FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas was blown out by Auburn 52-20 Saturday night at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4 SEC) trailed 17-6 at halftime. The Tigers (6-2, 4-1) scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Arkansas will face Ole Miss on the road next Saturday.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media following the game. Here’s the rundown of what he had to say:
- Bielema opens by saying “I’m obviously very disappointed” for a third straight week.
- Bielema wasn’t totally displeased with the first half. “We came in here at halftime in a battle. We felt excited about coming out in the second half.”
- Bielema said the team “never responded” after Auburn scored on its first drive of the second half to go ahead 24-6. “We got sloppy on defense with some tackles, gave up some big plays that were routine.”
- Running back Chase Hayden is expected to be out a “significant amount of time” with an undisclosed injury. Bielema did not want to specify the nature of the injury until he knows more. He did say it was a lower leg issue.
- Bielema on his job security: “This is uncharted waters for me. I’ve never been in a situation where we’re 2-5. The thing about coaching is you just worry about the day in front of you. I know that’s probably not the answer you want or what you want to write. I don’t really worry about the future or anything like that. I just worry about Ole Miss now.”
- Bielema says the offense focused on going more no-huddle and up-tempo this week in an effort to plan around what quarterback Cole Kelley does best and the matchup with Auburn. Obviously, it did not work out as well as the team had planned.
- Quarterback Austin Allen has regained his full range of motion in his right throwing arm. Bielema says he just needs to build up more strength in order to get back on the field. Allne has missed the past two games with a right shoulder injury.
- Bielema says Arkansas’ second-half failures present a “mental barrier” the team must get over. Arkansas hasn’t outscored an FBS opponent in 10 straight games. The Hogs were outscored 35-14 in the second half Saturday.
- Bielema to the fans: “Disappointed for our fans. I thought we had a live crowd tonight. It was fun to walk out in that environment. Obviously, we didn’t give them a reason to sustain it in the second half. But I appreciate the environment.”
- Bielema on what the hope is for the rest of the season: “The hope is everybody is going to do their job, starting with me obviously. I don’t think that probably the outside world can gure the other part out, but whether you’re 7-1 or 2-5 or anywhere in between, the part that you work on is how do you get better every day. Never lose focus on that. I never deviate from that. The hope is, obviously, you’ve got kids with great character and you’re around kids that want to be successful.”
- Bielema on how his team can focus surrounded by negativity: “I know it’s probably easier for us as coaches. I know players obviously go to class. They have family. They have social media that they deal with. As coaches, your approach and your plan isn’t different whether you win or lose. Every minute of the day it’s pouring everything you can into the preparation for next week. That’s where it is. I don’t think you can be oblivious to it. I get it. We don’t have a lot of seniors, but we have some guys that have weathered the storm and been through these situations before and I think they will be the guys that control that locker room, as well.”