FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema addressed the media Wednesday during the Hogs’ bye week.
Arkansas is coming off a 56-3 loss at Auburn last Saturday. The Razorbacks next game is Nov. 5 against Florida.
Here’s the rundown of what Bielema had to say.
- The two things the team is taking into account during the bye week: Where you’re at and where you want to go.
- “Saturday night was tough to take,” but Bielema adds they are getting a lot of good work in during the bye week.
- The staff recruited heavily on Monday locally and across the country.
- Preparation for Florida will begin today.
- Quarterback Austin Allen is “very limited” and likely wouldn’t play this Saturday if they had a game. However, he’s expected to be ready for the Florida game.
- Right tackle Brian Wallace also does not have a significant injury and just needs some recovery time. The team is preparing like he won’t be able to play against Florida. He had an ankle injury against Auburn. Colton Jackson has been at right tackle with Wallace out.
- The staff is “moving some things around” on the offensive line and the defensive, but Bielema will not state specifics until those are finalized. “Could be a d-tackle that plays d-end. A will linebacker that plays sam linebacker.”
- Safety De’Andre Coley rolled his ankle last week stepping in a pot hole and was unavailable against Auburn. He is expected to be fine for Florida.
- Bielema says the way they lost to Auburn was “very concerning” and “we can’t allow that to begin to seep into our program.”
- Bielema is still in shock about how lopsided the outcome was last week.
- The main points of discussion for the defense have been with the players on the perimeter and what they’re being asked to do. Bielema says changes will be made.
- Bielema said when he came in the meeting room Sunday the team was likely a little surprised at his apparently calm demeanor. “Things have got to be handled differently. I don’t want to belabor negative issues to them.” He said the whole team came in, sat down and didn’t say a word.
- In recruiting: “We’ve had kids that are committed other place that have reached out to us about noticing the potential for early playing time.” Bielema adds he hasn’t had anything negative in recruiting this week.
- Right guard Jake Raulerson’s ankle “is about the size of a balloon” and he has been playing through it for a couple of weeks. Bielema says “unfortunately” they don’t have many other options. He wishes the team “maybe would’ve recruited more interior offensive linemen” in recent recruiting classes.
- The team is not “dwelling” on the loss to Auburn. He points out the team had been third in the SEC in wins the past 15 games and he will “not be apologizing for that.”
- “It’s a big recruiting class for us because it’s a big number.” Bielema says they are looking to sign “probably 23 to 25” recruits.
- Bielema will look to sign four offensive linemen, maybe five, in the 2017 class. The Hogs currently have three offensive lineman committed.
- Bielema says the sack numbers “are going to get skewed” with Allen at quarterback because “Austin is a guy that loves to hang on to that football.” Bielema has mostly defended the poor play of the offensive line this season. Allen has been sacked 20 times.
- Defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. has been held out of practice this week. He is primarily dealing with a hand injury.
- The driving point this week to the defense, specifically defensive coordinator Robb Smith, has been “what are you going to do to stop the run?” The Hogs gave up a school record 543 rushing yards against Auburn.
- Bielema has already been to Florida and Texas this week to recruit. He also mentions he’ll go to Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi and Georgia.