FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a partial transcript of Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt’s Sunday press conference.
“That was a tough one, probably the toughest since I’ve been here. It’s probably the best offensive team at every position, as far as offensive line, receivers, tight ends and of course the backs and then you have a Heisman trophy winner at quarterback.
“It’s tough, because you can’t gang up on one position. If you gang up on the running back, he’ll beat you with receivers. If you play two deep or cover three, here comes Reggie Bush and he doesn’t need very much of a crease. It just got out of hand early and that was the thing we were trying to keep from happening and try to get to the fourth quarter. We couldn’t manage to do it.”
On bouncing back from the loss:
“We’ve got to forget about that one in a hurry. We’ll have a team meeting today. We’re not going to work out today, because we got in at about 7 o’clock this morning. We’ll hit the training room, because we’ve got some guys with bumps and bruises.
“Now is when you find out about character and we’ll really call on our seniors. We’ve got to somehow bury that one and you have to go. We’ve got a long season ahead and this week we’re right back in the SEC. It’s a tough Alabama team that has a lot of confidence now.”
On Robert Johnson:
“On that third and one is when he took a helmet to his head and back. We thought it was his lower back and then he got little, dizzy headaches. Deans thinks he got a mild concussion, but he seems to feel better today and we’ll know more tomorrow. We’re counting on his being able to practice on Tuesday, but we won’t know for sure.”
On the offense:
“Felix Jones and Darren McFadden really competed hard. I thought we had some things going offensively. We probably lost Jonathan Luigs with a high ankle sprain. It was real tough of Zac Tubbs to stay in there, because of his ankle. Tyler Morgan got to play. We had to move some people around. Mitch Petrus, another true freshman played. Chase Pressley, Tyler Morgan all these guys will start getting a few more reps now. For the most part, there were some pretty good drives and pretty good holes.
“Robert again started out playing very, very well. I was really excited about his demeanor being the first-time road start for him in that type of atmosphere. I thought he did extremely well.
“Alex came in and handled a tough situation. I thought he came in and did some good things under the circumstances.”
On the defense:
“I think they out executed us. We were in two-deep a lot of times and they would throw it over our heads and that can’t happen. The thing that’s most disappointing is to be able to score that quick. To give up a one-play, a two-play drive, that’s what can’t happen.
“I think the first shock was Bush’s speed live. I can see we’re not really breaking like we normally would and our instincts are a little slower. I think that’s what happens when you get shell-shocked like that very early. You know his reputation and then you see his speed live and in color. It’s tough.”
On keeping the players motivated:
“Losing creates doubt and that’s the toughest thing we have to face. You’ve got to get confidence and keep believing in what you’re doing. I really believe we still have a good football team. We have to get everyone out there on the same page working hard and put these last two weeks away. Lets go into a new season now. I want to look them in the eye today and let them know everything is going to be alright and to keep believing. When you do that, that’s when you start achieving.”
“This will be another great challenge, going to Alabama. We beat them the last two years and they had a great game yesterday on the road. They’re running the ball and throwing it. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the SEC.”