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No time to dwell: Turning to Tide, Hogs say of focus

by Bob Holt | September 26, 2022 at 7:25 a.m.
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman talks to offensive lineman, Saturday, September 23, 2022 during the second quarter of a football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Visit nwaonline.com/220924Daily/ for today's photo gallery...(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Arkansas Razorbacks didn't waste any time turning their attention to Alabama after a 23-21 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.

"We're already on Alabama mentally," University of Arkansas linebacker Bumper Pool said in the postgame news conference. "We'll obviously need to clean up things from the tape.

"But I thought the team, we fought hard. We needed to make stops, we made stops. We got the offense tracking on the field to give us a shot to win. There's a lot of positives. But just too many errors. And when you play in the SEC, one play, two plays, they're the difference between a win and loss."

The Arkansas-Alabama game will be televised by CBS and with a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

"Our team is hurting right now, but Alabama's going to be a big game whether we won or whether we didn't," Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman said. "It's still going to be a big game."

The No. 20 Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1 SEC), who dropped from No. 10 in The Associated Press poll, are playing Alabama (4-0, 1-0) as a ranked team for only the ninth time since joining the SEC for the 1992 season.

Arkansas was No. 21 when the Tide beat the Razorbacks 42-35 last season at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The last time the Razorbacks were ranked in a home game against the Tide was in 2016 when No. 1 Alabama beat No. 16 Arkansas 49-30.

"I think we'll bounce back," Pittman said. "I really do. I love our kids. They're tough and resilient.

"They know Alabama's got a really good team, and the place will be sold out and rocking in there Saturday.

"A lot of people spent their hard-earned money to come watch us play and we'll be ready to play. They'll be fine. They're hurting right now, but they'll be fine."

Alabama opened SEC play with a 55-3 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday.

"I'm focusing on Alabama right now," Arkansas junior quarterback KJ Jefferson said. "No need to focus on Texas A&M.

"The game is over. ... We nip this in the bud, and we're looking forward. No need looking in the past."

Junior receiver Jadon Haselwood said losing a tough game to Texas A&M should help the Razorbacks in their preparations for Alabama.

"I'd say this probably put a little chip on our shoulder," Haselwood said. "All we can do is work.

"It's not going to stop. College football is going to keep going. We've got to get better weekly. We can't go down just because we lost. We've got to keep rising up."

Jefferson is one of Arkansas' team captains.

"Just keep encouraging everybody," Jefferson said of his approach this week. "I mean, it happens. It's college football.

"You're not going to be able to win them all. So just make sure the team keeps their eye on the ball, make sure we come together, encourage each other, just keep uplifting each other and make sure the locker room stays positive.

"Nobody's pointing the finger or blaming anyone."

It was the sixth loss of seven or fewer points Arkansas has suffered against Texas A&M since 2014, including three in overtime.

"We can't dwell on it," Haselwood said. "We dwell on it, we're living in the past, and we can't worry about our next opponent.

"We can't go backwards. We've got to keep thriving and striving."


Print Headline: No time to dwell

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