Listening in on Mark Richt’s weekly radio show Monday night:
“Defensively, there were a couple of times when you’re right — I think ‘timid’ is a very kind description of what happened,” Richt said. “There were a couple of times when I thought we turned it down, quite frankly.”
He said the issue will be addressed this week through competition for playing time and starting roles, as well as more physical practices with the scout team to “work hard on the fundamentals of stepping on a guy’s toes and putting your face on him and wrapping up.”
“As far as the run blocking is concerned, I would have to say that I would be expecting more than we’re getting right now,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of providing more space for these guys.”
Richt added that “we need more from our backs too” in terms of gaining yards after contact and making defenders miss in space.
“My patience is worn about as thin as it can wear,” Richt replied. “I’m not going to make a big, bold statement out here in front of everybody because I don’t want to let everybody know our business. But I can promise you that [the players] know that the next guy has got himself some serious issues and anybody after that, too.
“We just can’t have it. We’ve all grown very tired of it.”
Richt added that all players who got into trouble were disciplined for it and “unfortunately we have three guys that are not even on the team any more.”
“I really think the fans can make a difference in this game,” he said. Arkansas “is a team that likes to operate with a lot of calls at the line of scrimmage, and the more noise we make at the right time, the tougher it’s going to be for them to operate.”