head coach http://visitmyarkansas.com/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 14:50:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://visitmyarkansas.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon.png head coach http://visitmyarkansas.com/ 32 32 Arkansas and Louisville kick off three-game series https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-and-louisville-kick-off-three-game-series/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 23:55:50 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-and-louisville-kick-off-three-game-series/ Grace Tafolla February 26, 2022 Arkansas Game Notes Louisville Game Notes FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas No. 8 is scheduled to play a three-game series against Louisville on Feb. 27-28 at Bogle Park, replacing the previously scheduled Wooo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks and Cardinals kick off the series Sunday at 5 p.m. The series wraps […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas No. 8 is scheduled to play a three-game series against Louisville on Feb. 27-28 at Bogle Park, replacing the previously scheduled Wooo Pig Classic. The Razorbacks and Cardinals kick off the series Sunday at 5 p.m. The series wraps up Monday with a double-header set to begin at 10 a.m. Live stats will be available for both matches.

The schedule

Sunday February 27

Louisville – 5 p.m.

Monday February 28

Louisville (DH) – 10 a.m.

must know

Arkansas is coming off the program’s first SEC regular season title (shared with Florida) last season, going 19-5 in conference play. The Razorbacks became the first team not named Florida or Alabama to win the conference regular season title since Tennessee in 2007. On the road against league competition, the Hogs went 11-1, producing the most road wins during conference play by an SEC. team since 2013 when the league adopted the current 24-game schedule. Arkansas posted a 43-11 overall record, recording the best winning percentage (.796) and second most wins in program history. In the NCAA tournament, Arkansas won the No. 6 national need and swept the Fayetteville Regional before hosting the program’s first Super Regional at Bogle Park.

Run KB Run

KB Sides makes noise at the start of Razorbacks. In 10 games, Sides had 14 stolen bases, which leads the NCAA. Arkansas’ single-season stolen bases record is 33, set by Dana Gulick in 1999. Additionally, Sides stole a program record of three bases in the Hogs’ win over Western Illinois on February 20. at the Razorback Invitational against Illinois, hitting an inside-the-park home run to start the Feb. 18 weekend before sending a solo shot to center in Arkansas’ second game with Illini February 20.

Haff on the verge of 700 strikeouts

Picher Mary Haff has 695 career strikeouts in a Razorback uniform heading into the Louisville series. Haff won Arkansas’ top SEC pitcher of the year award last season, going 26-7 with five saves and a 1.55 ERA in 198.1 innings pitched. She struck out 198 and only 39 walked. Haff was named an NFCA First Team All-American, becoming the first pitcher in program history to earn First-Team All-America recognition. USA Softball named Haff one of the top 10 finalists for college player of the year. Haff was terrific in conference play, and among pitchers who pitched at least 80.0 innings, led the league in wins (11), saves (4) and appearances (19) while ranking fourth in ERA (2.01) and strikeouts (79). Against Texas Tech, she pitched her second career no-hitter, striking out six innings for 5.0, and was one error away from a perfect game. Haff threw his first no-no against Northern Colorado in 2018 as a rookie and is the only pitcher in program history with multiple no-hits. The Winter Haven, Fla. native sits atop the program’s career record books with 81 wins and 14 saves.

Coach of the year
In his sixth season leading the Arkansas softball program, head coach Courtney Deifel was named SEC Coach of the Year last season, becoming the second skipper in school history to win the award, and the first since Carrie Dever-Boaz in 1999. The Hogs started conference play by winning 12 straight games, earning the fifth-best league start in SEC history and winning the program’s first SEC title . The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) honored Deifel and the coaching staff as the South Region Staff of the Year. Since Deifel took over in 2016, the Razorbacks have been ranked 55 times in the NFCA Coaches’ Poll after being ranked only once in program history. Deifel’s record in Fayetteville is 197-120 and 50-71 in SEC games. His Razorbacks teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times, the most of any coach in program history.

Steady Veteran

Senior Redshirt outfielder Hannah McEwen has been as consistent as can be for the Hogs over the past four seasons and her name is strewn across the program’s record books. McEwen ranks second in program history in batting average (.354), and is second in on-base percentage (.456), second in runs scored (166), third in walks (99), third in doubles ( 39), seventh in slugging percentage (.535) and eighth in hits (213) and seventh in RBI (116).

Backs Back to Bogle vs. Louisville

Poor weather conditions have caused several changes to the Wooo Pig Classic schedule, but the Arkansas Razorbacks are now set to play a three-game series against Louisville on February 27-28. The Razorbacks and Cardinals will begin the series on Feb. 27 with a game at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend with a double-header on Feb. 28 that is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Sooie Sluggers

Three Arkansas sluggers entered the program’s top five leaders for home runs last season. The top two single-season power marks in school history were both set last year by Braxton Burnside and Linnie Malkin. Danielle Gibson ranked fourth with 15 home runs also in 2021. As a team, Arkansas erased the school record with 95 home runs. The previous team’s high in the Deifel era was 59 homers in 2017, which ranks fifth in school history.

Sooie Sluggers Suite

Arkansas opened the 2022 Razorback Invitational Feb. 18-20, smashing 11 home runs over the weekend. The Razorbacks had seven home runs against Illinois in two games. Additionally, six different Razorbacks recorded home runs on home opener (Gammill, Gibson, Sides, McEwen, Hoffman and Ellsworth). Freshman Kacie Hoffman notched her first career home run in her first career start Feb. 18 against Illinois. KB Sides homered inside the park against Illinois on Feb. 18. The Hogs have homered in four of their five games in the Razorback Invitational. Côtés, Hoffman and Taylor Ellsworth each hit their first home runs in an Arkansas jersey over the weekend.

Bogle Bombers

Last season, Arkansas finished fourth nationally and led the SEC, smashing a school-record 95 home runs. The team broke the previous program record of 65 homers hit in 2008. The total ranks 10th in the SEC Book of Records for most home runs in a single season and was the most hit in a single season hit by an SEC team since Tennessee was bludgeoned. 100 in 2015. In 2022, Arkansas returns batters who made up 50 of 95 taters last year, led by designated player Linnie Malkin’s 18 bombs.

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Razorbacks close out weekend with win over Western Illinois https://visitmyarkansas.com/razorbacks-close-out-weekend-with-win-over-western-illinois/ Sun, 20 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/razorbacks-close-out-weekend-with-win-over-western-illinois/ FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas No. 10 earned his fourth Razorback Invitational win after going 13 hits to defeat Western Illinois 13-3 (5 Inns) on Sunday at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks lost to Illinois, 8-6, in their first game of the day. Senior Taylor Ellsworth ignited Arkansas offensively against the Leathernecks, going 3 for 4 […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas No. 10 earned his fourth Razorback Invitational win after going 13 hits to defeat Western Illinois 13-3 (5 Inns) on Sunday at Bogle Park. The Razorbacks lost to Illinois, 8-6, in their first game of the day.

Senior Taylor Ellsworth ignited Arkansas offensively against the Leathernecks, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs, two runs scored, a double and a three-run outburst that towered over the left field wall in the fourth. Senior Danielle Gibson provided another offensive spark for the Razorbacks after going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double. Senior Hannah McEwen also put on a remarkable game at the plate with a 2-on-3 performance that included three runs scored, an RBI and a double while drawing a walk. Senior KB Sides showed off their offensive prowess after recording three stolen bases while going 1 for 2 at home plate and drawing two walks to the starting spot.

Senior Chenise Delce picked up her second win of the year after getting the nod in the circle against Western Illinois. In three innings of work, the Oklahoma City, Okla., native had four strikeouts and walked zero. Sophomore Lauren Howell pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits and striking out two.

How did it happen

McEwen led Arkansas offensively against the Illini after hitting twice, including a homer to center in the third, with two runs and an RBI. Sides stuffed their stat line after going 1 for 3 with a home run, three stolen bases, two runs scored while forcing a walk. Junior Sam Torres had two hits for eighth. Ellsworth, Gibson and Gammill also recorded one hit per track.

Sophomore Jenna Bloom started on the mound for the Razorbacks in Game 1. In three innings, Bloom allowed two runs on five hits and allowed just one extra hit. Senior Mary Haff pitched the last four innings and posted five strikeouts.

In Game 2, Western Illinois jumped the board in the top of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Arkansas responded late in the inning. First, Sides walked and then continued doing what she does best flying second. Ellsworth’s single down the left side moved Sides to third. Gibson took over, throwing a double RBI left and moving Ellsworth to third. Gammill followed up the inning with a walk to load the bases. Torres followed with a two RBI double down the middle to give Arkansas a 3-2 lead. Audrie LaValley’s sacrificial fly at center sent Gammill home for a 4-2 Razorback lead to close out the first frame.

Arkansas worked in the top half of the first inning, clinching a quick 1-2-3 inning. Teams started by selecting short, then stole second place a few pitches later. McEwen followed with a walk to put the runners first and second with no outs. Sides then stole third and continued home on a throwing error from Illini, which sent McEwen to second. Ellsworth doubled on the left to slide McEwen to third before a passed ball tackled McEwen to make it 5-2.

Western Illinois responded with a run in the top of the third.

A walk from LaValley before a short single from Delce put a runner in position to score without out. The sides walked to load the bases. McEwen continued his hot streak with a short hitting single that tackled LaValley. Ellsworth’s pick of a fielder on the ball to the shallow left pushed Sockey through the house for a 7-2 lead. Gibson’s single down the right side gave Arkansas another run in the third.

Freshman Kacie Hoffman threw a solo shot to the center to start the fourth. After Hoffman, LaValley chose right center. McEwen kept the inning alive with a two-out double down the right field line. Shortly after, Ellsworth sent a three-run homer to the parking lot to give Arkansas their final runs of the day and secure a 13-3 victory in five innings.

Pork Highlights

  • Senior Mary Haff recorded her 689th strikeout, moving her closer to the 700 mark
  • Senior KB Sides became the first Arkansas player to steal three bases in one game since Shelby Hiers did so against Marist on Feb. 21, 2015.
  • The teams had an exceptional weekend on the base path, recording 10 interceptions in five games
  • Six different Razorbacks hit home at the Razorback Invitational (Gibson, Gammill, Ellsworth, Hoffman, Sides and McEwen)
  • Head coach Courtney Deifel earned victory No. 197 at Arkansas
  • The Razorbacks compiled a .976 field percentage over the weekend
  • Arkansas hit multiple homers in four of five games over the weekend

following

Arkansas hosts Louisville Thursday at 5 p.m. before hosting the Wooo Pig Classic Feb. 25-27.

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Razorbacks 4×400 relay breaks 1985 school record https://visitmyarkansas.com/razorbacks-4x400-relay-breaks-1985-school-record/ Sat, 12 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/razorbacks-4x400-relay-breaks-1985-school-record/ FAYETTEVILLE- Racing to a school record time of 3 minutes, 3.18 seconds in the 4×400 relay capped day two of the Tyson Invitational as the Razorbacks broke a mark set in 1985. Another highlight came in the 800m as Kieran Taylor won the race in a career-best 1:47.12, which is No. 5 on Arkansas’ all-time […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE- Racing to a school record time of 3 minutes, 3.18 seconds in the 4×400 relay capped day two of the Tyson Invitational as the Razorbacks broke a mark set in 1985.

Another highlight came in the 800m as Kieran Taylor won the race in a career-best 1:47.12, which is No. 5 on Arkansas’ all-time list, while four other teammates also set career best times with the Razorbacks finishing 1-2-4-5-9.

An Arkansas relay quartet of Jeremy Farr (47.48), Brandon Battle (45.23), Ayden Owens (45.46) and James Benson II (45.01) placed third behind Florida (3:02.09 world leader) and Iowa (3:02.40, No. 5 all-time school) in becoming the No. 7 school on the all-time collegiate list.

“The 4×400 was just amazing,” Arkansas associate head coach Doug Case said. “Broke a school record from 1985 with a 3:03. Really proud of these guys and the way they competed and raced.

“We were confident Ayden would run a really good step for us, but I didn’t think he would split 45 down. He really showed up and is a great competitor. We just had a great day, it was fun.

Razorback’s previous record on a 200m track was a then collegiate best of 3:03.50 set at the 2013 NCAA Championships. The current Hogs also improved on an all-conditions mark of 3:03.34 set on an oversized track in altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1985, which was anchored by Roddie Haley.

“It’s huge to break such an old record and we knew if all of our best guys were in the relay we would run a fast time,” said Benson. “It’s amazing. It was a great race with Florida, Iowa and Tennessee having really good times. It was our first time racing with this group of guys, so competing against teams like that’s huge.

“Being the anchor leg means the world to me. I had to deal with injuries at the start of the indoor season, so the fact that everyone still has that faith in me based on what I did in October is huge, just knowing that I had the chance to help my team.

Other teams in the relay included Tennessee (3:04.65), Alabama (3:05.75), Arizona State (3:05.99) and Florida State (3:08.15 ). Another relay team from Arkansas placed eighth with a 3:08.82 and included a foursome of Rhayko Schwartz (48.17), Connor Washington (46.30), Phillip Anderson (47.66) and James Milholen (46.69).

“Before this 4×400, I told the guys this is a race you’re trying to win,” Case said. “Everyone is going to run fast, so you’re just trying to win this thing. It’s just about competing at your highest level, and they’ve done a great job. I was really proud of them.”

Taylor produced a collegiate lead time with his victory, but was passed the same day by a 1:46.93 from Jonathan Jones of Texas in the Clemson Tiger Paw encounter. Splits for Taylor included 24.92, 26.37 [51.29]27.55 [1:18.84]and 28.28 as he bettered his previous record of 1:48.32.

“The day started really well, this 800m really opened things up and we felt that momentum flowing,” Case said. “This is the meet where our season starts to go into championship mode. We were trying to run fast this weekend. Those 800 guys did a great job and our top two should be top 10 in the NCAA and we had four guys under 1:50.

Leroy Russell followed in 1:47.89, which ranks him No. 11 on UA’s all-time list, as a runner-up. Tennessee’s Alex Kay was third in 1:49.02. Razorbacks Ricardo Banks (1:49.08) and Jadon Bartholomew (1:49.22) placed fourth and fifth in separate runs. Banks won his section while Bartholomew finished fourth in the same run with Taylor and Banks. Ethan Carney added a career-best fifth for the Hogs with a 1:50.74 that placed him ninth.

Before the relay, Washington set a career best 21.03 in the 200m to finish fifth. Very little space separated the first five times of the event. Jacory Patterson of Florida won in 20.91 and was followed by Emmanuel Bynum of Tennessee (20.95), Dorian Camel of LSU (21.00) and Ryan Willis of Florida (21.01).

Razorback rookie Ben Shearer narrowly missed a sub-4 mile placing third in a career-best 4:00.18 to better his high school indoor record of 4:19.05 as well as his outdoor record from 4:07.40. Martin Prodanov of Missouri won in 3:58.72 while Dais Malebana of Nebraska was second in 3:59.88. Luke George finished second in another section with a time of 4:12.15 to rank eighth overall.

Rhett Nelson cleared 16-8.75 (5.10) to finish fourth in the pole vault. Princeton’s Sondre Guttormsen cleared 19-1 (5.82) for the win as he bettered his Norwegian record.

Jah-Nhai Perinchief, who trains in Fayetteville, produced a world-leading mark in the triple jump with a leap of 55-5.75 (16.91) while LSU’s Sean Dixon-Bodie finished top college with a 53-10.5 (16.42). John Baker placed seventh with a mark of 50-2 (15.29).

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Newcomers and Floor Shine, Arkansas falls short of Kentucky https://visitmyarkansas.com/newcomers-and-floor-shine-arkansas-falls-short-of-kentucky/ Fri, 11 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/newcomers-and-floor-shine-arkansas-falls-short-of-kentucky/ Arkansas held its third annual Women’s Empowerment Night on Friday and saw its second-biggest crowd of the season, but the Gymbacks fell short to the Kentucky Wildcats by a final margin of 195.675-196.700. Arkansas was without senior all-rounder Kennedy Hambrick on the night, but there were still plenty of positives on the night, especially from […]]]>

Arkansas held its third annual Women’s Empowerment Night on Friday and saw its second-biggest crowd of the season, but the Gymbacks fell short to the Kentucky Wildcats by a final margin of 195.675-196.700.

Arkansas was without senior all-rounder Kennedy Hambrick on the night, but there were still plenty of positives on the night, especially from the team’s freshmen. Maddie Jones competed in two events and tied her career on bars with a 9.850 and set a new one on floor with a 9.900 score for the event title, the first of her pig career. Makenzie Sedlacek and Leah Smith also posted 9.8+ scores on vault, and Kalyxta Gamiao made her Arkansas debut on balance beam and scored 9.825.

Graduate student and All-American Maggie O’Hara bounced back in spectacular fashion from falls on bars over the past two weeks and earned a 9.925 for her second event title of the season. Senior Bailey Lovett shone again as the ground anchor and posted a 9.900 to cap the encounter and share first place in the event with Jones.

“Despite some crashes, we had quite a few highlights. Maggie came back to the bars, changed her routine and hit it, it was awesome,” head coach Jordyn Wieber said. “Vault was exactly where it needed to be, compatible with controlled landings…but we have to stay on the gear to score, so we’re going to go back to the gym and practice, address and work on it, and hopefully we will return next Sunday to Mizzou a little more confident than we were this evening.

A total of 4,139 fans were in attendance at Barnhill Arena on Friday, which included an energetic student section that helped propel the Gymbacks through the night, including on the floor. Arkansas posted a 49.375 on the event to extend its 49+ streak on the ground to 37 games.

The team also paid tribute to its alumni and celebrated women’s empowerment once again on Friday, which included specially themed warm-up leotards for Arkansas and a meet-and-greet presentation of the Gymbacks who made of the program what it is today, including Wieber’s first head coach and predecessor. , Mark Cook.

To jump

Arkansas started the night on the vault and warmed up as the rotation progressed. Two big scores came from Smith and grad student Sarah Shaffer midway through training with 9.825 and 9.875 respectively, a season high for Shaffer. Sedlacek followed with a 9.800 and senior Amanda Elswick closed the rotation with a 9.825 for a total of 49.075 for the Gymbacks at the event.

Bars

Newcomers Arkansas kept the pressure on in the second rotation as Smith and Jones posted back-to-back scores of 9.825 and 9.850 to give the Hogs some momentum in third and fourth place. O’Hara then took to anchor and redeemed herself after two tough final outings. She nailed every skill and completed a classic double layout takedown with a stick for a 9.925 that secured the bars crown for the night.

Beam

Junior Kiara Gianfagna showed composure under pressure as the beam leader and matched her season high of 9.850 with a 1.5 blocked out for a score of 9.850. Honolulu, Hawaii rookie Kalyxta Gamiao then made his Arkansas debut with a solid routine. Her series of double back layout steps and side somi skills were executed like a veteran and she scored a 9.825. Lovett added a 9.850 for third place, good for Arkansas’ best score of the day.

Ground

The Gymbacks saved their best for last on floor and it all started with senior Savannah Pennese, who matched her career high of 9.875 she set earlier in the season. Playing in front of the student section, Arkansas thrived on energy and did not post a score less than 9.850 on the floor. Jones came in third and had a stellar performance that culminated in a 9.900, which ties Sedlacek as the highest floor score for a freshman this season. Lovett rounded out the competition with her crowd-pleasing floor routine and delivered. With excellent control over each of her passes, she scored a 9.900 to tie for first place and cap Arkansas’ rotation with a 49.375, her second-highest rushing score of the season.

following

Arkansas travels to Columbia, Mo. on Sunday, Feb. 20 for a tri-conference with Missouri and Kentucky at 12 p.m. CT. The Gymbacks then head home on Friday, February 25, when they host Georgia for Senior Night at 7:45 p.m.

Visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com for the latest information on all things Arkansas Gymnastics. You can also find the Razorbacks on social media by liking us on Facebook (Arkansas Razorback Gymnastics) and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@RazorbackGym).

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Media praise Porter Moser as Sooners punish undefeated Razorbacks, 88-66 https://visitmyarkansas.com/media-praise-porter-moser-as-sooners-punish-undefeated-razorbacks-88-66/ Sat, 11 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/media-praise-porter-moser-as-sooners-punish-undefeated-razorbacks-88-66/ If another resounding win over a ranked opponent was on the Christmas wishlist for the Oklahoma Sooners freshman coach Porter Moser, her gift arrived two weeks early on Saturday. Oklahoma took an early lead, made the most of the three-point shot, and ultimately pulled away for an 88-66 victory over Arkansas No.12 at BOK Center […]]]>

If another resounding win over a ranked opponent was on the Christmas wishlist for the Oklahoma Sooners freshman coach Porter Moser, her gift arrived two weeks early on Saturday. Oklahoma took an early lead, made the most of the three-point shot, and ultimately pulled away for an 88-66 victory over Arkansas No.12 at BOK Center in Tulsa, giving the Razorbacks their first loss of the season.

Oklahoma wasted no time attacking from the start, building an early 10-0 lead and surviving multiple attempts by the Razorbacks to force their way into the game. Davonte Davis lost 26 points in the Sooners victory, and Elijah Harkless finished the game with a double-double (21 points and 11 rebounds).

It was a major rebound for Moser’s side, who fell at home to Butler the last time they entered the pitch. Oklahoma had beaten a Florida team that was ranked No.14 before that loss, and the Sooners looked a lot more like the version that beat the Gators on Saturday afternoon against the Razorbacks.

Oklahoma improved to 8-2 on the year with the win. As for Arkansas, the Razorbacks are now 9-1, and the loss didn’t come without the head coach. Eric Musselman get thrown out either while arguing with officials.

Get the fastest scores, stats, news, LIVE videos and more. CLICK HERE to download the CBS Sports mobile app and get the latest news on your team today.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted during the day as Oklahoma sparked anger.

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Mizzou and Arkansas meet as Battle Line Rivalry continues to heat up https://visitmyarkansas.com/mizzou-and-arkansas-meet-as-battle-line-rivalry-continues-to-heat-up/ Wed, 24 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/mizzou-and-arkansas-meet-as-battle-line-rivalry-continues-to-heat-up/ It’s been five straight years since Missouri won the Battle Line Rivalry against Arkansas. While the Razorbacks have many long-time opponents, geography and numerous school connections have intensified the annual Southeastern Conference game against the Tigers. “I like that Missouri is close to us,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said in July at SEC Media […]]]>

It’s been five straight years since Missouri won the Battle Line Rivalry against Arkansas.

While the Razorbacks have many long-time opponents, geography and numerous school connections have intensified the annual Southeastern Conference game against the Tigers.

“I like that Missouri is close to us,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said in July at SEC Media Days. “(Missouri head coach) Eli (Drinkwitz) and I are good friends, but at the same time, we’re also very competitive.

“I’m glad we consider Arkansas and Missouri our No. 1 rival.”

But how does that translate to the Razorbacks fan base?

That and more was discussed with USA Today Network Arkansas athletics reporter Christina Long on this week’s edition of the Mizzou Sports podcast.

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Leach Arkansas Media Q&A https://visitmyarkansas.com/leach-arkansas-media-qa/ Sat, 06 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/leach-arkansas-media-qa/ (Photo: Nelson Chenault, USA TODAY Sports) Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach spoke to the media after the Bulldogs lost to Arkansas on Saturday. Here is the transcript: Question: What do you think of special teams at the moment? Leach: There is an open trial on our campus for kickers. […]]]>
(Photo: Nelson Chenault, USA TODAY Sports)

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach spoke to the media after the Bulldogs lost to Arkansas on Saturday. Here is the transcript:

Question: What do you think of special teams at the moment?

Leach: There is an open trial on our campus for kickers. Anyone who wants to show up and kick Mississippi State, we’ll set up a tryout whenever you can get there, as long as you’re cleared by the NCAA.

Question: What did you see on the last drive to Arkansas?

Leach: We just didn’t stop them. I think their offensive line did a good job blocking us. I thought we needed to affect the quarterback more and when we did, we didn’t finish the deal. We must penetrate and create havoc there. The other thing, we looked away from some guys.

Question: What did the offense do to turn things around after Will went 0 for 4?

Leach: We were out of sync. We wasted too many games in the first half. It was the biggest negative point of this game. We got back on track, but we wasted too many plays on both sides of the ball. We let that thing get closer than necessary and we lost.

Question: Did the defense do enough to slow down KJ Jefferson?

Leach: I don’t think we slowed down the running back. And then we let 16 get big plays.

Question: Were you surprised by the first gadgets?

Leach: No, it’s kind of their thing. They had a week off. I’m proud of the strength our guys played against each other, as we faced two very strong back-to-back teams who had a bye week before facing each other. It’s a challenge to do it once, it’s hard to do it twice in a row.

Question: Did you let them score late to get the ball back?

Leach: No, they hit him.

Question: What do you see of Rara Thomas?

Leach: I think he’s going to be a very good player. No one has taken that position…he’s currently our starting X.

Question: It looked like Will was throwing high early. What did you see?

Leach: At the start of the game, I didn’t think he threw it particularly accurately. If that wasn’t enough, we dropped balls. In between we were under pressure and making bad cuts, we weren’t pushing them off the ball. We didn’t play together at first.

Question: How much did kicking struggles contribute to your decision to go for it on fourth down?

Leach: Maybe a little, but I thought we could do it.

Question: How did you feel about the offensive line giving Will time?

Leach: I thought it was good enough for the most part. I wasn’t really impressed at first, but in the aftermath I thought they had done a good job.

Question: What was your message to the team following the ball game?

Leach: We lost this game by one game. We had a lot of games in the first half. In the second half too, to win this game. You have to make these games overlap each other, to do that. Anyone feeling sorry for themselves should find another place to go, because that doesn’t help move the needle. We need people who want to improve.

Question: What did you think of Woody Marks today?

Leach: I thought Woody was playing very well. He especially won in the second half.

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Leach Q&A from pre-Arkansas media https://visitmyarkansas.com/leach-qa-from-pre-arkansas-media/ Mon, 01 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/leach-qa-from-pre-arkansas-media/ (Photo: Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports) Mississippi State Head Coach Mike Leach spoke to the media on Monday ahead of the Arkansas game. Here is the transcript: Question: After watching the movie, what do you think of the win against Kentucky? Leach: I’m not sure we were physically consistent, but mentally and emotionally we were. […]]]>
(Photo: Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports)

Mississippi State Head Coach Mike Leach spoke to the media on Monday ahead of the Arkansas game. Here is the transcript:

Question: After watching the movie, what do you think of the win against Kentucky?

Leach: I’m not sure we were physically consistent, but mentally and emotionally we were. It kept us focused throughout the game. It allowed us to play at a fairly high level.

Question: What did you think of Marks’ rapid progress over the past few weeks?

Leach: He always had a lot of contacts. It’s pretty impressive when you realize that he doesn’t return kicks. Its all-purpose footage was pretty high. I think it’s going to stay that way. The better you are on the O-line, the better the running backs, the better your quarterback in transitioning to different sets, the louder his (running game) will be. The idea is not that we are going to be running all the time. You have to make choices about how you are going to move the football. At some point, someone complains about something. They want you to run it more or run it more. I thought about running 100 percent of the time one game and pitching it 100 percent of the time the next game. And tell everyone that we are balanced. The balance concerns production per shift.

Question: How much has it helped you to be aggressive when the situation calls for it?

Leach: We wanted to keep the ball. We’ve had it for eight minutes, but you might not even get a first try if you’re not ready to attack what the defense gives you. I don’t think we can be afraid to throw him into a given situation.

Question: Is there anything you can take away from how Arkansas defended you last year?

Leach: I think they will do similar things. I think they will mix it up a bit more. I don’t think they’ll be comfortable bringing three every time. They’ll be a bit more aggressive, but they don’t blitz a lot.

Question: How would you rate Will’s progress?

Leach: I think he did a good job. He continued one step at a time and constantly improved. This is sometimes difficult to assess because of the improvement in receivers, offensive line and running backs that contribute to Will’s improvement.

Question: What did you think of Richardson’s play in this situation?

Leach: I thought he was playing well. I think some of the depth we had in high school was pleasant surprises.

Question: What caused the improvement in third party conversions?

Leach: I think it’s definitely beneficial. I didn’t realize that was it (35% to 48%), because I didn’t think we started the season particularly well on the third try. This is one of the key things, if you keep moving the sticks you get the ball. It’s a bit like lottery tickets, the more you play with the ball, the more chances you have to score. So, try to do it.

Question: Is it much easier on offense when the defense is playing well?

Leach: I thought the turnover was huge. I thought the one Charlton caught was – every play matters – but that was the turning point. You never know which one is the turning point until the thing is over. I was hoping he would score, he tried. We were able to eliminate some of their possessions and generally stopped them… held a good team to 10 points (if you don’t count the punt return). We have to find ways to improve this week.

Question: Why do you think your team took a leap in the mental aspect?

Leach: It is a process of growth. You do it over and over, you just get better. One thing we have done well this year is to grow old. I woke up everyday, went there and practiced, and look, we’ve got one more day.

Question: How can you protect yourself from overconfidence in your team?

Leach: Try to keep them focused on their work. Lock in technique and details. Think about yourself, not the adversary. You are still the adversary. How you do your job.

Question: How did you make the adjustment to make plays down the field?

Leach: I thought we were a little less behind them, but we definitely backed them up the other night. Just try to stay the same person. Just do your job. We just have to get out of it.

Question: What do you attribute the interceptions in defense to this year?

Leach: As our defensive line affects the quarterback, that generates this.

Question: Has a petition like the one Arkansas started to get you there ever been successful?

Leach: I do not know. Sports departments can be quite political. You would have to ask them.

Question: What went wrong with that game against Arkansas last year?

Leach: We never got into a rhythm at all. Their three could whip our five. Our eyes were in the wrong place. We didn’t put the ball where they gave it to us and we were frustrated. And then it became a series of over-corrections.

Question: What impressed you about Arkansas?

Leach: They are among the oldest. Back to back, we have one of the oldest teams. Plus, they have a week off… again. I am sure they will be prepared. They also improved gradually.

Question: What is a Sunday like for Mike Leach?

Leach: Exhausted, sleep. Really don’t eat a lot. Go to the office, we meet, watch the previous movie. Get an idea of ​​our fixes. Team meeting. Then we go our separate ways and have position meetings, special team meetings. We have a practice that night. Then I watch the movie until 1 (early night) or 3 (late night). Because you have to go through this whole film. Sunday and Monday are the most difficult.

Question: What has been the difference with the offensive line this year?

Leach: We improved our technique a bit. We played together longer. I think Will gets rid of it faster. I think the receptors open faster. were more effective. If everyone gets better, everyone’s job gets easier. I thought the line was playing pretty hard the other day.

Question: Why do you manage the coaching during “youth practice”?

Leach: That makes a lot of representatives to young people. Just start teaching the package. During the week, they’re part of the scout team leading the other team’s offense. We’ll watch a movie with them, then play with them. See where we are. You always want to have more time to coach them. You’re sort of focused on the guys winning the game. It’s a nice little transition.

Question: How do you think Greek and Robertson progressed?

Leach: Pretty good. It must be automatic for them. It’s one thing to know it and draw it on the board, it’s another to get to know your staff and trigger it. I think they are improving at this. Both have very good arms. Sawyer has very good feet in his pocket. Fast more than fast. Can move around a bit.

Question: Can you comment on the blocking work done by the running backs?

Leach: It’s an underrated skill, because we get them blocked, more than almost everyone. These flashy types of ball carriers have to block for us. They have to pass protection, sometimes they get stuck for each other. It truly is the position of the ultimate warrior. You have to rush the ball, you have to catch, you have to run and pass the block, which is different. And then you can also be part of special teams. It’s quite an accomplishment to be one of these guys.

Question: Then a question about his choice of coffee.

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Arkansas Media Day Notebook: Sam Pittman on Injury, COVID, Vaccinations and More | KLRT https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-media-day-notebook-sam-pittman-on-injury-covid-vaccinations-and-more-klrt/ Thu, 05 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-media-day-notebook-sam-pittman-on-injury-covid-vaccinations-and-more-klrt/ FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas hosted their media day Thursday with Sam Pittman, wide receiver Treylon Burks and safety Jalen Catalon all participating. Here are some of the topics discussed during Media Day. Stability in year 2 Going into his sophomore year was different for Pittman after COVID eliminated spring training last year and hampered much of […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas hosted their media day Thursday with Sam Pittman, wide receiver Treylon Burks and safety Jalen Catalon all participating.

Here are some of the topics discussed during Media Day.

Stability in year 2

Going into his sophomore year was different for Pittman after COVID eliminated spring training last year and hampered much of summer drills. He was asked where was the program from the second year?

“Sure, the first part is we’re in a lot better shape,” Pittman said. “We had a much better offseason because we had more time. I think we are in better shape. I think because of the meetings that we were able to have and the continuity with the return of our three coordinators, I think that all of these things are going to be beneficial to us. But we feel a lot better in our football team. We know them better and they know us better is probably just as important, one or the other. Feel good about it.

Pittman is a positive trainer and found a silver lining in all of the COVID ramifications that hampered preparation last spring.

“To answer the first part, there was all of that, but I was the head coach of the University of Arkansas,” Pittman said. “So it was totally worth it. This year which begins, it is obviously the unknowns of COVID. It wears you down a bit. Not a lot. We are very well prepared. Our staff are very well prepared. I love what we do during our 25 days.

“We sort of lived in the unpadded steps last year. So the ‘spider days’, the seven spiders. We think we can get a lot of work done in Spider. I’m really not too concerned with a whole lot of things except that we have to find positions. It might not just be the full starter.

Pittman also likes the team’s state of mind heading into this sophomore year.

“I love them,” Pittman said. “I like the team. I think they are hungry. We are a flea on the shoulder, tough, proud. We love the state of Arkansas. It’s not to recruit, it’s just the truth. I think it’s a confident group. You need to do something to continue to stay confident. You have to be successful in any way.

“I’ve said it before, I thought going to halftime against Georgia last year, even though we didn’t win the game, boosted confidence in this program. Hey, we can do it. Ultimately, if you put two halves together, what can happen? I like the behavior of the team. I love the new guys we brought in, the transfers and the freshmen. I am very proud of the new coaches we have recruited. I don’t know if it’s a fairytale country in there, but it’s pretty cool right now.

Injured

Jonesboro first-year linebacker Marco Avant is the only player who won’t be available early due to injury.

“Marco Avant has had an operation and his foot is not ready,” Pittman said. “He would be the only young man I was talking about as he won’t be quite ready to start the season.”

COVID vaccination

The Razorbacks are among the SEC’s most successful teams with players getting COVID shots.

I’m proud of our team, ”said Pittman. “You get all the remarks that you can’t play football because, well, you can’t really comment on something that you don’t know the facts about. We are 90% in our football team, we are over 93% in our building. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it because it was their choice and that’s how they chose because they want to play. Last year our team tweeted: “We want to play”. We have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated. There’s not much we can do about it other than masking and the six feet – there’s a lot we could do about it. I didn’t mean to say that, but we didn’t have the vaccine. I am very proud of our team. They want to play football and they didn’t have to. It was their choice, but I’m proud of our staff. It’s happening in the NFL right now and hopefully there will be a day soon when we don’t have to talk about the vaccine because we’ve figured out a way to figure it out, but it’s definitely not the case today because I look here at all these masks.

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Arkansas Media Day Diary: Sam Pittman on Injuries, COVID, Vaccinations and More https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-media-day-diary-sam-pittman-on-injuries-covid-vaccinations-and-more/ Thu, 05 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://visitmyarkansas.com/arkansas-media-day-diary-sam-pittman-on-injuries-covid-vaccinations-and-more/ FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas held its media day on Thursday with Sam Pittman, wide receiver Treylon Burks and safety Jalen Catalon in attendance. Here are some of the topics discussed during Media Day. Stability in year 2 The start of his sophomore year was different for Pittman after COVID eliminated spring training last year and hampered […]]]>

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas held its media day on Thursday with Sam Pittman, wide receiver Treylon Burks and safety Jalen Catalon in attendance.

Here are some of the topics discussed during Media Day.

Stability in year 2

The start of his sophomore year was different for Pittman after COVID eliminated spring training last year and hampered much of summer practice. We asked him where was the program from year 2?

“Certainly the first part is that we’re in much better shape,” Pittman said. “We had a much better offseason because we had more time. I think we are in better shape. I think because of the meetings that we have been able to have and the continuity with the return of our three coordinators, I think that all of these things are going to be beneficial to us. But we feel much better in our football team. We know them better and they probably know us better, that’s probably equally important, one or the other. Feel good about it.

Pittman is a positive coach and found a silver lining in all the COVID ramifications that hampered preparation last spring.

“To answer the first part, there was all that, but I was the head coach at the University of Arkansas,” Pittman said. “So it was definitely worth it. This year which is beginning, these are obviously the unknowns of COVID. It wears you out a bit. Not a lot. We are very well prepared. Our staff is very well prepared. I love what we do during our 25 days.

“We have already kind of lived in the last year in the steps without padding. Thus, the “spider days”, the seven spiders. We think we can get a lot of work done in the spider. I’m really not too concerned about a whole bunch of things except that we have to find positions. It might not be quite the starter.

Pittman also likes the spirit of the team heading into this second year.

“I love them,” Pittman said. “I love the team. I think they’re hungry. We’re a chip on the shoulder, tough, proud. We love Arkansas State. It’s not about recruiting, it’s just the truth. I think it’s a confident band. You have to do something to continue to stay confident. You have to be successful in some way.

“I’ve said it before, I thought coming in at halftime against Georgia last year, even though we didn’t win the game, boosted confidence in this program. Hey, we can do that. At the end of the day, if you put two halves together, what can happen? I love the behavior of the team. I love the new guys we brought in, the transfers and the students from first year. I’m very proud of the new coaches we’ve brought in. I don’t know if it’s fairy tale country in there, but it’s pretty cool right now.

injured

Jonesboro freshman linebacker Marco Avant is the only player who won’t be available early due to injury.

“Marco Avant had surgery and his foot is not ready,” Pittman said. “He would be the only young man I was talking about as he won’t be quite ready to start the season.”

COVID vaccination

The Razorbacks are among the most successful SEC teams with COVID-immunized players.

I’m proud of our team,” Pittman said. “You get all the remarks that you can’t play football because, well, you can’t really comment on anything that you don’t know the facts about. We’re 90 per cent in our football team, we is over 93% in our building. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of it because it was their choice and that’s how they chose because they want to play. Last year , our team tweeted: “We want to play. We haven’t had a chance to get vaccinated. There’s not much we can do other than masking and six feet – there’s a lot we can do about that.” I didn’t want to say that, but we didn’t have the vaccine. I’m very proud of our team. They want to play football and they don’t have to. It was their choice, but I’m proud of our team. This is happening in the NFL right now and hopefully there will be a day hopefully soon when we don’t have to talk about the vaccine because we have t figured out a way to figure it out, but that’s definitely not the case today as I look here at all these masks.

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