Jason Ivester

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema knows that stopping hidden yards key for Hogs against Aggies

Bret Bielema pointed to keys of the game with Arkansas headed to Arlington to play No. 14 Texas A&M. Quarterback scrambles were a big point of emphasis in practice this week.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had little trouble finding keys of the game when asked during his Thursday night radio show. The Hogs travel to Arlington, Texas to play No. 14 Texas A&M.

"It's an up tempo team (in A&M) and we want to control the clock on offense," Bielema said during his show at the Catfish Hole. "We want to eat up yards and run the clock, but we have to have success in the red zone. That was  a big goal a week ago."

The Hogs were two of four on touchdowns in the red zone, but scored only one field goal on two trips inside the 20-yard line in the second half in a 35-24 loss to Texas Tech.

"We have to do well in limiting hidden yards on defense," he said. "Last week, the quarterback had some big plays running that resulted in first downs. Those are killers. We worked hard on that as a point of emphasis this week.

"In special teams, that's always big. Two weeks ago against Toledo we had a punt return for a touchdown called back. This past week, we never got our punt return team on the field. I've never seen anything like it, where there was only one punt between two teams. I've talked to others about that. It was a case of two efficient offenses."

Bielema said the Hogs worked hard to correct mistakes on Sunday after the loss, but quickly turned the page to lock in on SEC opener A&M.

"Sunday was tough," he said. "We made corrections and had about a 20 minute practice. Then we watched A&M tape, some of this year and some of last year. They have changed defensive coordinators. But we put the Tech game to bed on Sunday.

"We've had a good Tuesday, Wednesday and today. We worked with crowd noise piped in and that makes you lock in."

Bielema said that there will be 16 players seeing AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the first time. That will happen on Friay afternoon.

"We'll have some highlights of last year on the jumbotron," he said. "We'll get to see the stadium and the locker room. We know it's going to be a great environment and that will help our guys lock in."

Bielema was asked about the times that quarterback Brandon Allen lets the play clock wind down to just one second left before the snap.

"I don't know if it goes to one every time," he said. "I think it is a point of emphasis for Brandon Allen to check out of plays at the line of scrimmage. He's looking at the front, changing plays. It's some of the things we had success with at the end of last year and I think you will like it more when we have some success."

Bielema sees some of the same concepts with Texas A&M as last week's foe, but said there are some fundamental differences.

"A&M is more of a run first team," he said. "They do throw it. They have great players at wide receiver. But they will run it until you stop it. We have to stop the run and make them one dimensional. There is some carry over for us in that they are similar, but there is carry over for them (in seeing the Arkansas defense against a spread.)"

Bielema was asked about his Fayetteville players, including Dre Greenlaw making his first start at weakside linebacker. He said Greenlaw didn't look "out of place" against Tech's spread.

"Brooks Ellis and Dre Greenlaw are our two most athletic linebackers," Bielema said.

Bielema indicated that he expected a third Fayetteville product to play last week.

"We thought (tight end) C. J. O'Grady would play last week," Bielema said. "But he definitely will this week."

The Hogs lost punt returner Jared Cornelius with a broken arm last week. Bielem said D.J. Dean will be the starting punt returner, but indicated Jojo Robinson has also gotten work at that slot.

Bielema said he worked on the mental aspect of the game this week. He had an 18-play clip of highlights of current players, possibly building confidence after starters have been lost by injury.

"I just wanted to show them they can make plays," he said. "I wanted them to see themselves making plays so they know they can do it."


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