Bielema: Tickets Selling Fast

Bret Bielema said remaining tickets for the Georgia game went from 4,000 to 2,400 as he was visiting with media on the SEC Teleconference. The Arkansas head coach gave an injury update on Brooks Ellis.

Good things happened in the 10 minutes that Bret Bielema talked on the SEC Teleconference on Wednesday. The available number of tickets for Saturday's game with Georgia in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium dropped from 4,000 to 2,400.

Bielema opened the media briefing with thoughts on playing in Little Rock and mentioned that there were 4,000 available and added, "We hope those get put in the bought column soon." Then, as he was finishing, someone handed him a note that the number had dropped to 2,400. He was obviously pleased.

Playing in Little Rock came up twice during the session. He was asked by a Georgia reporter about the "vibes" Bielema felt in War Memorial Stadium.

"It's very live," Bielema said. "Last year, it was a night game and we were out there at 9 or 10 in the morning for our walk through that day. Half the parking lots were full and people were popping their hands on our bus."

Georgia coach Mark Richt said it's one of only two venues -- the other is Texas A&M -- that he hasn't coached at in his SEC time. Georgia assistant Tracy Rocker, a former Houston Nutt aide at Arkansas, gave Richt the scouting report.

"Tracy Rocker coached there with Houston Nutt for some time," Richt said, "and he says even though it's not quite as big as some of the places we go to, it's very, very spirited and the crowd is definitely a factor, so we've got to be prepared for that. For me personally, I think ti's probably the only place I haven't been as a coach, except for Texas A&M now being in the league, would be another. It'll be interesting to see what it's all about."

Earlier, Bielema was asked about the importance of maintaining at least a one-game presence in Little Rock.

"It's very important," he said. "There is a lot of tradition there. I preach that you can only stand on the shoulders of those who came before you.

"There are important boosters, former players and supporters who live in that area. We recruit that area. It's important to our team, especially for those who come from that area. It's a home game, but it's unique in that we travel."

Bielema was asked about the possibility of middle linebacker Brooks Ellis playing against Georgia. Ellis sustained a bone bruise in the knee area against Alabama on Saturday. Bielema called the injury a "significant bruise" on Monday when he indicated it might cause Ellis to miss some time.

"He's coming along quickly," Bielema said. "I don't know about him playing, but athletic freaks seem to heal quicker. I'd say he's questionable, but he's one of our more experienced players and I don't think he'll need a lot of practice time to play."

Bielema sees a lot of carry over between Alabama and Georgia, especially on defense where both teams run a 3-4 scheme. Jeremy Pruitt is the defensive coordinator after coming to Athens after helping Florida State to the national crown last year.

"They are like Alabama in that they are sound tackling, play gap control and do things well in the back end," Bielema said. "Jeremy is like most defensive coordinators, they take advantage of their personnel."

Bielema was asked about the raw emotions that were obvious after the loss to Alabama. He was misty eyed as he addressed the media following the 14-13 loss.

"I'd just come out of my locker room after doing the radio show," he said. "I try to take a moment to compose myself after that."

Obviously, that didn't happen all the way.

"I think what you have is that you know that you can provide a lot of things for your players -- top travel, facilities and we gave them the throwback uniforms to represent the 1964 team. There are a lot of things you can give them, but you can't take away the pain from losing. I love my guys. That hurt me.

"You put a lot into it and when it doesn't happen, you hurt. I never want to let that go."

Does Bielema worry that his team will be able to bounce back after two straight tough losses?

"No," he said. "Believe me, they are frustrated. They were that way in the locker room, sad and all of those emotions were there in the locker room. If it wasn't like that, I'd be upset.

"They know they are respected as a 3-3 team and close to being better than that. That's rewarding.

"There is a lot of emphasis placed on winning. I'm the biggest culprit because I know I'm judged by wins.

"When I move a player to a new position or make a change, I ask them, 'Have you had success before?' They say yes, then I tell them, 'Then, you are going to do it again.' I believe that will happen for us in the very near future.

"I can't predict victories but I look at what we've done and I think it's well in line with what I thought we would accomplish this year. I knew we were improved. We left 11 points on the field against Alabama, maybe 14 against Texas A&M. Those were very winnable games. We didn't do what we needed in the fourth quarter against Auburn and deserved what we got.

"No one is counting the minutes to the kickoff (for Georgia) more than us. Someone might say, you have to have your head examined. But that's exactly the way we feel."

Richt was asked how freshman tailback Nick Chubb is handling practice this week after a heavy work load in relief of suspended star Todd Gurley against Missouri. Chubb carried 38 times and caught four passes.

"He looks great," Richt said. "He got some work in on Sunday. Our players have the option to come in and get some yoga and treatment and things like that. He came in and got some of that done, and by the time we practiced Monday, he looked perfectly fine.

"You would have never known that he had just carried it 38 times and touched it however many times he touched it that day (42 including, 4 receptions). But he's a very tough kid, and his body language doesn't really show whether he's happy, sad. Whether he's tired or not. He just kind of every day goes about his business. He's a very mature kid, very tough kid."

Richt was asked about the way Arkansas has rebounded from tough losses.

"It's very impressive how they play," he said. "You watch the Texas A&M game, you watch the Alabama game, obviously they could have won either one of those games. They were in great position to win either one of those games or both for that matter. And we know how good those teams are, so they're on the verge of doing some good things, and we're just trying to keep it from being at our expense."

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