Houston Nutt Press Conference Transcript
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a brief transcript of Arkansas head football coach Houston Nutt’s weekly press conference. The Razorbacks (3-4) have an open date this weekend before facing South Carolina on Nov. 6 at Columbia, S.C.
“That was a tough ball game last night. I was really proud of the effort and the passion that our guys had for the game. I thought they played so very hard. Boy they wanted to win. You could tell early last week in practice that they were practicing to win. They were practicing with a purpose. Guys like Jeb Huckeba, Arrion Dixon, Clarke Moore, Marcus Harrison and Marcus Whitmore, all of those guys played really hard. Jeb (Huckeba) probably had his best game. He was relentless. He really played hard. They gave us a chance to win the game. The defense came up with so many stops. It was just awesome.
“What we have to do now is just build on the fact that we haven’t played our best game as a team yet where offense, defense and special teams all click together. I thought Robert Felton came in and did an outstanding job for a redshirt freshman. Matt Gilbow did as well. Robert Felton had nine knockdowns going against an All-American.
“Robert Johnson came in the game at what couldn’t have been a worse time in the ball game to have to go 85-90 yards. They know you have to throw. They were moving #47 (David Pollack) around. That is a tall order to ask those guys to keep him protected. There are very few guys that can block him when they know you are going to throw.
“The positives are that the defense played well enough to give us a chance to win. We had a goal line stand. Our punting game was very good. We kicked inside the 10-yard line two or three times. Beside the one punt, Jeremy Davis was excellent. The gunners, Chris Houston and John Johnson, were outstanding.
“But you were playing a great football team and when you play a great football team, you can’t turn the ball over. That first drive was a beautiful drive. We kept them off balance. But we came up with zero. That really hurt us. That takes away your momentum. If it is 10-0 or 14-0 then it is a different game.
“When Marcus (Harrison) got that fumble, I thought this was going to be our night. They kept playing with great intensity. Titus Peebles played one of his better games. We had a lot of guys that are broken-hearted, just like our coaches, because they wanted to win a game like that. But now, we really need this (off week). We are a beat up team.
“It is a four game season. It is one at a time. We are just trying to get better. I really think we have gotten better. We are just playing No. 4, No. 6 and No. 7 and we are right there with them. You just wish you could get things to go a little bit differently. If that happens, that is a win. That is the medicine we need. We just need that dose of confidence where everything is working together. Our fumble couldn’t have come at a worse time. Our defense had been out there a long time. We give it right back to them. Things like that work against you. Even after all of that, our defense continues to hold them.
“The most pleasing thing, and I have been saying this from day one, is that I love the heart of this team. I think we are close.”
(How did you combat the notion that with all the injuries that your team should just find a way through Georgia and get ready for the stretch run?)
“I talked to our team about that Thursday night. I said the way it sounds outside of this room is that we shouldn’t even go out there for this game. We just somehow just put in our junior varsity and we should get ready for the rest of the games. That is not the way we approach it. We are coming in this stadium to win the game. That was the message that was sent.
“Our seniors did a good job. They met separately with the players. The seniors did a great job of ‘hey we are going to win the ball game’.”
(What does the open week hold for the team?)
“We are just really going to try to get our team well this week. We are going to scale things back, starting today. We are going to try and get our legs back. When you go Florida, Auburn, Georgia, you are going to have bumps and bruises. We have had more than our share. We are going to get them fresh. That is going to be key in making a run in November. We are going to have to be ready with all of our bullets and be very fresh.
“I am hoping everyone will be back. That will be a great benefit for us.”
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