University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino, wide receiver Greg Childs, tight end D.J. Williams and free safety Matt Harris met with the media at a press conference on Monday. Below is a brief transcript.
Head coach Bobby PetrinoOn the South Carolina game:"We ran the ball. Yardage wise I was kind of shocked because we didn’t have more yards rushing because I thought we ran the ball effectively, and we ran the ball the second half to control the clock, which translated into a lot of yards. Defensively, we did great. Overall it was a great win for us. I’m really happy with the win. I thought we fought hard. We had to overcome some obstacles, but we kept our points and succeeded to win the game.
On the Troy game:"We are going to have a great week at practice and watch Troy on video. They are a very good football team. The quarterback especially He is accurate, fast, and is all over the field, so we have to do a good job on defense on making sure we have a tight coverage and that we rush the quarterback. I do not know how many sacks that will translate into because the guy gets the ball out of his hand quickly, so he does a nice job of not getting sacked. Offensively, we have to be able to control the ball, control the line of scrimmage, and get some big plays throwing the ball. They are a very good football team, but we are looking forward to another good week of practice."
"(Troy) is obviously going to come in fired up. This is a big game to them. They have been playing very well. Defensively, they have a great defensive front. They have guys that are very fast and physical. They have two experienced linebackers. When you watch them on tape, they really understand football. They know where their fits are, what their scheme is, and what they are supposed to do within it. Again, I am impressed with their offense on how their quarterback plays, and the speed of their receivers."
On having a non-conference game late in the season:"I’ve never really done it before until I came here. It is different, but I see everyone in the conference doing it. Naturally, I’d rather play them earlier in the year where you get to build, play a lot of guys, and get ready for the conference game. Bottom line for us is that this is as big as any conference game, at this point in the season. So, we have to do great, and start getting ready for it."
On Ryan Mallett:"Ryan Mallet has done a real nice job taking care of the ball. His decision making helps that. I think the fact that he does throw the ball so hard, then maybe there could have been a few intercepted that weren’t, but any time you have that ratio between touchdown passes and interceptions, I am very happy with it."
On Broderick Green:"Unfortunately in camp he got pneumonia and missed a bunch of work. We just had to continue to keep giving him reps in practice, keep teaching him the offense and make sure he understood all the pass protections and get better at his running tracks. He has worked really hard. He has learned how to practice hard. He has learned how to carry the ball down the field 40 yards after he touches it, and it is all starting to pay off for him. He is a great person. He does anything you ask him to do."
On Arkansas’ offensive production:"Offensively, we have been able to score touchdowns and make most field goals. I think that when you can run the ball like we have been able to run it in that area, particularly within the last few weeks with some power and the big back, that has really helped us score some touchdowns. Ryan (Mallett) has been a very good threat in our play action down there, and we feel good about our players when we get our receivers one-on-one. We have completed some nice fade routes for touchdowns."
On Arkansas’ defensive improvements:"Defensively, I think we have had a really good understanding trying to see what the other team is going to do, so we have had a good plan each week to take away what they do best in that area, and try to force them to beat us in some other way. Our guys have played very fast, and we do not hesitate a lot when we bend down in that area."
Wide receiver Greg ChildsOn preparing for Troy:"We got South Carolina out of the way so Troy is our next biggest game to get us to a bowl game. We are going to come out this week and practice even harder."
On the mood of players:"We all are excited. We felt like we could have made it to a bowl game last year, but things didn’t play out just right. We are trying to commit this year and make sure we make it to a bowl game."
On D.J. Williams:"He is a great player. He had a great season last year. He had a couple of chances this year that he didn’t get to shine but he always comes back and he never gets down. He always keeps the players pumped up."
On Ryan Mallett:"Ryan comes out every day and practices hard. If he miss-throws the ball one time, he is the first person to come to you and say ‘my fault’ but as a good teammate I let him know how I should have made this play for him or more moves. He is a great leader. He comes out to practice with the intensity to get better every practice."
On the Troy game:"We are going to study and break down the films. We are going to see what things they do well and what things we can take advantage of. We aren’t going to take them lightly.. We are going to treat them as if they are a No. 1 team ranked against us."
On third down conversions:"At practice we emphasize third down conversions because that is the biggest down in the game. If you don’t covert on a third down then you can’t go to another first or second down. If you convert more on third downs then you have a better chance of winning the game."
Tight end D.J. WilliamsOn the South Carolina game:"It felt good. I hate to say I was involved more in the offense because I feel like I have been involved all year just in a different role, Saturday just happened to be more in the passing game. It was fun getting some balls and running after the catch, but overall, the game was great because we won."
On quarterback Ryan Mallett:"I would say his confidence has gotten stronger in the huddle with each game. When the coach calls a play, he always says, ‘This is going to hit.’ He has so much confidence in the play calls and executing it because we practice so hard on game-like situations that when tough situations come up in games, he’s ready and confident. He’s a great leader for us and I’m glad he’s on our team."
On the Troy game:"They’re a good team. They produce good athletes. They’re not coming into Fayetteville expecting to lose, they’re expecting to win. They’re athletic and we’re going to have to prepare just like we do every week. We need to take care of our business so we can emerge with a win."
On being one win away from bowl eligibility:"We understand that if we win one more game, we’ll be bowl-eligible. If we win three more, it will put us in a better spot. We’re going to come out, try to win this one, and stay focused for the rest of the year and try to win the last three to put us in a better bowl game."
Free safety Matt HarrisOn Troy quarterback Levi Brown:"He is a transfer from Richmond which is where my brother played. He’s a good quarterback. He is tall and has good arm strength. He is someone we see as a threat"
On Troy:"There is no chance we are going to overlook Troy. They are a good football team and we are never going to take them lightly. Whenever you play the Trojans, you have to bring you’re A-game."
On good red zone defense:"We buckle down in the red zone. Opposing offense’s playbook gets pretty limited in the red zone. Our coaches do a great job with us on red zone defense. Coach (Willy) Robinson calls good plays that he knows we feel comfortable with."