Sam Pittman talks blocking and personnel

By Otis Kirk
on 2023-10-31 07:58 AM

FAYETTEVILLE — Following a bye week, Sam Pittman held his normal Monday meeting with the media.

One of the topics has been the pass blocking by Arkansas’ running backs this season. Pittman had some praise for one of his backs in that regard.

“We’ve got to get better,” Pittman said. “Not solely just … Obviously our worst game was against Mississippi State. But we have to get better there. We also have to put them in less possibilities to protect as well. I mean, obviously on third down, you’ve got choices. What kind of protection do you want to use?

“Do you want to go six, seven, five-man protection. How do you want to do it. But Domo (Dominique Johnson) has been really the biggest back in protection and things of that nature, and we’ve used him a little bit. It’s got to get better, and the kids know that as well.

“Florida certainly has a defensive end that is really good. They have a couple of them. But number 1 (Princely Umanmielen) is exceptional, has a nice spin move and things. We really have to … We can’t let him just wreck our game.”

Redshirt freshman Andrew Chamblee has battled some injuries recently. He’s competing at left tackle with Devon Manuel who also has had his share of injury issues this season. Is Chamblee healthy now?

“He’s fine,” Pittman said. “Yeah, he’s fine. I think him and Deve, we’ll figure it out this week who will be the starter there and they’ll both play.”

Dwight McGlothern dressed against Mississippi State but didn’t play after coming off a concussion. Pittman started Jaylon Braxton and Lorando Johnson at the cornerbacks.

“He was full-go,” Pittman said. “He’s still trying to work his way into playing time, but he was full-go. He was able to play last week, it’s just right now he’s not starting for us.”

How has he taken to being on second team?

“I think there’s something to be said for that,” Pittman said. “Nudie is a good player and I look for him to continue to compete. It just is what it is right now. He certainly can earn that spot back. I expect him… great kid… to battle his butt off to get it back.”

Pittman also was asked if Derek Kief is doing anything different with the wide receivers? He took over there when Kenny Guiton moved to coach the quarterbacks and become offensive coordinator.

“No, I think Kenny is involved with the receiver play, as well,” Pittman said. “But no, not to this point. We’re trying to cut down some of the things that we do so they can do them a little bit faster, but no, I don’t think anything’s different.”

Guiton had initially said he preferred the sidelines during games, but he has moved to the press box according to Pittman.

“He told me he was not that comfortable,” Pittman said. “He didn’t think he would be comfortable on the sideline after he initially thought that’s where he needed to be. I think part of that has to do with Kief. I think part of that has something to do with it. Any coordinator to me that is especially young will be much better upstairs but I gave him that opportunity to decide what he wanted to do and he changed to wanted to be in the box.”

Arkansas and Florida will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday and the game televised on ESPN2.

(Last updated: 2023-10-31 07:58 AM)