FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday as the Hogs prepare to host No. 13 LSU on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The Razorbacks (6-3, 2-3 SEC) are coming off a 31-10 victory over No. 11 Florida.
Here’s the rundown of what Bielema had to say:
- The team came out of the game “pretty clean” as far as injuries. Bielema says a lot of the guys that came into the week banged up made it through the game OK.
- They began LSU prep Sunday, a little bit earlier than usual for most opponents.
- Bielema has noticed a difference in the way LSU has played since Ed Orgeron took over as coach in place of the fired Les Miles.
- The way the team performed against Florida is “a testament to our players.”
- “Other than this weekend I wish (Orgeron) the best.” Bielema believes his personality is “good” for the conference and college football in general.
- Orgeron told Bielema recently this is the first job he’s been at where he hasn’t “had an accent,” meaning he fits in well at LSU. They ran into each other while recruiting during Arkansas’ bye week.
- Left guard Hjalte Froholdt is expected to be back by Wednesday after sustaining a leg injury in the second quarter against Florida. Bielema says he could have returned, but was held out for precautionary reasons. Bielema also says Florida was the best game he had played this season before the injury.
- Bielema brags on the seniors, who will be playing their final home game Saturday. “There’s a lot of good players that have done a lot of good things. It’s going to be a hard day.”
- Someone begins a question with “LSU has a really good defense” and Bielema interrupts with “you think?”
- Bielema says fullback Kendrick Jackson played really well against Florida and was one of their offensive MVPs.
- Injured senior running back Kody Walker will go out for the coin toss as a captain against LSU. Bielema is extremely complimentary of Walker as a person, saying “when you read his Twitter, it just makes your day better.”
- On LSU playing Alabama the week before facing Arkansas: “Some of this things do factor in.” Bielema says he always looks at the team’s previous game and takes that into account based on opponent, time, etc.
- On the defensive changes: “I never say it’s this way or the highway. I came in and said this is what I’m thinking (to the defensive staff). But when you have the results we did (against Florida) it’s kind of hard not to listen.”
- “(Offensive line coach) Kurt (Anderson) is a grinder. A lot of times when I leave his light is still on and when I get here in the morning. He’s got a lot of character and charisma. The players love him.”
- On the importance of beating LSU in recruiting: “Louisiana in general since coming to Arkansas has been the biggest surprise.” Bielema says he never previously recruited Louisiana. He calls the state its “most productive” based on the type of players they have gotten out of Louisiana. He gives a lot of the credit to recruiting the state to wide receivers coach Michael Smith.”
- Bielema says when defensive lineman Sosa Agim arrived “he needed to open his ears and listen.” He says guys have “loved to pick on him” since he was so highly recruited. Bielema brags on his performance against Florida, particularly a play where he split a double team and made a tackle for loss. It was Agim’s first start.