UA Two-Minute Drill: Petrino Still Happy With Defense, Mum On Stadther

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Sep. 6, 2010 6:56 pm  

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FAYETTEVILLE — Coaches often find flaws that weren’t apparent in real time when studying film. Sometimes what seemed like a solid performance winds up less so after reviewing it from different angles.

That was apparently not the case with Arkansas’ defensive performance. Hours of breaking down film Sunday did little to change Bobby Petrino's opinion the unit did a good job in a 44-3 victory against Tennessee Tech.

“I was impressed with our defense,” Petrino said. “We have a better understanding of what we are doing which really allows us to play faster and not hesitate. We did a nice job tackling and getting guys to the football and being aggressive.

“It was a good opening game for us on defense.”

Arkansas offered plenty for Petrino and defensive coordinator Willy Robinson to be pleased about. After giving up a big play on Tennessee Tech’s opening drive, the Razorbacks held strong on a goal line stand and kept the Golden Eagles out of the end zone.

Another thing Petrino liked was the way that all 11 players were often around the ball at the end of a play. It’s something that jumped out at him on film and he pointed it out to the press on Monday and during his “Inside Razorback Football” television show on Sunday night.

Linebacker Jerico Nelson didn’t want to read too much into the performance. Tennessee Tech was a Football Championship Subdivision team and the competition gets increasingly hard each of the next three weeks with games against Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia and Alabama ahead on the schedule.

“Everything wasn’t perfect,” Nelson said. “We still had some missed assignments. In a different game, different situation we probably could have given up a big play.”

Freshman kicker Zach Hocker was perfect on all six of his extra point attempts. Ordinarily that wouldn't rate as a significant deal, but Hocker only recently figured into the place-kicking competition.

Hocker was supposed to be here for kickoffs and punting. He did a nice job with both, though he didn't win either job and Petrino decided to give the Russellville native a shot at field goals and extra points.

"I was very impressed with his demeanor and confidence and way he carries himself," Petrino said. "I just felt like, hey, let’s give him a shot to kick extra points and field goals. Right from Day One when we put him in there he did a really nice job."

Joe Adams was the Razorbacks’ big play threat against Tennessee Tech, finishing with six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Presumably, Adams will be a focal point for the Louisiana-Monroe defense this week.



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