Sam Pittman Continues to Place Strong Emphasis on Special Teams

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Photo courtesy of Arkansas Communications.

FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman hired Scott Fountain to be his special team’s coordinator at the University of Arkansas and it appears to be paying off in a very good way.

The vast majority of the feedback on special teams has been outstanding with exactly three weeks until the Razorbacks play host to Georgia to open the 2020 season. Pittman talked about Fountain following Friday’s scrimmage.

“Well, first of all, I think Scott Fountain is as good of a coordinator as there is in America,” Pittman said. “I really do. He was the first guy I offered the job to. Second of all, you can lose or win games strictly … you can be even-even, if your special teams is better than theirs, you can win it, and I believe that.

“I believe that if you don’t have a coordinator in charge of it then why would you have an offensive coordinator, just to let four guys go out there and figure out who is calling the plays? That doesn’t make any sense to me. Our kids need to understand how important it is. To me, the only way you can put that down is if you’ve got a coordinator. Scott’s assistant head coach and I think a lot of him, but I also feel like he’s very important. Our guys are buying in. Our kids now, they work special teams. I feel like we’ve got good punters and kickers and good returners. I’ve been very pleased with Scott and more importantly, I’ve been very pleased with the effort of our kids.”

Pittman had praise for junior transfer punter George Caratan who is a transfer from Michigan.

“I’m glad you asked about the special teams,” Pittman said. “Caratan had a really, really good day. He punted well. We had a little punt competition out there, as well as a field goal competition, and he did a really good job. Then we also had a couple of kickers make 52-yard field goals today and they were both 4 out of 5, both guys. So I was really pleased with the kicking overall today. I thought it was much better than last week. So I think we got better there. Obviously you boom one a long ways or make a long field goal, it just does wonders for your confidence, and that’s what we needed with all those kids.”

Senior grad transfer A.J. Reed and sophomore Matthew Phillips were the ones who boomed the 52-yard field goals into the wind.

“To be honest with you, 52 on both of them, on Reed and Phillips was into a little bit of breeze,” Pittman said. “Both of them had a little extra to go on it, so I felt real happy about that.”

Arkansas and Georgia will kickoff the season Saturday, Sept. 26, in Reynolds Razorback Stadium at 3 p.m. CT and televised on the SEC Network.

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