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Houston Nutt Press Conference – Razorbacks Ready for Atlanta

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Houston Nutt Press Conference – Razorbacks Ready for Atlanta

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a partial transcript of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt’s weekly press conference. The Razorbacks fell to the LSU Tigers, 31-26, in the final game of the regular season.

Opening Comments…

“After watching the film, I was really proud of how hard our guys played. If you watch the film on both sides, our guys laid their hearts on the line, just played so hard. I have never really been prouder of a group. There are two, three, four plays I’d love to change, love to have back. You can’t have those three or four mistakes and beat this caliber of a team.”

“Give LSU credit, they did a nice job. It was a real heavyweight fight and I was just so proud of how they competed. Felix Jones, Darren McFadden competed every single snap. Sam Olajubutu, Jamaal Anderson, Randy Kelly, just a lot of effort. We had our chances. We get the privilege to play again this week, championship week. We can’t wait to get going and start preparing for Florida.”

On not making a quarterback change against LSU…

“Casey (Dick) got most of the reps this week. During Mitch (Mustain’s switch), there was kind of a build up. There was a week or two when he wasn’t the same. I thought about (switching quarterbacks) just a little bit. I thought it would be unfair to put Mitch in that situation in the second half against a defense like that. When you watch the film, there weren’t as many people open as you think standing on the sidelines and we have to do a better job of getting open. Casey will be the first to tell you, he has to play better. Mitch will get more reps this week. I just didn’t feel like it was the time to put Mitch in a game like that. It’s a tough game to bring in a freshman against the number one defense in the country with the way they were defending the pass. They paid more attention to the pass then I thought they would.”

On Casey Dick’s performance…

“There were a couple plays where he knows we wanted to go a certain place and it didn’t go. He knows to throw the ball away, even on fourth down. Throw the ball away, don’t take the sack. Things like that, he knows better than that. He’s more accurate (then he was) and you have to be accurate in a game like that.”

On Peyton Hillis’ status against Florida…

“I don’t know (about Peyton’s status) yet. It’s a really deep bruise. I’ll know more Monday or Tuesday.”

On the last drive of the game…

“Usually you try to hit the first one and get one first down. Then you will slip a draw in there. When you don’t have any timeouts, one minute-thirty seconds to play and 80 or so yards to go, you want it to hit. Usually we try to hit a first down first then try to hit one pass play and then maybe try to slip a draw in there.”

On the team’s attitude since the LSU game…

“It’s better, a lot better. They are pretty resilient. I can’t wait to get with them today but most of the guys I saw are very upbeat. They feel very good. Naturally they wanted to beat LSU in the worst way and get the Boot here. That didn’t happen but we have a chance to play in the championship game.”

On playing in the SEC Championship game…

“We feel different this year. The last time we went to Atlanta we felt like we went in through the back door. This year we came through the front door. We won it outright with one (SEC) loss. We feel good about that. We feel like we have a legitimate chance to win the ball game. Even with all the injuries and things we have had, we still feel like we have a chance to win the game. It didn’t feel that way the first time we went.”

On injuries during the LSU game…

“We didn’t have any major injuries which is always good. When you play a game like that and you are playing at such a high level of intensity, it always seems like you have the fewest injuries. But against Utah State and SEMO, you have a bunch of them.”

On the fatigue level of the team…

“I know they are tired but they aren’t acting like it which is great. 12 games are a lot of ball games. I think there is a new sense of energy this year. There are some excited, young people watching film right now and they are excited to play in the championship game and are looking forward to representing the Western Division.

“During this time of year everything kind of adds up. It just depends on how many people were injured, how many people are beat up and those kinds of questions. We can’t worry about (Florida), we can only worry about our guys.”

On preparing for two different quarterbacks/offenses…

“We will zero in on that. (Tim) Tebow is short yardage, it’s going to be simple. You know what is coming and you just have to out-execute them. They have done a good job with short yardage. (Tebow) is a very tough, strong runner. They have also added some passes like we did with the wildcat package. They have a few tricks. (Chris) Leak and the wideouts are the biggest concern. (Dallas) Baker and (Andre) Caldwell, those guys are pretty good.”

On LSU’s kick return for a TD…

“It was a great run but we got out-labored a bit on that side of the field and that can’t happen. (Trindon Holliday) was lightning. That really changed the game, entirely changed it right there because we had the momentum.”



Sports Category : Football