WholeHogSports – Media demand for Pittman grows
FAYETTEVILLE – Media inquiries from University of Arkansas coach Sam Pittman have increased in recent weeks.
Pittman was a hot product just before and after the Razorbacks dominating victory in their retro rivalry with No.15 Texas two weeks ago, and his demands have piled up again this week with No.16 Arkansas facing at No. 7 Texas A&M on Saturday in the nationwide broadcast for CBS Sports.
Pittman discussed the increased demands on his time this week, praising UA’s associate athletic director for communications Kyle Parkinson for not overloading him.
“Let me say this, we never do more interviews than we can handle to manage the team,” Pittman said. “Kyle is so good about it. Everything we do is on a schedule where I’m doing well because I’ve already done everything I needed with the team.
Pittman has appeared on “The Jim Rome Show,” “College Game Day,” and “Pardon My Take,” the nation’s # 1 sports podcast, and others. He has also interviewed national media like ESPN.com, CMT, CBS Sports, and the Washington Post over the past two weeks.
“I appreciate the question and I appreciate that you understand because it’s been different and I like it that way,” Pittman said of the Hogs’ 3-0 start and the national standings. “We have to say no to a few people, and it’s not easy for me.”
Pittman said he recalled a specific point in his job interview with athletic director Hunter Yurachek in December 2019 about media obligations.
“He talked about… how could I interact with this state and the people? Pittman said. “I remember that was one of the specific questions he asked me during the interview. What are you going to say, ‘No I can’t do it’? So I said, ‘Yeah, I’m good to go and can’t wait to meet people.’
“He was talking about state media like you. He did not mention the national media. Kyle does a great job with me generally getting my [interviews] mostly finished somewhere between Sunday and Wednesday so I could sort of relax a bit.
Big back biz
Dominique Johnson has three touchdowns in 15 races, one touchdown every five rushing attempts. He and Trelon Smith are the first Razorback pair to score touchdowns in three straight games since Cedric Cobbs and De’Arrius Howard did in the first three games of 2003.
“The opportunities that have been given to me, it feels good to score a touchdown in every game with the reps I’ve had,” said Johnson. “To be able to be the big back in the red zone, it feels good to know that they trust me to put me out there to get that touchdown in the red zone.”
Coach Sam Pittman noted that Johnson’s focus and motivation increased after a day of experience with the close-end squad.
“I never thought, and it’s not disrespecting him, I never thought, ‘Hey, when we put him in the game, I’m going to be so excited he’s here.’ “said Pittman. “But I’m excited. I mean, this guy is a good running back. Robust, good blocker. It’s just going to show you that sometimes you have to wait your turn.
Coach Sam Pittman has several ties to the Texas A&M staff.
Among them are tight ends coach James Coley, who was offensive coordinator in Georgia for part of Pittman’s time there, and recruiting coordinator Marshall Malchow, who was also on the Georgia staff during the time of Pittman.
“Dearest friends of mine,” Pittman said. “Great people. Can’t wait to see them. “
Texas A&M reserve goalie Brian Willams is the brother of former Arkansas fullback Rawleigh Williams III, a 1,360-yard rusher with 12 TDs in 2016 after returning from neck surgery, which had to take his medical retirement in 2017.
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman wanted to clarify some of his remarks earlier this week on Wednesday regarding this year’s Southwest Classic game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
Pittman said Monday he “didn’t feel good” about having to return to Arlington after Texas A&M secured a home game last season due to covid-19 protocols.
“I am not disappointed … by any stretch of the imagination,” Pittman said. “It’s our contract and I’m not disappointed that we’re going to Dallas. I’m just disappointed that we went to A&M last year and now we’re going to Dallas. And I understand the reasoning behind it all … And I don’t call A&M, because they’re also under contract.
“It was just unfortunate that it was their year to have a home game because the bottom line is that if we had had a home game last year they would have come and played us because of the covid situation . “
Arkansas defensive tackle Isaiah Nichols knows the value of a strip sack, when a defensive player releases a quarterback’s ball into the pocket, either resulting in a loss of distance if the offense recovers, or obviously a turn-over if the defense pounces on the loose ball.
Visiting with Razorbacks voice Chuck Barrett on Coach Sam Pittman’s radio show Wednesday night, Nichols made it clear.
When Barrett asked Nichols a question saying, “You have a bag this year …” Nichols quickly added “a strip bag”.
When Barrett and the crowd finished laughing, Nichols said the backpack was the “money” game for defensive linemen.
53 yard drop
KJ Jefferson’s 60-yard touchdown pass to Warren Thompson early in the third quarter went 53 yards through the air. Jefferson pulled out the pass from a pristine pocket against a three-man rush to Arkansas 33. Thompson stepped on Georgia Southern cornerback Darrell Baker and managed to nab the Eagles ’14. Baker tripped over the grass as Thompson strolled for his first Razorback touchdown.
Nik is the choice
Texas A&M punter Nik Constantinou took home SEC Player of the Week honors for his work against New Mexico.
The runner-up from Melbourne, Australia averaged 45.5 yards on four punts, all downed inside Lobos’ 20-yard line, including a 61-yard kick down at 5. Three Constantinou’s puntings pinned New Mexico inside his 10-yard line.
“He’s precious to them,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “The other thing, too, is the guy’s 62, 63 yard punches. I have a valuable weapon there.
Red Zone Rewards
Arkansas converted their five red zone possessions to points against Georgia Southern, making the Razorbacks 15 of 16 in that department this season.
The only practice that got inside the 20-yard line of the non-scoring opponent this season came at the end of the Hogs 40-21 victory over Texas, when the quarterback -back Malik Hornsby performed two laps inside the Longhorns 10. to close the victory.
The Razorbacks are tied with Alabama, Army and Tennessee at No. 21 nationally with a 93.75% score in the red zone. Arkansas’ 62.5% touchdown score in the red zone is 75th nationally, tied with Alabama, East Carolina, Rutgers and San Diego State.
One of Texas A&M’s oldest football traditions is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The legend of the 12th man, born January 2, 1922 at the Dixie Classic, is in his 100th year for the Aggies. Texas A&M has a trademark on the “12th man,” which refers to the first substitute ready to enter the game, as well as the crowd.