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Houston Nutt Press Conference – Mustain to Start Against Utah State

Houston Nutt Press Conference – Mustain to Start Against Utah State

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt addressed the media in his weekly press conference on Sunday. Below is a brief transcript of the press conference.

(Opening Comments)

“The first thing after watching the film, I’m disappointed in our turnovers. That’s the biggest thing; I was really disappointed in that. You have got to protect the football and we had some opportunities.”

“At the half, our defense was playing very well. If you watch the film, they played extremely hard. Marcus Harrison was all over the field. He probably played his best game as a Razorback. Antwain Robinson gave a tremendous effort. They just got worn down. I thought our corners did very well against those big receivers and I was very proud of them.”

“Offensively, we need to get better and we need to take care of the ball. No one hates it more then Felix (Jones). Felix has always been very good with ball security. We have to do a much better job of taking care of the ball.”

“We executed, we blocked well and we made some plays. We had a good first drive going and then we fumbled. We had another good drive going and then the ball bounces off of us.”

“There is no doubt in my mind this would have been a nail-biter to the end if we played our regular way as far a ball security, and taken care of the ball. We have always been good at that.”

(Has anything changed at the quarterback position based on last night?)

“I just had a visit with Robert Johnson. I want to get this really clear. Robert Johnson has shown so much character and integrity and this is what makes coaching hard. He has done everything we have asked him to do. I think he played well. He did some good things. He had some balls dropped. We had some balls put on the ground that weren’t his fault. We are asking him to go to wide receiver right now. He’s accepted that with class and we are going to go with Mitch (Mustain) right now (at quarterback). We are going to get him ready and Casey (Dick) will be right behind him.”

“Robert (Johnson) has so much integrity and class, I really hope he’ll have a true role at receiver and I think he can help us. It’s not all his fault. It’s not one person’s fault, it’s a team game. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions. And this is a hard one because he works so hard. You worry about something like that because he works so hard. He cares, he’s a team player. He has done everything we have asked him to do and especially when it isn’t his fault. At this particular time we feel like we need to make this move.”

(Did you make this decision based on progress Mitch has made in practice and his performance against USC?)

“Mitch (Mustain) has done some good things all through camp. He’s been very accurate. He has shown some very good things under pressure. And then he gets in the game and can execute and take us down the field. I just feel like, at this time, you have to give him a shot.”

“We are trying to do what is best for our team. It has been close all through camp. We went with the experienced guy (Robert Johnson) and I think we did the right thing. Let’s just see what happens. I know Robert (Johnson) can still be a very good teammate and play a good role for us.”

(What went into your decision to moving Robert Johnson to wide receiver immediately?)

“You always have that option (making Johnson a reserve quarterback). I have been at quarterback before and this is the second time Robert (Johnson) has been through this. One thing I wanted, I wanted him to be involved. His teammates have a high regard for him.”

(What did you think about the defensive effort?)

“Our defense really played well enough for us to win. They kept us in the game. We were right there, we just needed to score a few more points and this would have been a whole different game. It starts with taking care of the ball.”

(What will be the approach with the team about moving on after the USC game?)

“It is really key, that when we have a meeting this afternoon, that we put this film to bed. There is a reason why (USC) is ranked No. 6 in the country and we are going to show (the team) exactly how we could have beaten that sixth-ranked team. You have to put it to bed and go forward. It starts this week. We have 11 games left. We have a nice long season left. There are still a lot of games to win. You have to put it behind you and you have to pick them up. You can’t dwell on and see the negative things. You can’t live in that world. You have to move forward and this where you have to pick yourself up. The seniors have to take full ownership now and go. We have a good football team. There is a lot of difference between this year and last year if you watch the film. The score doesn’t really indicate it but it was much closer then that.”

Sports Category : Football