AUBURN, Ala. — Bret Bielema is as quotable as it gets, so I won’t linger before getting into postgame comments from the Arkansas coach and players.
Auburn’s 56-3 victory proved the Tigers as viable SEC West contenders. For Arkansas, it offered a much-needed bit of self-reflection going into the bye week. Bielema and two players met with Arkansas media Saturday to discuss a range of topics: Auburn’s run game, the pregame scuffle and the Razorbacks disappointment.
Here are the of-interest postgame comments from Arkansas’ perspective.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on Auburn in opening statement: “First, I give a lot of credit to Auburn. Obviously they came ready to play and executed their plan. They played very, very well. … The first play that goes to the house, you knew they couldn’t wait to get off that bus and run that play.”
Bielema on allowing a school-record 543 yards rushing: “On the very first one, we didn’t have the edge set. We didn’t spin down when that motion created the leverage on the play. For the most part, that was the story of the day. When we don’t have an edge, we don’t have a defense. If we have to look at personnel or if we have to look at the call or look at the scheme, that’s really two types of starts to a play. That play was very similar to the Alabama play. As far as what’s going on, we need to get it fixed or move our technique or scheme.”
Arkansas wide receiver Keon Hatcher on expectations vs. Auburn: “I expected to come in here and get a victory. I am just at a loss for words at what happened. I don’t know what to tell you. We had a great week at practice. Everyone seemed prepared. You look in guys’ eyes and it seemed like everyone was ready.”
Arkansas defensive lineman Taiwan Johnson: “It was a misfit. Guys weren’t where they were supposed to be. I don’t know exactly what happened. But that’s the way our defense works. One guy is out of position, then it all falls apart. We have to get it corrected.”
Johnson on Kamryn Pettway: “The running back is very physical. He’s running downhill. Big strong guy, he’s hard to tackle. They just ran him, you know, workhorse.”
Johnson on the pregame situation at midfield: “Every pregame we have a little captain’s walk where we talk in the middle of the field. I guess Auburn didn’t really like it. We were on their logo. We tried to diffuse the situation, but it just escalated. We just got out of the way.”