home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 17, 2016

Bret Bielema

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Arkansas - 42

Texas State - 3

COACH BIELEMA: I thought one of the things we said last Sunday is we wanted to make this a SEC week of preparation. Obviously Texas State is not an SEC football team. We wanted the game to be about how we prepare, how we get ourselves ready, how we play, how we execute. New coaching staff over there. Started their season with a win, scored a lot of points. I thought our defensive guys locked into that right away, had a nice plan out there today to get lined up, get ourselves in the right position. Did that.

I thought offensively obviously we changed the lineup a little bit up front trying to get our five best on the field at any given time. I think it might be a shared responsibility between the right tackle and center as we get into SEC play.

Frank is probably our best center guard or right tackle wherever we play him. To put him at guard, we thought that gave us the best chance to kind of help the guys next to him. I like the way that happened out there today. I think both those tackles and centers really grew as the game went on. That was good.

JRed, we kept him out. He was really sore on Sunday last week. Really not a permanent thing. We felt if we rested him this week, the doctors and JRed felt if we held him out, he'd be ready to rock'n roll this week coming ahead.

We'll be pretty quick to turn the page. Games like this, you just want your guys to come out and play well, line up and execute for four quarters. I thought it was awesome to get a lot of our twos in there in the second half. Even our backup punter came in. To get that opportunity is priceless. Obviously with Toby being a senior, to see Blake go out there and hit it. Did some good things in the kicking game as well as some personnel that we made a change-up.

We will flip the page pretty quick tomorrow. Jump into A&M preparation and excited about SEC play. With that I'll open it up for questions.

Q. Can you take us through how the decision was made to shorten the fourth quarter and have you ever done anything like that before?
COACH BIELEMA: No. At halftime they came to us and said there might be some weather moving in about 9:30. The weather that rolled through yesterday was pretty dangerous. They said it might. That's when we had a discussion at the end of halftime there going on the field, we decided to take the third quarter normal as is and talked about adjusting the fourth quarter. Then they asked myself and Coach Withers, and we came up with the 10-minute clock.

Q. What did you think of the defensive performance, the way you limited their plays and their yards?
COACH BIELEMA: Yeah, I thought again our guys grew up from last week in certain regards of just getting lined up, getting ourselves in the right position. There's maybe eight to ten plays last week when we weren't quite ready to play when the ball was being snapped. We made a huge emphasis on that.

These guys went really, really fast. To get that opportunity out there today, this was like a very nice long practice for us because we just were able to work so many different things and keep our personnel out there through three quarters but also realized we got them off the field a little bit, some of our main players, which allows us to get rest as we enter SEC play.

I thought the plan was great. Again, give all the credit in the world to our coaches. I think they really had the idea and really put the screws to our guys. Another great point as a side-bar to that, I had Bobby Williams who obviously was a tremendous player here, went on to play in the NFL, he was out guest captain, gave a message yesterday, just about process, work, all the things he did to make it in the league, 13 years, all the pride he had as a Razorback. That was a pretty awesome speech he gave our guys yesterday.

Q. What did you think about Ryan Pulley's play?
COACH BIELEMA: Ryan is an extremely talented player. On that play right there, actually the receiver was blocking him. He just read the quarterback's eyes, made a tremendous pick.

Ryan is a very athletic corner, a very gifted corner, but he's got really good ball skills. I seen him time and time again, he probably leads our team in interceptions in practice as well. He just has a way of finding the football. Executed well on that play.

Had a lot of guys do some good things. The cool thing now, DJ Dean got out there. So that's four corners that have played good football in the SEC. We have three safeties in Santos Ramirez, Josh Liddell and Dre Coley, who we feel can start at anyplace and play in the SEC very, very well. So our roster depth, adding to it has made it really good for us.

Q. After a couple close games, what does it do for a team when you can finally come out after a couple close games and win one that's relatively convincing?
COACH BIELEMA: I think, again, I knew that our guys were going to hear about how well they played last week. I really put the screws to them about turning the page. I'm sure you guys got frustrated in our Tuesday and Wednesday press. I wouldn't let them answer questions about last Saturday. They were supposed to move on. I think they did a pretty good job about that. In this league, if you worry too much about what happened yesterday, tomorrow hits you in the face.

They went out and played well. You saw all around the world of college football today, guys, in these types of situations, don't fare very well. We wanted to make a comment. I think for this program, have we won 9 out of our last 10 now, I believe, several against top opponents in the top 15. We're doing a lot of really, really good things.

But in this place, in this league, it's all about what you've done for me lately. To open up SEC play in Jerry's world, I don't think we could ask for anything better.

Q. How many reserves you played in the fourth made an impression on you?
COACH BIELEMA: Two guys. Devwah Whaley I thought really -- for a runningback, a lot of times that's been carrying the ball, in high school he was obviously their main player. But he hadn't been in there with a lot of reps. We wanted to get him 10 to 15 carries a day. That happened. I thought he almost broke a couple of them.

To have three runningbacks we feel really, really solid about going into SEC play is all the difference in the world. I thought Cody Hollister came alive today, too. He's a guy who had a couple drops for us in the first game. Didn't get a lot of reps last week. Was very, very confident with his catches today and stepped up big-time.

Then just a couple peripheral guys. Dwayne Eugene, DeJon Harris got in there at linebacker and did very, very well in the fourth quarter. I think our D-line continues to get better with every rep and every opportunity they get.

Obviously the rotation of the offensive line to get Colton Jackson and Brian Wallace to battle it out, to get Jake and Zach Rogers to battle it out at the center position, competition brings the best out of people.

Q. You mentioned the A&M game briefly. Now that you're through this one, how hungry are you to finally get there and right the wrong?
COACH BIELEMA: I think our guys, again, we've said it all along, they've been defined by where they've been. Obviously that game has been a heartbreaker for us. But it's a new team, a new opportunity. A&M is a really good football team. They're probably much improved from where they were a year ago as well.

I'm excited to see where we're at in SEC play. Obviously we'll turn the page, like I said, pretty quick tomorrow and focus on A&M, and really can't wait to get on that plane and get over there.

Q. Your quarterback play, seems like he might have been changing some stuff.
COACH BIELEMA: Yeah. They brought a lot of pressures and did some things to the wide field that we wanted to make sure we didn't run into, run opposite. He did a lot of nice stuff at the line.

We had two or three procedure penalties where we were trying to change the cadence up. I got after him pretty good on that one. As the quarterback, he has to get better demand of that. But when you're rotating centers, we got to make sure that's not an issue. Two of them came with Jake, I think one came with Zach. We'll get that worked out.

The part I love about our guys, I told them before we left the hotel, I love being around this group. Their attitude, their demeanor, their work ethic, the things I ask them to do, they regurgitate it all the time. I see it come out in the media, I see it happen on the practice field.

The thing I appreciate about this team all the time, we're not an offensive team, we're not a defensive team, we're a football team. The way those three units play together, offense, defense, special teams, when they're all playing well, it's a pretty nice combination.

Q. Looking at the receivers, four guys all had three catches. What does that kind of balance do for you going forward?
COACH BIELEMA: It's good. We got guys that have good hands. We got a couple tight ends. It was nice to get Austin Cantrell involved a little bit there. Obviously we know what Spring can do I think at wide receiver. The four seniors, JRed. We did get Petway and Deon in there as well, Deon Stewart. There's River Warnock was a walk-on player that we are excited about as well. He's quick as a hiccup. I think the more depth and more players we can roll through it's going to help us all.

Q. What about Ledbetter today?
COACH BIELEMA: I think he's a guy, going back to last spring, Rob made the decision to put him in at three technique. What we're able to get with that position with an athlete like that kind of gives you back when we had Darius there. A very athletic, dynamic player that creates a lot of mismatch issues.

I think also, just he's playing like a man that's a senior that knows what he wants, you know. He's a great kid. Mom and dad raised him up the right way. I think he's a very quiet player. He doesn't say a lot. His performance speaks for itself.

Q. Your last tune-up before SEC play, nobody got hurt?
COACH BIELEMA: No. We got guys out of there. I wanted guys to play two series in the third quarter. I thought it was important to come out, especially if we didn't play well, to start the second half at TCU. I went in and told the coaches to line them up, just starting the second half the way we did.

Give them credit, they came out guns-a-firing, kicked a field goal. Skip actually tipped that one as well. Got hits seventh block. This one, didn't knock it all the way down. He tipped that ball as well.

We continue to improve. We worked a lot of players in. Yeah, I thought we played green clean. When you play hard, when you play the way that we do, I think in those type of situations, just the mind over matter part allows you to play the way they did and obviously execute.

Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297