Houston Nutt Press Conference [Georgia Game]
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a brief transcript from Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt’s weekly press conference held on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s hard to go to sleep after a game like this (vs. Alabama). We felt like we played well enough for most of the game to come away with a win, and that’s what makes it so hard. We worked real hard for two weeks to build consistency on the offense. We’ve come a long way since the first two games, but we still don’t feel good about it since we didn’t win.
“We basically gave away 21 points. When we blocked the punt (in the third quarter), that’s when we felt like everything was in our favor and all we had to do is capitalize on it. You either wish that (lateral returned for a touchdown) was an incomplete pass or that we had called another play.
“We feel good about the way our special teams, offense and defense are improving, we just want to come away with the ultimate reward of winning.”
On the Offense:
“Shawn Andrews did an excellent job. To be a freshman out there with those men he performed well. He went the wrong way once or twice and might have missed an assignment, but he graded out very well. He knocked some people around. He decleated Saleem Rasheed. It was unbelievable. He really knocked him off his feet.
“(Mark) Bokermann graded extremely high, as did Kenny Sandlin.”
“Sacha really gives us a great push at fullback. He had 28 snaps on offense and about 12-15 on defense. He is very valuable to us.
“Fred Talley and Brandon Holmes ran very hard for us Saturday. They did a good job.
“George Wilson and Richard Smith had their best games. Sorahan had his best game of the year for us. He was 14-of-19 and was moving the ball for us. George and Richard did a great job of getting yards after the catch. And we just felt like we got in good rhythm.
“Our kids felt good coming in at halftime. We were all positive and that’s what is so tough about that game.”
How serious is quarterback Ryan Sorahan’s injury?
“He has a very, very deep bruise in his lower back. He will not practice today and we will just have to wait and see how he progresses. There was no injury to his kidney so that is very positive.
What is the injury situation for the rest of the team?
“We lost Shane Collins and that is a shame. He will have an MRI on Monday and right now it looks like a torn ligament.
“Luckily, there were not a lot of serious injuries in the game, just a lot of bumps and bruises. Fred Talley hurt his good knee and we had to take him out, but he got back in there after a few plays.
“Carlos Hall strained his ankle and knee. We’ll just have to wait and see after today and Monday on how everyone is feeling.”
How did Zak Clark grade?
“Clark did an excellent job. He came in and threw some good balls. I’m really proud of him. He will get the nod if Sorahan is unable to play because of his back. He has always done a good job coming off the bench when we needed him. He is always in the game, talking about coverages with Ryan and myself. He is always mentally into what is happening on the field.”
Who stood out on defense?
“Curt Davis and Jermaine Brooks continue to be very solid for us. Raymond House, Jermaine Petty and Caleb Miller played well. Once we made corrections on the draw, Tony Bua had a good day. Our defensive staff did a great job making adjustments.
“I’m still impressed with our secondary even though we gave up a long touchdown pass. That was a tough route. Ken Hamlin, Corey Harris and Richardson graded out well. We’ve got to keep working. We’re not where we want to be, but at least we know teams are not going to just drive down the field on us.
“We worked on the option a lot in practice, and we kind of took them out of that during the game. That’s why I’m so proud of the team, we have come a long way and the win was right there for us to take.”
“That long touchdown was really the only blown coverage we have had this season. It’s unfortunate. It was true pick play. Ken Hamlin actually knocked off Richardson.
How do you handle the tough start to the season?
“It is a tough start. But if you look at the first game to right now, we feel so much better about our team offensively. If you had told me we would have kept the ball for almost 36 minutes on the road and have 21 first downs, it would have been hard to believe. But that is what having two weeks to practice has done for us.
“If we had been able to play North Texas I think we would have been further along and that much better. But, we have to go with the hand that’s been dealt. If we stay positive and keep working I think we’ll be a good football team.
“Our special teams have been good and given us everything we’ve asked for. And I think Marvin Jackson is going to break one at anytime. He just takes your breath away.
“We’re behind the eight ball. And we’re going to stay together as a team and work on cutting down the mistakes. We can’t give away 21 points and be gift givers.”
“It’s easy to be on a team when you’re winning all the time. This is a time that teaches you about adversity. It teaches you how stick together and not to point fingers.
“We had a good plan and didn’t get then win. Let’s just keep getting better and improving and we’ll have a chance.”
Talk about Cedric Cobbs.
“It was tough getting him into the game because Talley and Holmes were running so well. We got into a rhythm with those two guys. It wasn’t a decision to not play, the other two backs were just playing very well.
“It’s hard to get each back an equal number of snaps in a game. We went with the players that were running well and seeing the holes. Talley was making people miss and hitting the hole well. Then Holmes gave us a nice change with his power.
“Cedric has the ability of both Talley and Holmes and I know he will play. But during the game against Alabama Talley and Holmes were doing a good job.”
Are their any young players that will get more playing time?
“We’re going to spend the next couple of days talking about that. We’re going to find the best combinations of kids that we can.
“We get Pervis Osborne back this week. Jason Peters has not been the same since the spring because he has had to learn two different positions. So hopefully we can get Pervis ready to go to back up Curt and Jermaine. That would allow us to get Peters back on the edge. So we’ll just have to evaluate everything.”
“We’ve got a lot of young talent and it’s tough deciding if you want them on the field now or later. But, that’s a good problem to have.”
The team gave up seven sacks. Talk about that.
“The offensive line had a couple of breakdowns and that led to three of the sacks. The other sacks it looked like the quarterback could have gotten rid of the ball a little quicker. He’s got to get rid of it when no one is open.”
Can you talk more about Richard Smith and George Wilson?
“Those two guys are good at getting yards after the catch. I think they caught about seven or eight balls apiece. We expect them to be playmakers for us. I think they’ll keep getting better.”
What are your impressions of Georgia?
“They are a good football team. Everybody we play is good, you just kind of go numb to it. They are all good. We are just starting to really study them, but they are a solid football team.”
Talk about the schedule change and playing Weber State.
“We’ll have to wait to see how that game will count towards a bowl game. We should know later this week. Everybody’s schedule has been thrown off because of the events two weeks ago. I’m just glad to get a game in there instead of having to wait until December.
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