Sam Pittman Talks Some Standout Performances From LSU Game

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FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman is pleased his No. 21 Razorbacks are headed to No. 2 Alabama with a 7-3 mark.

On Monday he took a look back at Saturday’s 16-13 overtime victory over LSU and talked about some additional standouts. On Saturday night Pittman pointed out how well cornerback Montaric Brown and kicker Cam Little performed, particularly in overtime. On Monday he corrected one statement made after the game.

“Well, let me say this. I thought Myles Slusher played a really good game,” Pittman said. “Obviously, I said after the game about Mo Brown picking both passes. I made a mistake. I knew Myles picked a pass. It just came out wrong. Certainly, want to give him credit for picking that pass. It was a heck of a play. He’s playing really well. I thought John Ridgeway played well defensively. I think we’re getting better in the secondary, but our linebackers were outstanding. They were everywhere. All three of them. They played really well. 

“On the offensive side of the ball, I thought KJ Jefferson basically took the game over. There were so many times he could’ve been sacked. We were having problems. We had M.A. on one of our protections on setting that protection. We set it the wrong direction and threw hot off the backside. So, we’ve fixed that. Then they were bringing more than we could protect, which they’d shown the week before. But they had dropped linebackers out the week before and this week they kept them in. It was a little bit different. They were more in zone coverage at that point instead of totally Cover Zero. I think our wide receivers have to be much more aware of what’s going on. We have to have some sights. When there’s nobody in the middle of the field, you can’t run a route that’s a timing type. Timing is now. You have to beat your man immediately, and you have to turn your eyes around. I thought KB and them had a good answer going to a true slide protection. Maxed it up, but at the same time, we can’t make a living putting our tight ends on their best pass rusher. We need to help him, which our backs didn’t do a great job of doing that.”

Even in the victory, Arkansas was still hampering itself with nine penalties for 64 yards. That is compared to only five for LSU for 34 yards. In many games this season, Arkansas has been heavily penalized. Pittman isn’t happy about it.

“The penalties are frustrating,” Pittman said. “Very frustrating. We had a lengthy talk about that. I’m not talking about the pass interference on Mo. You guys all know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about jumping offsides, which we had one. Illegal formation, which we had one. Certainly, the flinching and jumping offsides on the D-Line or lining up in the zone. So ya’ll know every single day we have an official there, and we have a coach assigned for alignment. It doesn’t seem to be getting a whole lot better. We have to fix it, obviously. I know how we’re trying to fix it, but we have to do something different because it’s not getting fixed. We are trying, but it’s not getting fixed. We’ve been taking them out of the game. We’ve been taking them out of practice. But it has to get fixed.”

True freshman running back Rocket Sanders didn’t play much Saturday night. He had one reception for a minus-3 yards. Pittman explained why Sanders didn’t play as much as usual.

“He’s beat up a little bit,” Pittman said. “We put him in there for a screen, but again, that’s the thing I was talking about before. We missed the linebacker. You have to make guys pay. If they’re going to go zero on you, you have to make them pay and KJ did, but it was after he made guys miss and all that. Once you can make a team pay, they get out of that because you’re giving up easy points. But we just weren’t able to do that, which in other games this year we have. We’ve seen plenty of total this year. But we just weren’t able to get open, weren’t able to protect it long enough.”

With punt returner Nathan Parodi still on the injured list true freshman wide receiver Bryce Stephens replaced him. Stephens had two returns for 26 yards with that being his long as well.

“Parodi was out last week got hit in the head the week before, I guess Mississippi State,” Pittman said. “He’ll move around a little bit today. noncontact I think he’ll be fine. Excuse me not last week, but two weeks ago, and I think he’ll be fine. I thought I thought Bryce did a real good job of handling punts. He had a chance if he took another left on one return he still be running, you know, but I thought he did a really good job of handling that. I mean, could you imagine I mean, he’s that was only his third game to even play and going there in that atmosphere and you’re going back there, it’s probably a lonely situation back there. But he did a great job and and had some nice returns. And one one I remember vividly over 20 yards and, and I was real proud of him and again, it’s one thing to go back there if you’ve been playing all year, but he hadn’t. But we felt very confident and comfortable that he could catch the football and obviously he’s, you know, won state in the 100 So we know he’s got speed.”

Arkansas (7-3, 3-3) will hit the practice fields today preparing for Alabama.

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