FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino addressed the media Monday after the Razorbacks’ 44-3 season-opening victory Saturday over Tennessee Tech in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. The UA head coach, in his third season at the helm, was happy with the effort made by the squad’s defensive unit.
"I was impressed with our defense," Coach Petrino said. "We have a better understanding of what we are doing, which really allows us to play faster and not hesitate. We did a nice job of tackling and getting guys to the football. We played aggressive. It was a good opening game for us on defense."
Coach Petrino noted that certain Razorbacks adjusted well after finding new positions on the Arkansas defense. Linebacker Anthony Leon, who played safety for UA last season, led the Razorbacks with eight tackles against TTU, including six solo stops.
"(Leon’s) fast and aggressive and did a very nice job of tackling," Coach Petrino said. "He’s big and long and can make good tackles.UA safety Rudell Crim made two tackles while covering the defensive secondary from a new position. Crim started every game at cornerback for Arkansas in 2009.
"(Crim’s) speed really showed up," Coach Petrino said. "He has great instincts and did a nice job of really understanding run/pass, and that’s what we’ve been working on with him. To do that, you’re reading the tight end or the tackle or the uncovered lineman to your side. He was very disciplined in doing that, and then his reaction to the run was very good."
Three different Razorback runners found the end zone in Saturday’s win, with running backs Dennis Johnson, Broderick Green and Ronnie Wingo Jr. scoring rushing touchdowns. Coach Petrino commented on the unit’s overall effort, which was led by Knile Davis’ 67 rushing yards.
"Our efficiency was pretty good as far as four yards a crack on first down," Coach Petrino said. "The standards we had for our efficiency were pretty good, but we need to get bigger plays in the running game."
Arkansas heads to Little Rock, Ark., and War Memorial Stadium Sept. 11 to take on ULM. The contest is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on FSN. For more information on Razorback football, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.