FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Monday as the No. 22 Razorbacks prepare to face No. 12 Mississippi at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday.
The Hogs (4-2, 0-2 SEC) are coming a 49-30 loss to Alabama.
Here’s the rundown of what Bielema had to say.
- Bielema opens by thanking the fans for “putting a lot into it.” He says it was a “very loud and active environment” and he hopes to have the same thing against Mississippi
- Wide receiver Drew Morgan had x-rays that were negative and is only sore after getting hit in the back and having to leave the game against Alabama. Other than that, Bielema is pleased with the team’s health following the game.
- “I guess we’ve got the midseason blues.” Bielema adds that the two losses have been to teams that most consider among the top five in the country.
- “For us to get to where we need to be we just need to worry about Ole Miss.”
- Linebacker Dwayne Eugene “responded very, very well” when put in the game against Alabama. He and De’Jon Harris are expected to compete for the playing time with Dre Greenlaw out with a foot injury.
- Greenlaw was beleived to be out for the season, but Bielema says that is not necessarily the case and he is facing a recovery of 4-6 weeks. He had surgery on Monday.
- On the defensive struggles: “The expectation was that we would play better. But it’s pretty easy to see on film why points have been scored against us.” Bielema says the seniors on defense are playing well, but overall they have room to improve at every position.
- On safety Josh Liddell: “There were a couple times he took bad angles.” Bielema adds that he’s a guy who ideally would play two thirds of the snaps rather than all of them.
- “Certain guys (on defense) need to play more reps and certain guys need to play less. We’ve got to look at that and decide if that’s what we need to do.”
- Bielema stresses to his players they have to tell the truth regarding replay situations. Against Alabama, that helped Bielema decide to call timeout and give the officials time to look at an Alabama fumble on the goal line. Bielema says he was upset with the fact that he had to call the timeout rather than deciding to review the play themselves.
- On the officials: “They called us for 12 men on the field when we had 11. It was a rough day.”
- “If we can make it less exciting and still be effective that’d be great,” Bielema says of the Ole Miss game this year compared to last season’s overtime win.
- On right tackle Brian Wallace: “The big picture of things kind of took a while to set in for him.” Bielema adds he is improving every week.
- “The fans can rest assured we’ll never see that guy again,” Bielema says of the official who called a controversial holding on Wallace. The call negated a touchdown. He adds “it’s probably best to move on from (the officials) for a number of reasons.”
- “For us to play well and win here at Arkansas is completely different than what Ole Miss and Alabama do from an offensive standpoint.”
- On the university professor who shouted profanities at him after the game: “I get a lot of things yelled at me. I was halfway impressed with he said my name right. I guess I won’t be asked to speak in his classroom.”
- Adam McFain will remain the starting the kicker unless something drastic happens. He replaced Cole Hedlund as the starter last week.
- On left guard Hjalte Froholdt: “I couldn’t be happier with him and he still gives us the best option at left guard.”