Mustain Tries To Keep Patience

FAYETTEVILLE — Someone called it "hitting the freshman wall with media questions."

Arkansas freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain, who has been remarkably poised and candid in answering every last media question this season, finally seemed a bit less enthralled with the process on Tuesday.

To a question about whether the Razorbacks need to pick up their passing game against Ole Miss, Mustain said, "I don't know. I'm not too worried about that. Just do the things we have to do to win."

He wisely downplayed a question about national ranking, saying, "Rankings are nice but we're here to win a conference title."

Asked about Ole Miss, Mustain said, "They're an athletic team and they'll be ready to play, like any other team that wants to knock us off."

Inevitably, Mustain was asked about the quarterback competition between himself and Casey Dick.

"It's the same thing you need to have at every position," Mustain said. "Me and Casey are competing. He's doing a great job of pushing me and I hope I'm doing a good job of pushing him. I know we're both a lot better since the season started."

Someone asked Mustain about his 5-of-13 passing day against Southeast Missouri State.

"That's not my focus," he said. "That's why I'm looking ahead."

Did that game affect his confidence?

"No," Mustain said.

In a TV interview after the SEMO game, Mustain said he had a "down week."

Asked to elaborate Tuesday, Mustain said, "I just didn't concentrate like I should have in practice a few days before that game. But I feel fine."

He also said, "I did what I wanted to do in practice Sunday and (Tuesday) and hopefully I can keep it going Saturday."

Hogs offensive coordnator Gus Malzahn, who coached Mustain at Springdale High, said, "I think people forget he's a true freshman. They look at what he didn't do well and forget what he did well."

Malzahn said he believes Arkansas' offense has looked a little more comfortable each week this season.

"The good teams get better," he said. "That's what I've been harping on in practice. The positive thing is, we've got a lot of weapons."

Malzahn said for the past four weeks, Mustain has gotten about 60 percent of the reps at quarterback, with Dick getting the other 40 percent.

"We're trying to find ways to keep defenses off balance," Malzahn said.

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