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Football press conference highlights

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Football press conference highlights

Arkansas Head Coach Bobby Petrino “Well, with the short week we kind of jumped right into LSU. The coaches had everything ready to go, the cards hanging and we worked hard yesterday and all morning today on the game plan. We’ll practice tonight. Have meetings at six and then practice at seven. We’ll probably go about an hour of normal practice and then take the shoulder pads and helmets off and do a walkthrough of some team and situations and special teams. I am familiar with the short week so it’s something that I’ve done before. Tomorrow will be a regular Wednesday practice and Wednesday will be a regular Thursday practice. That will be our week of preparation.“We are coming off a hard fought game that we certainly had a lot of opportunities to win the game. Good opportunity to tie it and go to overtime and didn’t come up with it. Most of the coaches went right on to LSU. I did watch the video. We played well at times offensively. We were not consistent enough to outscore them. Defensively we all know that we were not very happy with our performance. We were not able to stop the run. We didn’t hit our gaps right all the time and probably the worst game we had tackling. That big back ran through tackles and made a lot of games. We had guys there at times and just didn’t get it done and are going to have to face another big back on Friday so it’s something that we are really going to have to look at and improve in a hurry.”

On how close the margin is between winning and losing“It does tell you how close it is between winning and losing. I think sometimes your inexperience shows up in close games. A lot of times, like in the Kentucky game, there’s probably seven plays in that game where one play, one thing makes the difference between win or lose. It’s learning how to focus on one play at a time and understanding that my job is important on this particular play. They’ve all been close games. We could easily have seven wins here and we could easily have zero, because the four wins that we have were all close too. With experience we hope to gain where we can win all the close games. We knew coming into the season that all our games would come down to the fourth quarter. What hurts us is we are not the powerful running team in the fourth quarter that we need to be to win those close games and keep the other team on the sideline and that seems to be what is happening to us more and we have to throw it around and you would like to play it the opposite.”

On Michael Smith“I don’t expect that he will be available for the game. He has a hamstring injury and that is hard to come back from. We are going into the game with the understanding that we will be without him.”

On Smith’s replacements“We’ll practice them and find that out. They have all had their spots during the season where they went into the game as number two. I like the way that Brandon Barnett runs the ball in between the tackles and the physicalness. He hurt us a couple times the other day on assignments and protection. Dennis Johnson is coming off an AC joint-shoulder. He should be ready for the game; we’ll see how much practice he can get in this week. De’Anthony Curtis is progressing and getting back to his speed. We’ll work all three of them and decide later in the week who starts.”

On Smith’s injuries this seasonIt’s been real frustrating for him, first and foremost, because he is a real tough hardnosed football player. I have the ultimate respect for him in the way that he has played and performed this year. The toughness that he has demonstrated. It hurts us as a team because we miss that. He gives us that and the comfort zone, not only running the ball, but throwing it to him out of the backfield, pass protecting, there’s a real comfort zone that you can really open up the playbook and call anything you want when he’s in there. The last one is just a bad luck deal. You threw the screen out there and missed a block and he had his leg planted and stretched and pulled his hamstring.”

On Nathan Dick“He did a good job, he really did. Started out real fast. Really did what he was coached to do. They threw some stuff at him that they hadn’t shown blitz wise and he had to make some adjustments at the line of scrimmage that we missed and that caused us to bog down on a couple of drives in the second and third quarter. I like the way he demonstrated leadership, you could see his excitement out on the field, the energy that he gave everybody and the way that he ran the ball. He showed what I thought maybe he would when it was live that he was difficult to tackle and that he had good instincts in the pocket. You have to be happy with that performance first time out.”

On Lucas Miller getting more attention after his last game“Yea, I would anticipate that he would. It isn’t that they haven’t given him the attention, but their focus has been more on blitzing us, pressuring the quarterback, getting the quarterback out of the comfort zone and he has been able to get one-on-one matchups and win. I think that Nathan [Dick] has a good feel for where Lucas [Miller] is going to be, how he runs his routes. He has really done a good job of getting him the football.”

Looking at LSU being a formidable opponent“They really are. We’ve watched a lot of video on them all year long because it seems like they’ve always played teams before we have. We kind of know them well. Big physical offensive front, downhill running back that is real physical. They have been erratic in their passing game, but they have also been explosive at times. We have to do a good job defensively understanding that they are going to take their shots down the field. Their defense strength is their front four. Those guys are big and physical and rush the passer. Guys have been making plays on them in the secondary, running after the catch and spreading them out. We have to make sure that we do a good job of mixing up the run and the pass and protecting the quarterback.”



Sports Category : Football