Sam Pittman Counting on Defensive Ends to Make Big Plays in 2020

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FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman is hoping the University of Arkansas’ defense is much improved in 2020 and if it is one of the reasons could be the defensive ends.

Arkansas currently has senior Dorian Gerald, junior Julius Coates, sophomores Mataio Soli and Zach Williams along with redshirt freshman Eric Gregory getting reps there.

“You just said it,” Pittman said. “Those are the guys right now that are working in and out of there. Gregory has gotten some snaps with the ones. He’s earned it. He plays extremely hard. Soli certainly, as he continues to grow and develop his game, he’s making more and more plays.

“But I think you probably hit the five guys there at that end spot that have gotten the most reps and the most production.”

Pittman was asked if he feels he can have a good rotation at defensive end?

“I think we will,” Pittman said. “Obviously, a guy’s a one for a reason, and you want him to stay out there as long as he’s making plays and as long as he’s capable of being better than a fresh guy coming in as a two. So we’re continuing to work there, because obviously you want to keep your 1s on the field. But I feel very strong about our rotation and I think we’ll be fine.”

Pittman said the defense has been getting pressure on the quarterbacks.

“It’s not just one guy on the D-line,” Pittman said. “Dorian Gerald does a nice job of rushing the passer. Of course, Coates does… Marshall. It’s been kind of a little bit of committee, to be honest with you. But somebody’s getting there. Or it might be a linebacker blitzing in or something of that nature. A lot of times, to be honest with you, secondary is covering them and there’s just nowhere to go with the ball and it’s just happening.”

Arkansas will practice today and then scrimmage on Friday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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