Senior linebacker Martrell Spaight on being named to the AP All-SEC first team: “It’s funny, someone tweeted me the other day telling me Sam Olajubutu was the last man to do it. He was my linebackers coach when I was in Junior College. I thought it was cool, he taught me a couple of things about playing linebacker I took into consideration and it’s been paying off.”
Junior wide receiver Keon Hatcher on the Texas rivalry: “I feel like we will have a lot of fans travel out to Houston for this game, which will be huge for us as our support system. Our plan is to prepare the best we can, and get the win in this so-called ‘old-school’ rivalry. Being from Oklahoma, I definitely disliked Texas growing up, and can’t say that’s changed.”
Defensive coordinator Robb Smith on Spaight leading the conference with 123 tackles: “It is a testament to the way he has worked, and how hard to has worked. More than that it’s a testament to our entire defense. When you play great defense you need 11 guys on the same page, and things were able to fall in line for him at least 120 plus times. That’s a great feeling, I am really happy for him, but I know he wants to finish out the year with a great appearance in this bowl game as well.”
Smith on today’s focus of practice: “Today was definitely more fundamentals, without question. We have had some time off, and they have been with Coach Herbert in the weight room, so today was nothing crazy. We just wanted them to get out there, take on blocks, work on tackling, do some team stuff against our offense. Our main focus was getting these boys back into football shape.”
Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney on having two running backs rush for 1,000+yds in Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins:“Anytime you can do that, that’s something to hang your hat on. Two kids who have played hard all year long. Jonathan battled through injuries, but the kids up front stayed healthy which always helps blocking. Hunter Henry stayed healthy and was able to block, too. The help up front helped a lot. Those kids played hard, it doesn’t happen often, at least that I can recall. ”
Chaney on Williams’ improvement from last year: “One thing Jonathan did is show up to practice every day, and not only did he do that but he played hard even when he was unable to practice. The one thing he learned this season is to be able to battle through injuries. No matter what happens, if you go on and play at the next level, and you get those opportunities to do so, you have to learn to play through that and I think he definitely did that this season.”
The Razorbacks will travel to Houston to take on the Texas Longhorns in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. The SEC/BIG12 matchup will take place at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPN.
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