Arkansas’ Players preparing for SEC Play Beginning on Saturday

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Defensive end Randy Ramsey was nursing a hamstring injury to start the season and played for the first time on Saturday.

Ramsey and the Hogs came up short on the scoreboard Saturday against North Texas. However, they will now enter SEC play this Saturday at Auburn. On Tuesday following practice, Ramsey talked about his first game back this season.

“I was just getting back into it,” Ramsey said. “I felt great. I was able to rush the quarterback. I didn’t get any sacks, but I got three QB pressures so I was pretty satisfied.”

Did you have to knock off any rust or anything?

“No, I felt fine,” Ramsey said. “Coach Tru (Carroll) and the strength staff do a good job keeping us in shape for the guys that can’t practice. So I felt I was out there the whole time since the days I missed.”

North Texas took a 44-17 victory over the Hogs. What is feeling in the locker room…mad, embarrassed or combination?

“Everything you just said,” Ramsey said. “Embarrassment man. Sick to our stomach to lose like that. But we’ve just got to leave it in the past and keep working and trust the process.”

Ramsey talked about Chad Morris’ message to the team on Sunday night after he saw the film from Saturday.

“He had us read this book throughout fall camp,” Ramsey said. “It’s called ‘Chop Wood, Carry Water.’ That’s been his message throughout this week. We’ve got to keep on chopping wood and carrying water. Eventually it’s going to hit, and when it hits it’s going to take off like a rocket.”

What do you feel your presence does for the defensive front?

“Guys just tell me they feel like they can freestyle more, with having the tackle rush upfield, they feel like they can have more one-on-one chances with the guard,” Ramsey said. “So they feel like I open up the pocket with my presence, with my speed.”

Auburn is 2-1 this season, but lost at home to LSU this past weekend too. What are your thoughts on playing Auburn?

“Ah man, they want to run the ball of course, like every SEC team,” Ramsey said. “They want to establish the run first then air it out. With teams like that you’ve got to be on your Ps and Qs. Any mistake, they capitalize off of it. If you don’t play hard, because they’re coming all four quarters, they’ll just put the nail in the coffin. We’ve just got to execute our plays and play hard and fight.”

Freshman Does Well

Michael Woods is a true freshman. On Saturday was his first extensive action of the season. He caught four passes for 61 yards with a long of 25. How did it feel to play that much on Saturday?

“It felt great,” Woods said. “That was my first home game, so it was surreal running out there and then seeing yourself on the big screen and all that kind of stuff, so it felt good.”

You guys lost, but how do you think you played?

“I felt like I played good,” Woods said. “You can always do better. Just have to practice some more, catch some more JUGS balls, stuff like that, but I felt like I did pretty good for my first home game.”

As a team, how do you deal with the tough loss?

“It’s always tough, but we just have to bounce back,” Woods said. “Come back the next week, work even harder. Just work harder than we did the week before.”

You were committed to these coaches at SMU. So you’ve known them longer than most. How do you think they turn this around?

“Just back to the basics, like coach said,” Woods said. “Just get back to the simple stuff that we started with and hang our hat on that.”

Junior Ty Storey will start at quarterback for the Hogs. What does he have to do on Saturday to play well?

“Just play his game,” Woods said. “Don’t get frustrated or anything like that, just play his game and keep it simple.”

As far as Auburn’s secondary, what have you seen from them on film?

“They’re pretty physical, hands-on,” Woods said. “We’re going to work on that all week and just go out there and play football.”

Patton Playing Well

Senior tight end Jeremy Patton has seen the offense struggle this season. On Tuesday night he was asked if it has been frustrating?

“Oh, of course it has,” Patton said. “You know, as a member of the offense, you want us to have 400 passing yards and 250 rushing yards every single game, but realistically that’s not just going to happen. So, when your hopes are up and your expectations are up that high and you fall short, it’s going to hurt. We just have to keep going, have to keep pushing. We’re heading in the right direction.”

C.J. O’Grady is a junior tight end who many predicted big things for this season. But he was suspended the first two games and saw his first action on Saturday. Have you been talking to O’Grady?

“I love CJ (O’Grady), you know, I talk to him just about everyday,” Patton said. “He’s coming along. He’s doing a lot better than he was. He’s going to class everyday. He’s doing all the little things he needs to do and he’s really working on his craft everyday. You see his practice habits going much and much better – how hard he’s practicing, how hard he’s playing. So I think you’ll see him out there a  little bit more this week than even last week.”

With the 1-2 start has come low expectations from the outside. Do you guys hear that too?

“You know, it’s the same thing that was kind of expected of us when the season started,” Patton said. “It’s not really much different for us inside the locker room. We had a lot of guys counting us out before the season even started. Guys predicting us to go 0-8 in the SEC and just win the non-conference games, so we have the same mindset. We know we’re going to keep grinding, chop wood, carrying water and try to get this thing rolling.”

How does this team overcome adversity and get things rolling?

“It really starts by taking it one day at a time, one play at a time, one rep at a time,” Patton said. “You have to be a one-play warrior especially in this league and in real life, obviously. You know, there are ups and downs, but those ups and downs are going to better you and better you as a man. You’re going to become wiser and stronger because of them.

“So, we have to kind of take these L’s that we’re taking now and we have to understand that there will be good and learning that comes from them. Keep working and keep grinding everyday so we can be the team we want to be by the end of the year.”

Patton talked about what he has seen from Saturday’s opponent on film.

“Oh, they’re big, big heavy guys just like they were last year, you know,” Patton said. “Their backups, you can slap the same number on them and wouldn’t know the difference. They’re deep on the D-line. Have a really talented linebacker group led by No. 57 (Deshaun Davis), I’m not sure exactly what his name is, but they just have some great players. We’re going to have to come with our hardhats and lunch pails and be ready to go because it’s not going to be easy at all.”

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