What coaches said reviewing Ole Miss, looking ahead to Tulsa

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Monday, October 15, 2018
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, in the 4th quarter vs Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Photo by Ben Goff
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, in the 4th quarter vs Ole Miss Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.

Chad Morris

– Thoughts and prayers go out to Rick Schaeffer. He was hospitalized Saturday prior to the game against Ole Miss.

– We challenged our kids and our staff to get the fans in the game and keep them in the game. The effort and energy from the crowd was inspiring.

– Offensively we challenged the guys to start fast and it was the first time in a while that we did. Ty's toughness was impressive. We did not execute well enough, though, regardless of what the stats say. We did have 15 explosive plays, and that can cover up things. In the second half we couldn't get the ball in the end zone, and that was disappointing. It's hard to trade field goals for touchdowns.

– Defensively we played well, gave up one big drive right before the half. We had to try to get Jordan Ta'amu off his spot, and when we did he beat us. They had 13 explosive plays. We struggled to stay with their receivers across the middle. We just didn't make the plays to get it done. We needed one stop and one touchdown and we were unable to do it.

– Morris said he's excited to get back to Fayetteville this weekend. There are a lot of similarities in Arkansas and Tulsa's seasons to this point. First of three straight games in Fayetteville.

– On injuries: Whaley is out. He is having surgery on his ankle. We hope to get him back sometime in November. Anticipate Rakeem Boyd, Ty Storey and TJ Hammonds being back. We will know more on Ty and where we're at with him in a day or two.

– Noland hasn't been taking the majority of the second-team snaps, contrary to what the SEC Network broadcast said on Saturday night, according to Morris.

– Maleek Williams did not travel to the game in Little Rock. We did not execute in the run game late like we did early. It wasn't as consistent as early on in the game.

– Morris said he doesn't believe any of the injuries during Saturday's game were because of the War Memorial Stadium turf.

– Overall knowledge of the offense and pass protection is what Williams has to improve upon to get on the field more regularly. He's gotten lots of second team reps.

– Tulsa is a special place to me. There's a lot of great people. I wasn't there very long, but I wouldn't be where I am today without those people.

– We have got to be able to get the deep-passing game going. We want to average 3 shots downfield per quarter, and we're not there right now. To put this offense on track, we have to get more into that.

– I thought there were some things we did Saturday that aren't what we're about, but it's an intense game.

– Santos is as critical on himself as anyone in the program. He's a great leader on this team. He's got to get better at tackling and leveraging the football. He and I talked yesterday. He said, 'I've got to keep getting better.' Joe Foucha and Myles Mason are getting better, but you want experience in a game like that.

– Buster Brown and Jarques McClellion will be guys who slide in for Ryan Pulley, who was ejected in the final minute of Saturday's game. We have to correct some errors we're making at inopportune times. Morris said he hasn't received final word from Steve Shaw of the SEC on Pulley's status.

John Chavis

– I'm looking forward to the day when I can come in here and smile.

– I probably played two linebackers too much. Our team continues to come to work and they have a good attitude about working. They're working, but not getting the results we want.

– Tulsa wants to run the football. Least amount of yards Tulsa has had this year, per Chavis, is around 165 yards. They do a good job and they know what they're doing. They've played 3 quarterbacks and several guys at running back, solid receiving corps. Offensive line is good and well coached as well.

– Chavis said Buster Brown will play in place of Ryan Pulley if he can't play or start on Saturday. He will be the next guy up. Chavis said Morris will determine that.

– Everybody's tackling needs to improve. If that weren't the case we'd just go play and there wouldn't be a need for practice. There's not a single player on this team that doesn't need fundamentals work. We work on tracking and things each week. I have to do a better job, too, having our guys ready to go in the fourth quarter. We can and we will get better. It's not just Santos, it's everybody.

– You get knocked down in life, you get back up. We're going to win at Arkansas. On my side of the ball, it's going to be on my shoulders to make sure that happens. I take it personally, there's no doubt. I take responsibility for Saturday.

Joe Craddock

– We are evaluating Ty by the hour right now and getting a feel for how he's feeling. Whoever we feel like gives us the best chances to win is who we'll run with.

– Cole has been in some big games before and obviously has more experience than Noland. They've been splitting reps. Connor has understood the offense moreso since when we started.

– Overall, we didn't finish the game. It doesn't matter if you can't finish. We knew we were going against a high-powered offense and told them we can be a high-powered unit, too. We coach finish a lot, even in the stretch lines. I want a chance to go win the game or put it away. You have to have a want to. We have that, but we need to put games away.

– Tulsa has changed their philosophy on defense. They do a good job of disguising things. They're an aggressive defense and doing some things from last year we're going to have to prepare for.

– I anticipate it being a tough game. They've had some tough losses this year. Second game of the year against Texas, they're right there in it. Same thing against Houston. South Florida, we watched that one in the hotel on Friday night. It's kind of been the same deal with us. Who wants it most, and who wants to be there? I expect our guys to go out and execute at a high level.

– Weather altered some of the timing on the snaps. Anytime you play in the rain it's challenging for both teams. We work a wet ball drill every day in practice. Weather is not an excuse for bad snaps. He had some high snaps. He's learning as he goes and giving us the best chance up front to win.

– TJ Hammonds kind of rolled his ankle heading into the Ole Miss game. Rakeem is a tough kid who wants to be out there. He's getting some confidence in what we're doing schematically. He wants to be out there. If the doctors clear him I know he'll be able to help us.

– There's a lot of frustration. The shot play when Cole went in, it wasn't designed that way, but we got the look we wanted. Cole did a good job of seeing the safety hanging tight to the hash. I think we've done a nice job running the ball. Some days it's going to be the run game, others it'll be the pass game.

– Ole Miss did some things to take O'Grady away. Defenses are doing a lot to try to take him away the last couple of weeks as productive as he's been.

– I don't want any of my guys getting banged up. I think there's times in a game to go get a first down and other times when you need to slide. I can't say enough good things about Ty. He was asking Morris when he got to the sideline after coming out of the game following the big hit if he picked up the first down.

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.