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Football press conference highlights 10-27

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Football press conference highlights 10-27

Head Coach Bobby Petrino

On the Ole Miss game“I’m tired of these tough Mondays. Its time to come here and feel good, it was another hard loss for us, we certainly were battling and in the game. If you watch the video, our players played with great effort, really tried to work and execute the things they were asked to do. I just want to reiterate what I said after the game, we left some opportunities out there in the first half, they came back to haunt us. We just couldn’t win the game in the end. We certainly felt good about the effort, how hard our players are playing. We have improved a lot the season, we need to learn now how to win a close game.”

On tight end D.J. Williams“DJ had a great game; you felt that all week long. He was practicing with great speed and he was very motivated. Just to be back at full speed and have his quickness and his ability to run after the catch really helped us. “He was slowed down against Kentucky, battling just to get there for the game. He missed a lot of practice. He didn’t have that same burst out of his breaks or his cuts. That certainly hurt him in that game.”

On Injuries“We are going to be down a couple of guys. [Elton] Ford will be out for the rest of the year [neck injury]. It is unfortunate, he has been playing very well for us, as a true freshman. [Grant] Cook will be out for this game, he has a sprained knee. Whenever you have a sprained knee, there are certain degrees so it just depends how fast you can come back. Adrian Davis is the same way. We are not sure he is out, we will see how the week progresses, he seemed to be doing really well yesterday. [Ray] Dominguez is battling an ankle, and we will see how he progresses.”

Safety Positions“In the game the other night Matt Harris moved right in, but he got injured. Rashaad Johnson is another guy who has played that position. Tramain Thomas is a guy that plays corner that could also play safety so I imagine he will get some work in there too.”

On Rashaad Johnson’s play against Ole Miss“He made the interception, a real nice play, he came down made a couple nice tackles on the run. He did have an assignment error on one of the touchdown throws.”

On the onside kick“It was a nice job. First, it was a nice kick, we timed it up fairly well. We had a couple guys a little late hitting the line. We really fought for it, we did a nice job of getting the ball, and staying inbounds. It was well executed. Your odds aren’t real good when you’re doing that. The kick was the key, getting the ball and giving everyone a chance to get down there.”

Senior Punter Jeremy Davis“We have coach Marty Biagi here now and he’s really helped me out with my punting. I changed from three steps to two steps. We’ve tried to get in there and condense everything down. I’ve had faster times this year and had a little more hang time on my punts. He’s done a great job of giving me confidence. I’m confident now that I’m going to punt the ball 50 yards every time.”

On not kicking off“It hasn’t really helped or hurt. It’s probably helped the team that Alex [Tejada] has been kicking off, he’s been kicking it right where they want it on the numbers. He’s been doing a great job.”

On his injury“I twisted my ankle in the Auburn game covering a kickoff. It was a little sore that game the last two punts, but nothing too bad. Right now it’s about 100 percent.”

Importance of punting“We change the field position. The other night we were backed up on the 15 and with a 50 yard punt they got the ball on the 35 instead of about the 50 yard line. We can change the field position pretty quick.“

On playing his final game in Fayetteville“It’s going to be an emotional game for me. I’ve grown up in Arkansas and always wanted to play here growing up. The last time running out of the ‘A’ is going to be emotional for me. I just want to get a win the last time I go out.”

Junior Running Back Michael Smith“Last week was a little bit tough. It was a little bit scary not knowing whether or not I would play. We didn’t figure it out until mid-Friday. I had one more chance to pass my test and [I passed] and that was really exciting. I wasn’t really sure with myself entirely in the first quarter. I took a couple of hits and it felt alright and then I was able to get it going from there. It was still a tough game and I felt like I may not have performed like I could have.”

On the number of carries“As many times as he calls my number, I’m not going to turn around when he gives the play and say, ‘No, let’s not run that.’ If he calls my number 35 times, I’ll go 35 times. I kind of feel like I didn’t put in as much work this week [with 19 carries opposed to 35 the previous 2 weeks]. But, I didn’t practice as much, so I don’t think that he was expecting me to be able to tote the ball that much.”

On his health“We’re passing this season. I’m banged up, but I’m fine. My legs don’t hurt as much as they did. From the beginning of the season trying to get them back I think they’ve made that adjustment. It’s just knowing that they’re going to be sore on Sunday and Monday and by Tuesday or Wednesday they’ll start coming back.”

On leading the SEC and being sixth in the nation in rushing“We’ll talk about all that after the season. You just kind of put it in your back pocket, and you want to go on and put on another good performance this week. I think if you get caught up with what you’ve done so far, it can kind of get in the way of what you need to do.”

On being told you’re too small“It’s been that way my entire career, not just here at Arkansas. It’s an uphill battle, and I think throughout my time playing football I’ve learned how to fight it and just keep going. For those who feel that way, it’s a show me world. You don’t get mad when they say that. They look at the size and the past of what people my size haven’t been able to accomplish, and that’s what they go off. Every now and then you get those ones that go against the grain and hopefully I can continue that.”

Senior Safety Dallas WashingtonOn safeties“[The injuries] put a lot of pressure on me to not only keep myself healthy, but to get those other guys to step up. I’m going to have to really help them out. I’m going to have to work with them and make sure they’re on top of everything. Any time you lose a starter it hurts, but that’s why you have other guys. Someone else is going to have to step up and take care of business. Elton [Ford] was progressing a lot and getting better and better each game. If I had to I could [play either safety position].”

On Tulsa’s receivers“I think they’re well coached and they taking advantage of the offense they have going. They’re having a lot of fun with it.”

Sophomore Tight End D.J. WilliamsOn the loss to Ole Miss“This was a big-time heartbreak for me. We had a chance to come back with the onside kick and win a big game like this. We were really looking forward to going down and scoring on that drive; it was a really emotional game for all of us.”

On the team’s outlook for the game“I think, not just me, but the whole team, really wanted to come out and win this game and play harder than we’ve ever played before and I think that showed Saturday.”

On plays Arkansas wishes it could take back“Plays like that happen every week. There’s always a handful of plays you can see where somebody holds a block here, somebody runs a guy off there or holds onto a tackle a little too long. We watch those plays on tape every week and those are plays we have to cut down so we can get some of those plays back and win the game.”

On the Tulsa game (last week)“I watched a little of the Tulsa game; everyone knows about their offense and scoring ability. They’re a very fast tempo team and watching the game as an offensive player, I noticed the defense flies around fast, they’re undefeated so you know they’re going to come in and play with everything they’ve got. They have a lot of momentum and it’s going to be a high-intensity game. I can’t wait.”

On his role in the Tulsa game“I would imagine I will be blocking a lot; I’m used for protection and seeing if a blitz is coming and that’s just a part of the game. I’ll have to step it up in the study room, try to pick up those blitzes and do whatever I need to help out the team.”

On going on fourth down“I think we like it a lot and, on the defensive end, not knowing if a team is going to go three downs or four so it’s another part of our game that we’re able to go on fourth down. We may not convert it every time, but we will try, and I think that’s the aggression Coach Petrino brings to the offense. It’s the mentality the coaches have instilled in us and we’ve carried it out this season.”

On moving beyond the mistakes“I think moving passed the mistakes is a huge thing. Just as in basketball, a three-point shooter needs to have short term memory because if he misses one, he has to come back and make another. It’s about the same for any sport because if you dwell on something too long it’s going to mess up your focus and your game. You need to learn from the mistakes and then put it behind you and move forward.”

On Michael Smith“I think he’s just about one of the strongest players in the country in my eyes, if only because of his build and ability to take all those hits. I don’t know how many carries he had against Ole Miss but thinking of all the previous ones and him getting hit almost every play, whether he’s carrying the ball of pass-blocking for Casey [Dick]. He does a great job taking care of his body and he almost has to just to get through each week and I think that makes him one of the strongest players in the country.”

On his career game against Ole Miss“It’s hard to feel good about a career game when you don’t get the win. Ten catches is great, wish it could be 11 for a few more yards to maybe get into field goal position. You always wish you could do a little bit more to get a win.”



Sports Category : Football