Sunday, September 27, 2020

Post Game Quotes

Arkansas Sports Communications

Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Statement: 

“Really sloppy first half. I thought I was in an extra-inning baseball game because it went forever. We weren’t scoring points that’s for certain. We’ve got a long way to go to get where we need to go. But I want to be positive about the second half and what the guys were able to do. We gave them a little energy, a little juice. I thought we were very stagnant with undisciplined penalties and, every time we had something going, we’d shoot ourselves in the foot. It was either 15 yard penalty, 10 yard penalty or a turnover. You can’t win football games doing those things. I am proud of the way they were resilient in the second half. Special teams played really well. I give a lot of credit to Arkansas’ defense, they gave us a lot of problems but we’ve got to improve and get better.” 

On The Quarterbacks: 

“We talked on the headphones and said we were struggling offensively. We didn’t have a lot of rhythm and we felt like we needed to change some things up. I don’t know how many drives we were into with D’Wan Mathis, it felt like five maybe six, I don’t know how many total it was before we went with Stetson Bennett but we just though he could give us some energy. There are some things he can do well. He’s different than D’Wan and more experienced. He gave us a spark and he’s very decisive with the ball. He makes good decisions. He understands what the defense is trying to do to him so getting to watch them defensively I think helped him.” 

On The Crowd/Atmosphere: 

“The atmosphere was great. The crowd noise made it seem like it was a normal game. I think — as a competitor, a football player and a coach — there’s no concern for how many people are in the stands. I thought it got pretty loud on some third downs between what fans they had and the crowd noise they pumped in.” 

On Why They Looked Sloppy And Uncharacteristic: 

“It starts with the penalties. Also we had guys busting assignments, guys missing signals and guys not doing what they’re supposed to do. That’s 100 percent what I attribute it to. When you turn the ball over— which we did when we had a pretty good drive — when you hold people and line up in the backfield, you’re not going to have a lot of success. That’s just not going to happen. Nobody’s going to give you plays on second-and-15 and second-and-20. It just not going to happen. You got to be efficient, you’ve got to execute, play clean. We did not play clean today.” 

On Coach Pittman And His Team: 

“Well, we talked before the game and his kids believe. I know from trying to start the program at Georgia, it starts with that fight and competitiveness. I respect the way his team played and competed right down to the wire. I love the fact that he was trying to fight and compete at the end to score and call timeouts. I got a lot of respect for that. The kids need that opportunity because we aren’t guaranteed 10 games. Those aren’t guaranteed because of the pandemic were in so you better go enjoy it and go play. They competed throughout the game.” 

Stetson Bennett, Quarterback 

“At the end of the day, there are a lot of people in the world. A lot of voices. A lot of people talking. A lot of people that don’t know. Really the only people you can listen to are those close to you, and yourself. You just have work every day. The decision is never made and just work every day. Coach Smart is bringing everybody in here to compete and he’s trying to win a national championship. If those guys coming in here give us the best chance to win a national championship, then that’s what we’re going to do. You just got to compete everyday with those guys.” 

Richard LeCounte, Safety 

“We just had a mix-up with communication. You know, it’s the first game out and we got that handled immediately. That’s going to happen when you play a lot of football. You’re going to have mistakes, but the best thing we did was correct our mistakes. We got our communication back together and got this defense back on the road. We work hand in hand. Our offense is only as good as our defense, It’s our first game since the bowl game, so we expect some mistakes. We are going to wake up tomorrow, go get those mistakes handled and get ready for our next opponent. I’m not worried about anything that happened on any side of the ball because I know we have the best players in the nation."

Sam Pittman, Arkansas Head Coach 

Opening Statement: 

“I was really proud of our defense. I really thought Coach Barry Odom had a great game plan. I thought our kids, especially on the defensive side of the ball, played well."

On The Momentum Shift: 

“Georgia wore us down in the second half with the offensive line, but obviously we gave up the ball three times and had a blocked punt and an interception for a touchdown that really turned the momentum of the game.” 

On Treylon Burks: 

“He’s a really good player. We certainly have to continue to try to get the ball to him more. He can win contested catches, and he’s a special player. The touchdown grab he made and scored on was an exceptional play. I think that shows things to come.” 

Feleipe Franks, Quarterback 

On The Georgia Defense: 

“Georgia has a really good defense and they are coached really well. They are a good football team. That’s what you get when you play SEC football. There’s things we can do to improve and things that we did good on film. That’s all it’s about right now. Gotta keep getting better and keep moving forward and getting right - that’s what we’re really focused on.” 

Grant Morgan, Linebacker 

Take Aways From Today: 

“I would think that we weren’t surprised. We knew what they were doing. we made good checks. Our DB’s were playing really well. Our D-line was getting a good push. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett did really good in the third quarter though. We just made a couple mistakes. I just want to give my hats off to them. They are a good football team. I think we have to remember they are the #4 team in the nation for a reason. They are a good football team. I think this definitely shows, as a defensive guy, that we have a promise. We have hope and it shows we can be really good. It shows that we just played against a really good football team.” 

On leading at halftime: 

“Yeah, going into halftime, we thought we were going to win the game. We talked about it the whole time, keep pushing, don’t be satisfied with this lead right now. I think the defense kept getting the ball in bad situations on the field, and really just made really big stops. When they were going to into the endzone, big momentum plays for a defense is huge and just shows confidence. That’s what we were building off. Every time we went out, we don’t care where we are or where you put us on the field, we’re gonna get off the field, Three and out or get the ball back. We definitely have to able to keep pushing and figure out how to get that in the second half. 

Jalen Catalon, Defensive Back 

Thoughts On The Defense And Preparation: 

“I think, the first half, we strained really well. The whole game we strained really well. In the first half, I think we caught them off guard with how fast and how well we were getting to the ball. I think, at the end of the day, they just made the plays they needed to put them in position to win the game. I am proud of my defense for straining, not quitting, fighting the whole game. This is definitely a step forward. We will never accept losing. Losing is not what we are trying to do. We are trying to change the culture around here. I definitely think the defense made a statement, it’s not how it was before. I am just proud of them for fighting. No matter the score. they never looked at the scoreboard. They were just fighting.” 

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