University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino, Ryan Mallett, Joe Adams and Matt Harris met with the media at a press conference on Monday. Below is a brief transcript.
Bobby PetrinoOn the bye week: "We had a good bye week. We really liked the way our players worked. We got a lot accomplished in the weight room. We did some conditioning. So I feel like physically, we are in as good as shape as we’ve been in, and mentally, we’ll be ready for the game."
On Georgia’s game against South Carolina:"We watched the Georgia game. It was a very exciting football game. They made a tremendous amount of improvement from their first game to the second game. They executed on offense and really showed off the power of their running game. South Carolina had a lot of success throwing the ball against Georgia, but no one has been able to run on them yet."
On Arkansas’ special teams:"We’re getting better. We do have some things we have to shore up. It’s hard to simulate a live punt return in practice. That’s an area we have to do a better job with. We work a lot on catching punts. We also have to get better at kicking the ball deep on kick-offs and on our coverage."
On Georgia’s A.J. Green:"We have to make sure we know where he’s at. They do a good job of lining him up in different places and try to get him in one-on-one match-ups. He has long arms and runs great routes. He really causes you two problems, he’s hard to match-up with, and he’s hard to tackle after he catches the ball."
On Ryan Mallet’s progress:"He just has to relax, remain calm, and just run the offense like he did against Missouri State. Ryan is certainly capable to play in this conference."
Quarterback Ryan MalletOn game being televised by ESPN:"We want to play on national television. We want to show the nation what we can do. We are ready to go out there and compete and have some fun."
On negatives to a bye week:"You get anxious during the week. You want to just go out and play. Getting out there Saturday and releasing all of our pent-up energy is exactly what we need right now. We’ve prepared well for Georgia. Now we need just to go out there and play our style of ball."
On watching the Georgia game this weekend:"We watched the game as a unit of quarterbacks and receivers. We watched it with our position coaches and went over the game."
On Georgia’s defense:"They’re fast. They have a lot of athletes that can make plays on the ball. We have to go out there and execute, use our technique, and put points on the board."
On his approach to first SEC game:"I approach every game the same way. You don’t want to change your approach based on the opponent. If you do, that’s how you get out of sync. Since my freshman year, I’ve grown up a lot. I don’t get as wired-up as I used to as easily. I’m just going to approach it the same way I did against Missouri State."
On being viewed as underdogs:"We don’t see ourselves as underdogs. We approach every game the same way; we want to win. If we go out and play like we are capable, then we should win a lot of football games."
On positives to bye week:"Any time you have more time to prepare for a team, you might come up with a new wrinkle to help you here or there, but it also gives you more time to prepare mentally and physically."
On personal stats:"I’m not a stat guy. The only thing I’m worried about is the win-loss column. All of the guys in the locker room will tell you the same thing. We just care about winning games. That’s what we are going out there to do."
On Arkansas’ running game:"The way the offensive line is playing right now, I have a lot of confidence that we will be able to go out there and run the football well. If we execute, we can do everything well."
On his performance against Missouri State:"In the second half, I got a little sloppy. So this week, I have to work on coming out in the second half and not lose any momentum I may have built up."
On the speed of Georgia’s defense:"They have speed but you have to be able to have good technique as well. They have to be able to tackle us when we catch the ball, so that’s where their speed will be most helpful."
Wide receiver Joe AdamsOn Georgia’s game against South Carolina:"Both teams played a great game and it came down to the wire. Georgia’s defense stepped up and has been playing great ball so far. All the cornerbacks and safeties have been playing hard. The linebackers and defensive line are hard to run the ball on."
On excitement for the Georgia game:"There is a lot of anticipation and everybody is ready for this game. We have the first game behind us and had a week off to prepare. We have the rest of this week to prepare and get better. The first SEC game is always a big game whoever is playing. Everybody wants to win the first SEC game so it is a big game for us. Even though it is on TV, it’s just another game just like the rest of them. We have to go out and play hard."
Safety Matt HarrisOn Georgia quarterback Joe Cox:"He has been in the system for a while. He knows the game plan and knows their offense pretty well. So he is going to be educated going into the game. He has the talent and the ability to start in the SEC and to start for a team like Georgia. He is going to be a threat as a downfield guy and as a smart pocket passer. His ability can help him win for them."
On Georgia’s A.J. Green:"This is our first week against an SEC team and we are expecting good receivers. A.J. Green is a spectacular receiver and we’re definitely going to have to keep an eye out for him."
On the national spotlight of playing on ESPN:"It’s exciting. This is why you play football. You win big games and you get big rewards."
On the play of the UA cornerbacks against Missouri State:"I thought Rudell Crim had a heck of a game. For his first game, his focus was really good to me. He gave 100 percent effort. Ramon Broadway is physical and I like the way he plays. This week will be a good test for them against Georgia."