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Monday Press Conference Highlights

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Monday Press Conference Highlights

Monday Press Conference HighlightsNov. 3, 2008

Arkansas Head Coach Bobby Petrino On the Tulsa Game“It’s certainly a better Monday than the last two, they were hard. You know we came in yesterday and graded the video. We had some recruits in so we were kind of busy doing both things, but it’s kind of like what I said after the game, the players executed the game very well. Defensively our guys were really flying around, playing hard. We had a good plan, we weren’t passive, we really liked how we attacked their offense, and went after their protection. We did a nice job of that which created big plays for us. Our guys played their assignments, like even the big play by Jerry Franklin made on the interception, it was assignment football. He ended up one-on-one but he stayed on his guy and his assignment. I thought we showed a lot more discipline in doing that. We had a lot more discipline with our eyes and reading our keys, which really helped us play good defense. Offensively, I was excited about the first quarter, we drove the ball mixing the run and the pass. There were some breakdowns in our running game and some of that was because we have new guys in there too, from the injuries the week before, which we didn’t execute as well at the running game. They did a nice job in pass protection. We threw the ball well, but I think it did hurt our running game a little bit. We had guys step up and make plays, it was great to see Jarius Wright getting involved and making big plays. We had a lot of guys make big plays, Lucas Miller, London Crawford, Joe [Adams]. We had a lot of guys make catches, D.J. [Williams], a nice touchdown by Andrew Davie. I think the more you can distribute the ball, the more guys you get involved in it, the better we are going to be offensively, and the harder it gets to defend.”

On the running game“It was a combination of both [Tulsa crowding the line and poor execution]. They had nine guys down there a lot when we were in certain formations, playing some different techniques gap-wise, just trying to keep our tackles from getting off on their linebackers. Then some of it was that we didn’t execute as well as we have been, and we missed [Ray] Dominguez and [Grant] Cook in there, that did show up in the running game.”

About Casey Dick being the SEC Offensive Player of the Week“Great for him. He had a very, very good game, he showed a lot of poise, made great decisions, his foot work and accuracy were the best they have been all year. If we could take back one play we would all be real, real happy.”

Similarities between Tulsa and South Carolina“There aren’t a lot of similarities between the two. South Carolina plays about every front, coverage, and blitz that you can have. You go through a number of cut ups that we’ve been watching and every play is a different call. We are going to have to be on top of what we are doing. We are going to have to make sure we know our assignments, do a good job of blocking their speed, their defensive fronts. Their ends are really fast. They will give you different personnel groups, they will play with a conventional 4-3 type of a look. They will go with some of the 3-3 look we saw last week. They will play some nickel, dime; sometimes they will throw seven DBs in there, so they do a lot of different looks. They try to confuse you, looks like at home they try to use the crowd to make you try and change protection or change plays when it’s loud, so we are going to have to execute fast and sharp.”

Senior quarterback Casey DickAbout the Tulsa game and being named SEC Offensive Player of the Week“It is a great honor anytime you get SEC Offensive Player of the Week. We played against a good team and their offense was talked about all week. We felt like we had to come out and control the ball as much as possible and make big plays, which we knew we could do, we did that pretty much all day long.”

Ups and downs“We just wanted to come out and have a solid game; it was the last time we ever get to play out there on your field and your home turf. Certainly it was a lot of fun, threw the ball around, watched a lot of guys make great plays and great runs and do everything right. Everything worked out for us.”

Running the ball from the quarterback position“That’s one of Coach Petrino’s things is that you have to be a willing runner in his offense. When things break down, or you see a lane and nobody is in it you just take off and try to get as many yards as you can. It puts you in a good position, if it is second and short or you pick up a first down it just puts us in a better situation than we were. It’s been fun. We’ve had some nice runs and it kind of makes the defense have to know that you can run and that you’re able to pick up positive yards and put your team in a better situation, whether it be second and short or third and short or whatever it may be.”

On Jarius Wright“He had a fantastic two-a-day camp. He was always getting open and making big plays for us whenever we threw the ball his way. We’ve been trying to find ways to get him the ball all through the season. We’ve always said in this offense a receiver can have a breakout game, we don’t really know who it will be. Sometimes it’s D.J. [Williams], but this week it was Jarius. He had a breakout game, had plenty of catches and made big plays. He showed his ability to make plays after the catch. We’ve just got to find a way to get him the football and let him do what he can do.”

On reading the defense“There are certain looks like where we found Lucas [Miller] on the sideline. It was just a look that there weren’t going to be enough people over there. I just dropped back and made sure no one was going to go over there and cover him and just threw him the ball. When you get certain looks like that you just need to be on your toes and take what the defense gives you.”

Junior linebacker Wendel Davis“We’ve been having close losses and coming up short these past couple of weeks. We finally felt like we were going to get a win and we had good preparation and good week at practice. It all paid off.”

On chemistry with Jerry Franklin“Jerry’s a good player. He’s got a few years left and he’s going to be a great player. We’re kind of growing together and we both know that we’re going to give our best effort out there. I feel comfortable with Jerry playing beside me and I hope he feels the same way about me. We both just try and go out there and get the job done regardless of who it is out there on the field.”

Coming back from the knee injury“It was hard for me, but I still try and stay positive and just be positive about the whole situation and let Jerry know that he’s doing a good job and give him my input from my experience. There’s never been a jealousy factor; I’m going to be positive about the whole thing.”

Freshman wide receiver Jarius Wright“The game was big for me, individually, knowing that I’m able to help the team; I’ve been waiting for a breakout game and you can’t ask for better passes than the ones Casey threw. Casey was throwing good passes and all of us were getting open, and I just tried to do whatever I could when I got the ball.”

On what he’s learned this season“Game after game you learn something new, you watch film with your team and coach, and both your teammates and your coach tell you things you can improve on, they tell you things they think will help you, and right now I’m still adjusting to playing in the SEC.”

On possible bowl eligibility“We’ve been talking about bowl games a lot, since the beginning of the season we’ve worked to become bowl eligible and now we have a chance to do that. Each week we’ve come out and practiced hard but we need to have an even more intense practice this week.”

On building on last week’s performance“All week coach had been telling me to go out and play like I did in high school when I went out each game believing I was the best. He told me that nothing has changed and to go out and play like that every game.”

On the freshman class“We thought it would be possible for us to have an impact, it’s why we came here. We’re getting our chance to shine in this offense and it’s been very good for us.”

Sophomore safety Matt Harris“It was a fun game to play in and be a part of. I had a few tackles but it was good we got the win. I’m sore but it’s the good sore you want to feel after a victory against a good team like Tulsa.”

On missing practices last week“I didn’t get to practice as much as I wanted to so I got some middle reps on the sidelines. When Elton (Ford) went down, I knew I had to be ready to play, even if my knee was shaky or not and then Jerico (Nelson) went down and it was give-up-or-go. We all just went out and played a good football game.”

On the defense being banged up“We’re a very resourceful, very team-oriented defense right now. We definitely miss guys like Jamar Love, Elton Ford, but you can’t hang your hat on only one guy on a defense. As soon as one guy goes down, we have another who steps in to make big plays for us. We have a lot of true freshmen and a lot of veterans and whoever’s in there, we trust they can do the job.”

On his up and down career“It’s a rollercoaster, individually and as a team. We’ve had good years, including an SEC Championship and we’ve had down years. I’ve gone from redshirting to not playing at all and then starting the first three games, you just put your helmet on and play as many times as you can. Whenever you get the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. Saturday was good.”

On the defense“We should have crumbled a bunch of times this season, at Auburn and against Tulsa when they came back in the fourth quarter. We fought hard against Kentucky and Ole Miss; we’re a resilient bunch and we’re ready to fight whoever comes to our yard.”



Sports Category : Football