FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday following the No. 20 Razorbacks’ 45-24 loss to No. 9 Texas A&M last Saturday.
The Hogs (3-1, 0-1 in SEC) will face Alcorn State at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., this Saturday.
Here’s the rundown of what Bielema had to say Monday.
- Bielema “put together 12 plays” from the Texas A&M game as “teaching moments” for what the did and didn’t do well. Many of those plays were a lack of execution.
- “Everyone has an opportunity to get better. We’ve got a lot of football in front of us.”
- Bielema felt his team played well for three quarters, but “obviously” just didn’t finish well in the fourth quarter.
- The players and the coaches are looking forward to going to Little Rock this week and playing well there, something they haven’t done in recent years.
- There are no significant injuries coming out of the Texas A&M game. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher didn’t finish the game, but is expected back later this week. He will be rested early in the week.
- Bielema felt the pass protection was good in the first half. “We were whacking their defensive ends every way possible.” He adds they weren’t able to protect as well in the second half because they were forced into passing situations, which is not a position they wanted to be in.
- Bielema felt right tackle Brian Wallace played well for his first start against a tough opponent. He says the Texas A&M defensive ends came over and told Wallace they were impressed after the game.
- On Les Miles getting fired by LSU: “He’s a tremendous person. I think he’s done a lot for our game.” Bielema is “very confident” Miles will be able to find another job soon. He compared it to Mark Richt getting fired by Georgia last season. He points out that both coaches had impressive records.
- Bielema says he has “no interest” in being the coach anywhere but Arkansas after he was asked his thoughts on being mentioned as a replacement to Miles.
- “We don’t just want to be a top 20 team. We want to be a top 10 team week in and week out and I think we’re getting there.”
- “We didn’t tackle the way we wanted” against Texas A&M. He also questioned the effort of the defense after the game, but after watching the film said that issues “wasn’t as widespread” as he initially believed.
- This week will be an SEC preparation despite playing a perceived lesser opponent in Alcorn State this season.
- Bielema says his team began to press and get away from what they do well as the Texas A&M game went into the fourth quarter. He says the specific moment things changed was when they failed to score on fourth-down on the goal line late in the third quarter and A&M scored on a deep pass two plays later.
- On freshman running back T.J. Hammonds taking a direct snap: “There’s some things we’ve been working on with that. T.J. is a very explosive player we’re trying to get into the game.”
- Bielema used safety De’Andre Coley’s targeting ejection as a “huge teaching moment.” He said after seeing the film he understands the call. He was initially skeptical of it.
- Wide receiver Jared Cornelius “played really well” and is fully recovered from a sore back that kept him out against Texas State two weeks ago.
- The team will drive to Little Rock on Friday, but will fly back after the game.
- QB Austin Allen “let his lineman hear it” after a couple of the hits he took against A&M. Bielema says that’s fair for him to do and his teammates respect him as a “calm, confident” player that has “a lot of qualities you like.”
- Alcorn State features a running quarterback, a “bruising” running back and wide receivers that “can do a lot of good things.” They are “multiple” on defense.