Jason Ivester

Bret Bielema thinks Jojo Robinson and Dominique Reed will step up against Texas Tech

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema likes the way Jojo Robinson and Dominique Reed are stepping up after injuries in the wide receiving corps. Both have had good weeks in practice as the Hogs prepare for Texas Tech.

Bret Bielema knows this is a time for someone to step up with wide receiver Keon Hatcher and Cody Hollister both out with broken feet. Bielema saw that this week, according to his comments during his radio show broadcast from the Catfish Hole on Thursday night.

"It's opened the door," Bielema said. "Jojo Robinson has stepped up and Dominique Reed had a great practice today."

Arkansas hosts Texas Tech at 6 p.m. Saturday night. The Hogs are trying to bounce back from a 16-12 loss to Toledo last week.

Bielema said the broken bones for Hatcher and Hollister are similar, but came about in different scenarios.

"We've asked all the questions, shoes, turf and all of it," he said. "Keon had his on turf. Cody was on the grass practice field. Two different scenarios, just unlucky."

Bielema said the Tuesday practice this week was their best workout of the season.

"We had a great practice tonight, too," Bielema said. "We know it's a late game Saturday night, but we can't wait. I wish we played the early game Saturday morning."

Bielema said the Hogs would try to "establish their DNA of running the ball against Texas Tech. We came out empty handed in four of five trips into the low red zone. You can't beat anyone with that. We had way too many penalties, we've been the least penalized in the SEC. We had nine and that's an epidemic. We stopped drives, we stopped ourselves. We want to move people around and let our running backs run."

Bielema said Texas Tech has an old friend at defensive coordinator David Gibbs. He said Gibbs is probably "confused" on what the Hogs will do Saturday.

"He doesn't know if we are going to throw it or run it," he said. "He's as confused as we are."

The challenge is to match Tech's fast pace.

"Tech's goal is to snap a play every 14 seconds," Bielema said. "We have two scout team offenses and while one unit is running a play, we have another coach in the huddle getting another play ready. We ran 70 to 80 plays in practice Tuesday."

Sebastian Tretola and DeMarcus Hodge were the guests on the program.

"We want to get back to the meanest, most physical team on the field," Tretola said. "We want to be the most physical team when we take the field."

Hodge said the pace of play is an important part of the game.

"We have worked on that," he said. "We have focused on that this week."

Bielema was asked about scout team stars. He mentioned defensive linemen T. J. Smith and wide receiver Deon Stewart.

Hodge revealed that he was not thinking about college until UA assistant Bobby Allen approached him at his high school in Monroe, La. Hodge had not taken the ACT.

"I had never heard of the ACT and Coach Allen started laughing," Hodge said. "I found out that i could take it the next weekend. I took it and made 28. Then, coaches started telling my parents they could get my education paid for. They told me I was going to college and wasn't coming back. They had not been to college."

Bielema said that Tretola made a passionate speech after practice Tuesday.

"I won't tell you exactly what he said," Bielema said. "But I think they listened."

Bielema said he hopes the crowd is electric. It was close to a sellout on Thursday.

"I think our defensive guys hammered that home last night in (interviews)," Bielema said. "The more help we can get from the crowd, the better. We don't need any verbal communication (from the offense). It's a huge plus if we can make it happen."

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