Sam Pittman talked to reporters for about 20 minutes this afternoon. A few things of note from his press conference:
• Defensive end Dorian Gerald is going to make the trip to Texas A&M. The staff will gauge his readiness in pre-game warmups and see if he can give it a go. Gerald has not played since injuring his ankle in the first half of the season opener against Georgia, but he looked “a little bit better” in Wednesday’s practice. He is the only injury concern entering the weekend, Pittman said.
• Arkansas’ offensive line did not have a particularly good practice on Tuesday, but Pittman noted its work on Wednesday was great. It did a solid job with the inside run and helped the offense move down the field on the No. 1 defense. Pittman added that it is a group that needs a little more confidence. It isn’t a bad bunch, he said, the guys just need to continue to work together.
• If the weather Saturday was going to be like it was at Auburn, Arkansas would have practiced outdoors this week, but the team has been inside Walker Pavilion each day – with the exception of the kickers. Pittman said he thought it was best to move inside, where the team could have a better practice. He wanted to get outside on the grass field today if it is not too slick, but he didn’t see that happening as of about 1 p.m.
“I really don’t (see practice inside as a negative this week),” Pittman said. “Actually, I kind of like indoor practices. I like the smell of it, the pop of it, the sound of it, but obviously you have two fields for a reason. You can spread out, have a little more room, things of that nature.”
• The Razorbacks used the bye week to heal up, but they “banged heads” pretty good this week.
“I think we kind of amped it up, to be honest with you,” Pittman said. “We know we’re going to be in a physical game. We went good on good several times this week for the physicality of what we know we’re going to get Saturday night.”
• Cornerback Montaric Brown, who has not played since Week 2 at Mississippi State, was cleared Sunday to play against the Aggies. He had no-contact workouts the week of Ole Miss. Pittman said he has gotten 11 practices in since he last saw the field, so he is not worried about Brown having to knock off any rust.
• Reid Bauer may not be the every-situation punter for Arkansas moving forward, but he has earned the right to punt, Pittman said. He is averaging better than 44 yards per punt this season, up nearly eight yards over 2019.
• The staff will know the results of Thursday’s covid-19 testing by 8 or 9 a.m. on Friday.
“We’ve been good,” Pittman added. “Knock on wood that we’ll be good again and ready to go.”
• Pittman said when Arkansas travels, it typically has the hotel to itself. At Mississippi State, he believes the team and its personnel were the only people in the building. At Auburn, there were other people in the hotel. Pittman joked that he doesn’t get the Marriott points from staying in the hotels.