Bobby Petrino discussed the moves his team would make to make up for the loss of two suspended Arkansas defensive starters who violated curfew.
Skip Holtz announced two East Carolina backups, one of them a regular on special teams, would miss the game after fighting over the dessert at a luncheon.
Yes, they fought over some kind of orange crème delight. It could have been the first time there had ever been a dessert worthy of a fight at a Liberty Bowl lunch.
There have been notable comments at Liberty Bowl lunches. There was the time Walter Byers, then the NCAA president, was toasting former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes. He said Hayes, who had recently died, would be "looking down on us" at the lunch.
Orville Henry, tired of the rambling remarks from Byers, hollered from below the dias, "He's not looking down, he's looking up!"
Holtz did admit that some of his players were late for curfew, but he gave them a pass because the hotel shuttle was not on time. Apparently, the van driver was late, not the players.
Of course, Holtz remembered the time Lou Holtz, his father, suspended three star Arkansas players then beat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The media session Friday began with a Liberty Bowl board member and UA graduate presenting Skip with an oil painting of his father being carried off the field after the victory over OU.
Skip seemed genuinely touched. Later during the interview when he was asked how the game would be affected by the Arkansas suspensions, he said, "I do recall the score of that Orange Bowl. I think Arkansas won 31-6 without those three players."
The Hogs almost won without Skip Holtz at the Orange Bowl. Then an eighth grader, Skip was on house arrest the night before the game. He was not locked in a closet or put in the dark, but he and a few of his friends had to be disciplined by his mother.
"I think you'd call it junior high mischief or hijinx, typical of eighth graders put in a hotel for a week," he said. "My friends and I did a few things that I'm having a hard time recalling right now.
Pressed for more details, Skip confessed. He said the worst of the crimes was probably hauling Miami phone books to the top floor.
"We were throwing them off," he said. "It was kids having fun."
There's been some fun this week. Holtz talked about teaching his players how to Call the Hogs.
"We did it in practice," he said. "I've told them what it can be like with a whole stadium doing it. I've tried to teach them. I can recall being on the other sidelines (at South Carolina) when someone new was there. I'd tell them, ‘Hey, watch this. It's really cool.'"
It wasn't so cool what Petrino had to do with Matt Harris and Wendel Davis, two defensive starters who missed curfew. He said it was cut and dry because of the way he outlined the consequences.
"It really hurt, it was hard on me," Petrino said. "These players had made a great commitment to the Razorbacks. They were a part of what we have done here. They stepped out of character. I know they have given a lot to help us win.
"But it wasn't a hard decision. They knew the consequences.
"I talk to them about natural consequences. When you make a decision, it's either right or wrong. I make sure they know. I always give them an example. You cheat on your wife, you get a divorce. You rob or steal, you go to jail. "I didn't struggle with this decision. I didn't sleep well and it hurt in my stomach, but it was easy."
What the Hogs have to do to replace Davis at middle linebacker and Harris at free safety won't be easy.
"We've got to have guys step up," Petrino said. "We'll have to do it with numbers. At safety, we'll have to have Tramain Thomas and Anthony Leon step up. They can make tackles and can come up with interceptions over the middle. They've both shown they are capable of doing that. We have to get some help inside (at middle linebacker) from Jerry Franklin, Terrell Williams and Freddy Burton. Unfortunately, Austin Moss is out this game with an injury and not available."
Moss is listed as the backup to Davis at middle linebacker, but Franklin is considered the true backup. He's moved from weakside linebacker before, filling in for the injured Davis for the Eastern Michigan game.
All of this may mean the Hogs have to score a few more points. The over-under (based on combined points) betting line early in the week was 63 ½ points. There was only one major bowl with a higher line.
It appears that the Hogs are equipped to handle that, perhaps the main worry for Holtz. He said for his team to have a chance, it will have to keep the game in the 20s.
"They have an explosive offense," Holtz said. "But we can't do that with just our defense. We have to play as a combined team to keep that score down – offense, defense and special teams."
Holtz was reminded that they played against a gunslinger quarterback in Houston's Case Keenum. Wouldn't that experience help the Pirates against UA passer Ryan Mallett?
"I don't think they are just about a gunslinger," Holtz said. "They are not going to throw it 75 times. They try to do other things. They are about doing it in traditional fashion. They are going to run it. They will try to do things as far as scheme to get you overloaded and out of position and then when you bring extra hats, hit you with play action."
Petrino said the Hogs are "excited" about the game. He said practice was "spirited and as well executed as any Thursday practice during the season."
Asked about Mallett's preparation, Petrino said, "It's been great. Really good. Early on (on campus), there were a couple of days where he was feeling the pressure about making a decision (on the NFL draft). Since that time, he's been great. He put all of that behind him."
Petrino said Mallett's focus has been extra good in Memphis.
"He's put in extra time in the meeting room," Petrino said. "We were heading out for a staff dinner earlier this week and Ryan and Tyler (Wilson) were still watching video.
"Ryan is very focused. I expect him to play well." So do about 50,000 Arkansas fans. If that happens, Skip Holtz may not think it's so cool when they Call the Hogs.