tell him to make the most of his opportunities."
On Paul Petrino:"He’s one of the most amped up coaches. He’s the first one to be yelling for everyone to get ready. He tries to pump up the whole team not just the offense."
On offensive improvement the last four weeks:"We have come together the last four weeks. We have players that can make plays all across the field. We practice harder now. Every week we try to get better. We’re going to go out and try to play our game."