FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas and Texas A&M both need a win on Saturday in a key game at Arlington's AT&T Stadium.
Arkansas (2-2, 0-1) and Texas A&M (3-1,1-0) are looking to make a move in the SEC standings with a win. The Hogs opened SEC play on Saturday with a 34-31 loss at LSU while the Aggies topped Auburn 27-10.
Following the loss to LSU, Arkansas experienced travel issues due to the weather as far as getting back to Fayetteville. Sam Pittman talked about it on Monday.
"I think we got here right around 7," Pittman said. "Might have been a little bit earlier. You know, weather. We flew into Little Rock and landed. We had a few options. None of them were very good. They felt like we could've got to Tulsa at the time and bussed in and maybe gotten home around 5:30 or something. Or wait it out 2-4 hours. We tried to get some buses into Tulsa, and they didn't have them. Come to find out if we would've went there we would've had to turn around and land in Little Rock because the weather wouldn't allow us.
"My biggest thing at that point was the plane was real quiet, so I knew our kids were sleeping on the plane. That's really what I was most concerned about. We pushed back yoga and things of that nature yesterday afternoon. The staff I pushed back an hour. We ended up getting the same amount of work on A&M. We just took a shorter family break last night and got the same amount of work on A&M. I think I got home around 7:15 or something like that."
Rocket Sanders hasn't played since the season opener against Western Carolina due a knee issue. His status for Texas A&M remains up in the air according to Pittman.
"No, I wish I knew," Pittman said. "We're going to find out a little bit more today at practice. Obviously, he ran and did some things last week, but it wasn't stop and starts and things of that nature. He's going to do some things today, as much as he possibly can. Hopefully it goes well. We need him. To say he's going to play or not right now — and this has nothing to do with A&M or who knows or what — I really don't know right now."
Sophomore Rashod Dubinion filled in for Sanders on Saturday. Dubinion had 15 carries for 78 yards while also catching three passes for 35 yards. It was by far his best game of the season.
"I think Saturday is whenever I felt like he was what we thought he was going to be," Pittman said. "He carried guys, made yards on contact. Made guys miss in the open field. Hopefully that’s just the beginning of a whole lot of great games for him. I know he obviously had one last year in the Liberty Bowl. But yeah, that’s what we see every day in practice. Hopefully we can get him in that form each and every week. But I thought he played a heck of a game."
Pittman was asked about burning the three timeouts in the second half, two in third quarter and one early in the fourth, and not having anything at end?
"Yeah,I mean, we have to," Pittman said. "We’ve got to get lined up faster, we’ve got to get set faster. We’ve got to get the call in faster. … Yeah, I mean, we have to, because I didn’t have any left. We didn’t have chance [at the end]. It was either let them score or knock or try to knock it out of them there at the end. So to answer your question, yes, we’re going to [address it]. We’re not going to have music the first part of practice. We’re just going to have it during two-minute today so we can really coach the urgency of … And we haven’t had that problem in the past, so it had to have something to do with noise. We will get that back Tuesday and Wednesday, but today we’re just going to try to emphasize the speed of getting our plays in and getting them call and getting them run."
Arkansas once again had far too many penalties on Saturday. After 14 against BYU, the Hogs had 11 against LSU. They had 11 combined in the first two games of the season that they won. Pittman was asked how they can fix that issue?
"Well, obviously whatever we did last week to address it didn’t work," Pittman said. "All I know is that you have to have a ball in everything you do on the D-line. You have to move all the time on the O-line and you have to move with noise. Today we are going to do without it just to emphasize speed, getting set, all those types of things. Basically, it's a new day and we’re having some install and we’ve got to talk to them, but throughout the week you just overemphasize movement. Move calls and those things. Like you said try to simulate as much as you possibly can, but obviously, what we didn't work so we are gonna try and do something a little bit different."
The Hogs and Aggies will kickoff at 11 am on the SEC Network. Next week's game against Ole Miss will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.