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Arkansas' Smith to fans: 'Don't give up on us'

By David Harten

This article was originally published September 24, 2012 at 1:27 p.m. Updated September 24, 2012 at 4:23 p.m.

staff-photo-jason-ivester-arkansas-head-coach-john-l-smith-walks-off-the-field-following-the-razorbacks-35-26-loss-to-rutgers-on-saturday-sept-22-2012-at-donald-w-reynolds-razorback-stadium-in-fayetteville

STAFF PHOTO JASON IVESTER Arkansas head coach John L. Smith walks off the field following the Razorbacks' 35-26 loss to Rutgers on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

John L. Smith makes 'state of Alabama' gaffe

Arkansas coach John L. Smith misspoke in his address of the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday, calling the Razorbacks a "state of Alabama" program. He later was told of the mistake and corrected himself. The correction drew laughs from the fans, while the original slip-up drew groans. (By David Harten)
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John L. Smith speaks to LRTD Club

Arkansas coach John L. Smith speaks to the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday. Smith took question...

John L. Smith addresses media at LRTD Club

Arkansas coach John L. Smith addresses the media prior to the Little Rock Touchdown Club at the Emba...

— Arkansas coach John L. Smith spoke to the media and to members of the Little Rock Touchdown Club Monday at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock.

Among the topics, Smith addressed the injuries to Chris Gragg and Tevin Mitchel, the state of the team heading into the game against Texas A&M and his coaching philosophy toward leading the Razorbacks.

During his 10-minute session with the media and his 45-minute with the patrons, Smith pleaded with the fans not to give up on the team, yet he took responsibility for the team's mistakes. The Razorbacks have yet to beat a Football Bowl Subdivision team this season. Their lone victory came against Football Championship Subdivision member Jacksonville State to open the season.

Things did take a turn for the awkward when Smith said the program was a "state of Alabama" program during his speech, drawing several groans from the crowd. Smith later said the he meant to say "state of Arkansas" program. The Crimson Tide beat the Razorbacks 52-0 two weeks ago in Fayetteville.

Smith said Gragg had a deep bruise into his thigh bone and that cornerback Mitchel was working his way back after being knocked out of the Louisiana-Monroe game on Sept. 8 after colliding with a teammate on a tackle. Mitchel had to be carted off the field.

Fans asked several critical questions of the team, specifically noting the deficiencies on defense, which has given up an average of 40.3 points per game in the Razorbacks' last three games.

Arkansas is currently 1-3 on the season after a 35-26 loss to Rutgers on Saturday.

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Comments on: Arkansas' Smith to fans: 'Don't give up on us'

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

Jackabbott says... September 24, 2012 at 3:31 p.m.

Sad but what can you say now? The guy was put into this situation by the AD, but JLS called and asked for it according to what they have put out there.
If a decent and legit coaching search had been done by the AD we would not be in this mess now.

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nosugar2nite says... September 24, 2012 at 8:35 p.m.

blame should all be on petrino

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Jackabbott says... September 24, 2012 at 9:04 p.m.

Did not see Bobby Petrino coaching the last 3 games. JLS is and Jeff Long the AD. Just the facts nosugar, so bittersweat.

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