FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ defense continues to dominate opponents with Georgia Southern the latest to fall to the Hogs 45-10 on Saturday in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Arkansas limited Georgia Southern to 233 yards of total offense on the day with 76 of those coming on a Justin Tomlin touchdown run in the second quarter. The remainder of the game the defense dominated. Jalen Catalon led the team with nine tackles from his safety spot. He talked about the play of the defense and what happened on that touchdown run.
“Most definitely,” Catalon said. “(Barry) Odom came in at halftime and kind of said that was a bad call he made. But like I said we’re a defense where if he makes a bad call we’ve still got to do our job you know and make it right. It was just one those things that we had to shake off and move on you know. We did a great job with that and responded you know. Overall I think the defense played good – a lot of missed tackles though including some on my part that we have to get better at so we definitely will focus on that this week. But I’m proud of the defense overall.”
Following the game Sam Pittman had praise for both sides of the football.
“I thought we played well against the option,” Pittman said. “Really proud of our defense, we were swarming to the ball. Loved the defensive game plan that we had. Really proud of Coach (Kendal) Briles and the game plan that they had in throwing the ball a little bit more. We’re 3-0, we’re excited about that, and we’re excited about next week.”
Defensive end Tre Williams had four tackles, including two for loss and 1.5 sacks. He talked about facing the option on Saturday.
“I guess usually it would be difficult but going in the preparation was good,” Williams said. “Our practices were good. The scout team gave a great look. So I was ready for the option. To see and play an offense like that, you have to be assignment sound. They can’t lull us to sleep. So I think we did a good job.”
Williams did have two personal foul penalties on Saturday. He talked about what the coaches said to him about that.
“The message from the coaches is just stay composed,” Williams said. “Stay composed, stay smart. When to hit the quarterback and when not to hit the quarterback. Having a sack and a half I would be happy about it, but at the same time it’s just the breakthrough. Sacks come in bunches and it’s about that time.”
Arkansas finished the game with nine penalties for 93 yards including one that called a touchdown back. Pittman wasn’t happy about the penalties.
“Any time you have penalties, they’re always a concern,” Pittman said. “I think holding and things like that, if you get two holding penalties called a game, that’s about average. When you get late hits and things of that nature, we’ve got to clean it up. It’s 15 yards and it’s something that’s the second game it has happened to us. We’ve got to clean that up. We will. I’m sure we will. But yeah, penalties, we have to cut that down.”
Williams came to Arkansas as a grad transfer after having played for Odom at Missouri. He talked about how Odom helps the players with such good gameplans.
“For me and the team and for us as a whole he does a great job,” Williams said. “I never went into a game not feeling prepared. I never went into a game not seeing something that we haven’t gone over already. So I think he’s doing a great job. He always does a great job.”
After holding the Eagles to four yards of total offense in the first quarter the defense gave up all 10 points to Georgia Southern in the second quarter.
“Our DC came in and told us we’re playing great, but it’s got to be a great game for four quarters,” Catalon said. “We can’t start off the first quarter great and then slack off the second quarter, we have to keep going and every drive have the same mentality. I think we lost that for a second, but I’m glad we did because it showed us that it doesn’t matter who we play, if we don’t play to our standard, our flaws and our mentality can be shown. So we want to keep that same mentality every single drive we’re out there, so like I said it’s a learning experience from that and hopefully we keep that same mentality going forward and don’t lose sight of that.”
Arkansas will face Texas A&M on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on CBS. Both teams are 3-0. Texas A&M beat New Mexico 34-0 on Saturday.