Sam Pittman press conference notes

• We’re excited to play Alabama. The Tide probably have the best player in college football on both sides of the ball in Bryce Young and Will Anderson. We’re going to be excited to get in our stadium and play Alabama on a national stage.

• I went back and talked to all of our kids before the plane ride home. We have two losses in the last 10 games, but the loss hurt. Some kids were crying. We’re going to flush it out of here in the first half of our meeting, then the second half will be on to Alabama. We don’t have time to mope. We have Alabama coming in.

• Those bigs plays are the ones that stick out and can cost you a game. On our fumble, we’ve talked about it, those are big plays. Each play really matters. We’re not going to make a mountain our of a mole hill. We shouldn’t have made those mistakes, but we’ve got to learn from them and move on.

• Myles Slusher does make us a better defense with him at the nickel spot. It was good to have him back on Saturday.

• You go into a game basically thinking you’re going to be about 50-50 with runs and pass. During the game you go with what’s working for you. On one of Hornsby’s plays, it was supposed to be pitched back to KJ, who had Trey Knox wide open. It didn’t work. We have a lot of good wide outs and good running backs, and it’s hard to get them all touches. The last drive, whether we were supposed to or not, I was trying to melt the clock down AND score.

• Playing Alabama tough last season: They can beat you before you ever run out on the field. Programs like that, you play them close, you have some belief.

• On forcing turnovers defensively: We work on it every day. We haven’t gotten many all year. We’re aware of it. We do strip-tackling and work ball security.

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• Myles Slusher is a big deal for our defense. Nickel is one of the biggest positions for us. I was really pleased with the way he played. I don’t want to use surprised as the word, but I was pleased with his play. He played the entire game and played well.

• Bryce Young: When he gets outside the pocket, he looks comfortable. I just think he is playing with extreme confidence, and he’s been a good player since he was probably in 5-6 grade. He’s got good players and around him and some really good backs.

• Will Anderson: He had such a good year last year. He’s right where he was in 2021. You have to have a plan for him. He’s taken over some of their games this season. He sticks out among a bunch of good players over there.

• Max Fletcher, Arkansas’ punter: He was trying to maybe aim some of his punts to keep the ball out of the hands of opposing teams’ return men. He’s been inconsistent, but he’s a good player and will improve.

• Dominique Johnson: I don’t know what the plan is moving forward. I thought he had a good game. We’re looking at it is we need to give the ball to Rashod Dubinion a little bit more, too, and AJ Green had some good carries. We have 4 guys back there than can really play. Dominique ran the ball hard last game and looked good.

• Pittman says LaDarrius Bishop is out for the year with a knee injury.

• Keeping Cam Little up mentally: He is such a unique kid. He’s a great kid. We’re going to put it in perspective – he missed a field goal. We had more chances than that one to win the game.

• Third-quarter issues: I don’t know what’s going on there. We’re going to have halftime at practice this week, then go good-on-good right after that break. We’ve got to change something. We’ve got to get in our minds that we have to get going. You concern yourself with focusing on a fast start to the game, but we have to be better in the third quarter.

Arkansas ran 8 plays for 21 total yards Saturday in the third quarter.

If I’m understanding correct, I’m not sure the sequence of the three, but Sam was saying in defining the play Hornsby WAS a decoy. Between 5m and 6m.

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