Bret Bielema works to clean up penalties after A&M Loss

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said the Hogs are working hard to eliminate penalties after 11 flags effected a 28-21 loss to Texas A&M.

Bret Bielema said every one of the 11 penalties Arkansas was flagged for in a 28-21 overtime loss to Texas A&M have been reviewed.

"We knew some of them were (penalties) and we can see a split second where you might see a hold," Bielema said. "But the real concern is that we saw some that were not called (on Texas A&M). Those are things we sent in (to the league office).

"We've got to eradicate the penalties. We did let the official know at the end to call it both ways. On the (A&M) big play near the end, the pass to Josh Reynolds, Mitch Loewen, our three technique came free and was yanked down from behind. That changes the complexion of the game if that one comes back."

Bielema said he has officials at every scrimmage in fall camp with instructions to call it close.

"We didn't have that stuff pop up," he said. "I think you have some natural holders and we have worked on that."

Bielema, who reminded his team that they had been the least penalized in the leauge the last two seasons, said a late hit on Loewen with the quarterback was a interepretation of the rule that prevents hits low on the quarterback.

"We can take that one as a learning experience," he said. "But there are some plays we questioned. Rohan Gaines was cold cocked by a receiver on a play going to the other side. If the defender made that hit, it would have been a flag."

Offensive coordinator Dan Enos said it's a matter "of coaching it, eliminating)" penaties.

"It's the foundation of our program," Enos said. "We want to play clean. The problem has been that it's been a little different every single time."

As far as the holds this past week, Enos said one of the issues was trying to handle a "legit" defensive line.

"Those guys were moving fast," Enos said. "They were difficult to block and we were sometimes in awkward positions. Sometimes you get in a position you are in trouble."

Bielema doesn't think there will be any injury concerns going to Tennessee this week. Running back Kody Walker missed with a cast on his broken hand, but should play this week.

"Offensively, we got back to running the ball," he said. "Defensively, we held them to 2 of 9 on third downs. We lost contain on two quarterback scrambles or we might have been 9 for 9."

As far as improvement, Bielema said, "We corrected some things in the red zone and that was a positive. We had some stops in the low red zone and that was a positive. We know that wasn't good enough to win."

Bielema praised some areas of play, including safeties Rohan Gaines, Josh Liddell and Santos Ramirez.

Ramirez started in a "dime" package with three safeties, playing more like a cornerback.

Bielema was asked about the decision to turn down chances at long field goals when wind is not a factor inside a dome.

"We had come up with a plan that when we were to the 28, that would be a 45-yarder, and we'd kick," he said. "You might go plus or minus 1 or 2 yards once you are into the game. We do think Adam McFain is back to 100 percent. Cole Hedlund has missed twice and those were on the left hash, so that came into the thoughts, too. Now with Adam back, maybe he'd be the guy on long field goals."

Bielema does think the team was more into the identity of last year as far as the physical run game and play action passing against Texas A&M.

"We'd lost so many significant players to injuries and we had lost some prominent voices in the huddle," Bielema said. "We kinda worried if we knew what Arkansas is, but our kids are not flinching. I think they have a great attitude and are composed. I believe we will go to Tennessee and expect to have success. I told them we don't want to wait until the bye week to get it done."

Game time for the trip to Knoxville to face Tennessee has been announced as 6 p.m. ESPN will carry the broadcast.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories