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Houston Nutt Press Conference – Razorbacks Set to Face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Houston Nutt Press Conference – Razorbacks Set to Face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a partial transcript of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt’s weekly press conference. The Razorbacks have acceptedan invitation to play Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1.

Opening Comments…

“We are really excited that the Capital One Bowl has offered us an invitation and we have accepted. We are very excited about that. I really felt like after talking to some of the committee people, they loved the way we competed, played hard with a lot of heart. I know our players will be very excited once they get the word. I know they were talking about it on the way home. We were going to a good bowl whether it was the Cotton or the Capital One. It has been since 1998 since we have been to Orlando and we are looking forward to it.”

“I think (going to the Capital One Bowl) helps with everything. The prestige, the recruiting, all of that. It helps us so much to be in that caliber of bowl. We really appreciate that.”

“We love the Cotton Bowl, we love the people. We love all the bowls. I love all the tie-ins that we have in the SEC. We just wanted to make it clear to the Capital One Bowl that we aren’t turning down bowls. We don’t turn down bowls, especially the Capital One. We wanted to get that clear and make sure that they understood that when we were there in 1998, our fans and our players had a great time there.”

“I know the players would have been happy with either the Capital One or the Cotton Bowl because they are both Jan. 1 bowls. This just gives you a shot in the arm. You know you are going to have warm weather. Some of our seniors have been to the Cotton Bowl but they haven’t been to Orlando. I think that was the biggest thing. Our guys really had their eyes on the BCS. They had their eyes going to the Sugar Bowl.”

After being down 17-0 in the first quarter against Florida…

“Anything can happen in a football game. We have been in that situation before. Bottom line is you don’t panic, you don’t stress out on the sideline. You try to encourage and get back to your game. We kept saying ‘we just need one play, we need one score, let’s get on the board’. When (Marcus) Monk took the pass from Casey Dick to get us on the board, that really helped us.”

On Marcus Monk’s performance this season and breaking Anthony Lucas’ career and season receiving touchdown records…

“Marcus has been so good throughout the year. He has been so consistent and he has great work ethic. He’s a team player all the way. He does a great job of blocking without the ball. He beat a very fine receiver’s record the other night. To go past Anthony Lucas’ record is a major milestone. I have a lot of respect for Anthony Lucas. He is one of the greatest receivers of all time at the University of Arkansas. For Marcus to pass him is a big deal.”

On injuries after the Florida game…

“Antwain Robinson has a swollen knee. Right now, I hope it’s not cartilage. Felix Jones is limping around probably the worst with an ankle. Darren McFadden is limping around a little bit with an Achilles’ tendon sprain or strain. (Stephen) Parker has been fighting through some pain. We have quite a few that are bruised but from what I understand Florida has a bunch too.”

On the quarterback situation for the bowl game…

“Both of them (Casey Dick and Mitch Mustain) will get quality reps and work. This is the time you can really get better and really improve that part of our game. This is what we have been missing the last couple of years, this valuable practice time. Timing, assignments, routes, precision. Mitch (Mustain) and Casey (Dick) will both get a lot of quality work. Right now (Casey Dick) is our starter.”

“(Casey Dick) has played in some tough games against some tough defenses. I think there are some things he needs to get better at and keep working. He has made some good throws.”

On Florida’s defense of the running game…

“I’m not trying to make excuses but when Darren (McFadden) doesn’t have the full gear especially against the best defense, he hits so hard when he is at full speed and we saw that against LSU. (Florida) is a lot like LSU. They zeroed in on Darren and Felix (Jones). But I was surprised. Once he got hurt early in the second quarter I knew (Darren not being full speed) would hurt us.”

On facing Wisconsin…

“I don’t (know much about Wisconsin), just a little bit from the highlights I have seen. I know they won 11 games. I’m anxious to start watching. We are excited about the match up. Their program has been very good. We know that they are big and they have an excellent running back. Anytime you win 11 games, you know you are doing something right. I’m sure they have a lot of confidence. We haven’t played Wisconsin very often so this is going to be good.”

“(On Wisconsin beating Auburn in the 2005 Capital One Bowl) well, it tells you that as physical as our league is and you saw that score last year, they were really very physical (against Auburn).”

“I think (the running game) is going to be a big part of the game when you see their tailback, their offensive line and our offensive line and our tailbacks because that’s what we both do.”



Sports Category : Football