Jason Ivester

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema: Hogs Ready for Road Trip to Ole Miss

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema discussed the Ole Miss trip on his Thursday night radio show. The Hogs are ready to hit the road.

Bret Bielema was clear on the goal for his Arkansas football team this weekend when he opened his Thursday night radio show at the Catfish Hole. Bielema said it's a chance to do something new.

"It's been a fun week," Bielema said of the practice for the trip to play No. 18 Ole Miss. "We are very excited to play a game against a team that started our momentum in the other direction. We want to do something we haven't done and that's go on the road and win against a ranked team."

Bielema said the key is to focus on one play at a time, the goal that was established in the bye week before the four overtime victory over Auburn.

"When we got to the bye week, we decided to take it one play at a time," he said. "Obviously, that game was decided one play at a time. There were so many plays that could have been decisive and we couldn't have won it any other way.

"This week, Ole Miss relies on the big play so we have to play it one play at a time."

The specific goal of the defense is to hit Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly. The junior college transfer has been the league's best passer, but he's also been prone to mistakes. He's thrown 12 interceptions. Bielema was asked about last year's game where the Hogs pressured former Rebel quarterback Bo Wallace into mistakes.

"The quarterbacks are both dropback guys, both with big arms," he said. "I do think Kelly can run the ball. If you pressure him, he'll stay alive and try to make something happen down the field.

"We want to apply pressure in two ways, mentally and physically. We want to hit him and get in his face. But we can also pressure him by doing some things after the snap. You change the reads post-snap and that causes pressure and maybe gets him to throw it into coverage. I'm excited about our defensive plan."

Bielema is also excited about the injury situation. After getting Jared Cornelius back last week, the Hogs will have Cody Hollister back at wide receiver.

"Cody will travel and could help us for a few plays," Bielema said. "He's 100 percent."

There was positive news on Rawleigh Williams, the running back recovering from major neck surgery after the Auburn game.

"I got a call from the doctor at 7:30 this morning with an update on Rawleigh post surgery," Bielema said. "The quote from the doctor, it couldn't be any better. It was really exciting."

Bielema said wide receiver Keon Hatcher is still "a ways away from helping us this year." He also said that running back Jonathan Williams would not be able to play this year, even in the latest bowl game. He could be ready by the Senior Bowl later in the winter.

Linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves said Dwayne Eugene was injured in practice Wednesday. Hargreaves said, "Unfortunately, we won't have Dwayne this week." Eugene was the starter in the base look at strongside linebacker and also next in line behind Dre Greenlaw at weakside linebacker. Khalia Hackett would play in the base, although Ole Miss operates from a spread and the Hogs will likely be in a nickel package most of the game.

Bielema expects turnovers to be a big part of the game.

"They have thrown 12 picks, but they attack the ball and they have accounted for 12 picks," he said. "I think it is going to be a game of turnovers. I do know the forecast is going to be low 50s with a 70 percent chance of rain. I'd like to tell everyone to do a rain dance."


Hawgs Daily Top Stories