Sam Pittman Hoping for Touchdowns Instead of Field Goals in Red Zone

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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas Coach Sam Pittman was pleased with how the offense executed against Texas putting 40 points on the scoreboard, but would prefer touchdowns and not field goals when in the red zone.

Cam Little was named the SEC’s Freshman of the Week after successfully making four field goals against Texas. Pittman talked about settling for field goals instead of finishing the drives.

“We went back on every one of those drives and there was some type of missed assignment that stopped every one of those drives,” Pittman said. “Like you said, I’m very proud of Cam Little and how he’s done this year. But there’s no way we should have been stopped those four particular times if we just do our assignment. So we made a big emphasis on that, as well as each week. We have to get the right guys on the field that know what they’re doing. We made too many mistakes, to be honest with you.”

Were the mistakes on the offensive line, wide receivers, quarterback, wide receiver or who?

“I’ve got it sitting right here in front of me,” Pittman said. “Most of it all was missed blocking assignments, whether it could be the wideout or the O-line. We’re having a little bit of trouble figuring out first fours outside. If you saw (Blake) Kern’s two catches out in the flats if we called it again if I was Kern, I would look over there and say no, I’m not running it. My lord. I mean, he was getting smoked over there. We’ve got to fix that. We have. I asked them to do a study. I knew the answer, but I asked them to do a study of the four drives that we kicked field goals on, and every one of them ended up on mental assignments. We have to clean that up. When we go out and play an SEC team, we have to get those seven points any time we have an opportunity.”

Do you clean up the mistakes at practice or during film study?

“You’re 100 percent right,” Pittman said. “We worked on it for two periods yesterday. Part of that is … I’m not blaming the kids now, I’m blaming me. It has to all get fixed. Part of that is we had some young kids in the game at the time, and it was a learning experience for them, but I’d rather them learn in practice and be right in the game. We’re going to be better there. We means all of us, not just the young man that made the mistake. The only way I know to correct something is to go work on it, and that’s what we did yesterday.”

While he obviously prefers touchdowns to field goals, Pittman is still very pleased with his kicker who is a true freshman.

“Y’all were at the spring game and he’s come a long way since then,” Pittman said. “He’s as confident as you can be right now. I’m as confident as you can possibly be in him. It’s amazing when you throw a guy out there and I’m not thinking about anything but get the kickoff team ready because he makes them in practice and he makes them in games. I’ve been really proud of him. He’s done a great job. Amazing what a strong leg he has for not a very big dude. It’s like me with a golf swing. I don’t want to play with a small guy at golf because he outdrives me by about a 100 yards and it’s not any fun (smiling).”

But overall, Pittman is pleased with how the offense is coming along after a very slow start against Rice in the opener.

“I think we’ve found who we are a little bit,” Pittman said. “The first game of the year, Rice did such a good job against us, but we found out we’re a little bit better at running at quarterback. And when he runs, he plays better. And our offensive line plays better and everybody plays better as far as offensively. Defensively, I think we’re out there getting what we thought; a bunch of guys that play extremely, extremely hard. And we’ve got some good talent on each level, whether the defensive line, linebackers and secondary. Those guys are guys that come to work each day and know they have a lot to get better at. And I was really pleased last week with our special teams. They played like what I thought they could play like. So we found those three areas, we found some good things out of each one of them, and we have to continue to improve.”

Arkansas (2-0) hosts Georgia Southern at 3 p.m. on Saturday with the game televised on the SEC Network.

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