Jason Ivester

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema thinks Hogs Ready for Toledo

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema told his statewide radio audience that the Razorbacks are ready for a trip to Little Rock to play Toledo.

Arkansas saw only one half of game tape from Toledo's opener with Stony Brook, a game that was canceled by weather. But Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said there is a good knowledge of the Rockets.

"We got only one half of tape," Bielema said on his statewide radio show Thursday night. "But their head coach is the offensive coordinator and he's been there for four years. We've got a good idea on what he does. Things can change, but we have a good book."

It was enough for the Hogs to prepare for week two against Toledo. Bielema said the Hogs have had productive practices and are ready for the trip to Little Rock.

Bielema said there were highlights from the 48-13 victory over Texas-El Paso. Game time for Saturday's game with Toledo in Little Rock is 3 p.m. Television is on the SEC alternate channel.

"We wanted to throw it and there are things that we've done over the last couple of years and (offensive coordinator) Dan Enos brought in some good ideas," Bielema said. "We did a lot of good things on offense. Defense, some things we needed to happen probably happened. We didn't scrimmage much in preseason and our tackling needed some work.

"Our defense did some really good things on communication, pre-snap and post snap. Offensively, we didn't have any drops. We ran it effectively against a defense with nine men on the line. I don't think you should put a square peg in a round hole and we did throw it well.

"We had some young players get a lot of volume. And we saw a lot of yards after the catch with our receivers, something we saw in camp and in the spring."

There were good things, but Bielema thinks there will be some improvement in week two.

"We saw the debut of Rawleigh Williams," Bielema said of the freshman running back. "He got his feet wet, but I think you'll see a lot better things to come.

"I think you saw what Drew Morgan is capable of at wide receiver. On defense, maybe JaMichael Winston and Deatrich Wise have played before, but they got more extensive work. I think you see dramatic strides from guys like Henre' Toliver and D.J. Dean. The play Henre' made right after the half was special. We might have a couple more freshmen play this week."

Bielema said the Hogs will play C.J. O'Grady this week. He was suspended the past week, but will see action in the tight end rotation this week.

Bielema was asked how the new virtual reality technology might be helping the Hogs. He explained that scout team members taped plays Thursday after practice that preview the top 15 looks from Texas Tech, next week's opponent.

"We sent that off to Stanford and we'll have it back on Sunday so our players can get mental reps on Sunday and Monday that are normally days of lighter work," Bielema said. "They gain experience by sitting. It's good mental reps."

Bielema did indicate that not all players will fly back after the game. At least two players disqualified themselves from the plane ride back and will return via bus.

"Dre Greenlaw and Anthony Antwine didn't turn in their sweats on time, so they will bus back," Bielema said. "You earn everything. The players who were on suspension last week will ride the bus back, too."

Tight end Hunter Henry was a guest on the radio show. He said there is still a chip on the shoulder of the Hogs.

"We know we still have something to prove," Henry said. "We kind of showed some things at the end of the year, but we think we still have more to prove. We go out on the field with the thought, 'We need to prove it.'"

Bielema loves tight ends.

"It was bred out of being in Wisconsin," he said. "Hayden Fry was always known as having as a tight end that stands up. I was recruited as a tight end and became a nose guard. Didn't work out the way I thought it would. I was a tight end for two days.

"I was heavily influenced by the Green Bay Packers ... and they led the NFL in tight ends on Wisconsin ... you get the big athletes that can play the multiple big athletes ... we carry an NFL number roster. We are not far from the NFL."


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