University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino, Ryan Mallett, Matt Harris and Tenarius Wright met with the media at a press conference on Monday. Below is a brief transcript.
Head Coach Bobby PetrinoOn the Texas A&M game in Dallas"We are looking forward to going to Dallas and playing Texas A&M. It’s exciting for our players, exciting for our program. I think it’s great for the tradition of the rivalry from the old Southwest Conference days."
On Texas A&M’s offense"They’re executing well. They’re a very fast-paced offense. They run it and throw it well. You see the quick passing game utilized in the West Coast Offense. They really try to get up to the ball and get it snapped quickly. It’s a good challenge. You have to be very disciplined."
On Texas A&M’s defense"Defensively, they do some things that we saw last week with some of their zone pressure. There are some similarities to what we saw against both Georgia and Alabama. They’ve got a great defensive end. He’s leading the nation in sacks. He’s very good when it’s one-on-one."
On Ryan Mallett"He needs to get his feet set and be comfortable when bodies are flashing around him. There’s never been a quarterback who has played football who hasn’t gone through what Ryan went through against Alabama; where the pass rush and the blitzes distract your concentration. He needs to understand that fact and face it that he didn’t operate as well as he can, and that’s how you get better as a quarterback. He needs to have a good game."
On the positives of the Alabama game"I told the team last night that we’ve played two very good football teams. They’re very fast, big and physical. We should be better because of it. As long as we have a great attitude and stick together as a team."
On Wendel Davis"He’s a doing a nice job for us. He really has a great understanding now of offensive schemes and what offenses are trying to do with the running game. He’s done a nice job of not hesitating and playing downhill. He made four tackles in the back field. He’s doing a nice job of learning football. His understanding of football and his instincts have allowed him to play very well."
Quarterback Ryan MallettOn Texas A&M’s defense"They’re an athletic group of young guys who like to get after the quarterback. We’re going to have to do a better job protecting and running the football this week if we want to have a chance."
On the neutral site in Dallas"Playing in Dallas will be a great opportunity for both teams. It will help with our recruiting in Texas so we want to go down there and show up."
On the new Cowboy Stadium"I’ve heard it’s a great venue and we’re all ready to go check it out, but this is a business trip for us."
On performing well for the Southeastern Conference"You always go into a battle against another conference wanting to represent well for your own. It is more important to us right now to get back into the winning column."
Safety Matt HarrisOn the defense against Alabama"The defense as a whole is coming off of the Alabama game like it was two different games; the first half and the second half. The first half we played with a lot of confidence and speed and in the second half we gave up some big plays and we really need to bounce back tough from that."
On Texas A&M’s offense"They’re going to be a lot like Tulsa last year. They run a lot of plays and get in and get out. We need to be well conditioned and disciplined this week."
On Texas A&M Quarterback Jerrod Johnson"He’s a big, tall, athletic quarterback. He’s a dual threat quarterback. We’re definitely worried about his arm and his legs but right now we’re focusing on the whole scheme of things, not just one person."
Defensive End Tenarius WrightOn working with defensive coordinator Will Robinson:"Coach (Robinson) gives the defense a scheme for each opponent. I feel like the schemes he produces fit well with our team and the way I’m used to playing. The confidence I get from Coach Robinson’s schemes give me the drive I need to go and play hard."
On playing defensive end:"I think defensive end is a great position for me but really, it’s in my heart to play defense. At linebacker or defensive end, I just want to be on the field competing against the great teams we are facing."
On Texas A&M’s offense"I’m really focusing on their quarterback because he can throw and run. When you have two different threats, it just gives you more to focus on in the defensive schemes."
On facing a dual-threat QB like Jerrod Johnson"All we can do is watch film and see what his tendencies are. In practice, we have to work hard on containment and wrapping up."