FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman met with the media on Monday for his weekly meeting.
Pittman confirmed that two key members of special teams are on scholarship. Junior redshirt punter Reid Bauer and kicker Vito Calvaruso are now both on scholarship. Sources had indicated to Hogville.net earlier in year that Bauer was on scholarship and the same source indicated Saturday that Calvaruso is now as well.
“Reid, yeah, Reid’s been on scholarship for a while,” Pittman said. “Vito did last week, as well.”
Bauer has punted 36 times this season with an average of 40.8 yards. He has a long of 60 yards, two touchbacks, 17 fair caught and eight inside the opponent’s 20. Calvaruso has kicked off 58 times with 48 touchbacks.
Everyone is accustomed to Calvaruso kicking it out of the end zone, but he did allow a couple of returns last Saturday. Was that by design?
“No,” Pittman said. “We never want them to return. I want Vito to kick that think up in the nickel bleachers, which he did the last kick because me and (Scott) Fountain’s going back and forth. I guess I’m supposed to say, ‘Scott and I.’ We’ll go back and forth, back and forth, and as you know worst thing there’s 21 seconds. You don’t want to give them a chance. Scott said, ‘Coach, he’s going to kick it out.’ He hit the pad in the back, I think. So, he kicked it forever. There were a lot of calls right there at the end of the game where you’re going… They’re hard. I mean, it’s hard on a big ol’ heavy man.”
Myron Cunningham, O-line Grades
Arkansas had great success running the football against a stingy run defense of Mississippi State on Saturday. So as one would expect Pittman said the offensive linemen graded out well.
“I think they were all in the low to mid-80’s which is pretty good,” Pittman said. “I used to think if you get to 85 you’re playing some good ball. I believe Myron Cunningham might have been the one who got to 85. But all of them were around that 83, 84 mark, maybe not quite as high with the guys who jumped offsides. We dock them pretty good for that.”
LSU Coach Knows Hogs
Prior to the season, Brad Davis left the Arkansas staff and returned home to Baton Rouge to coach the offensive line there. How much could that be an advantage for LSU since he knows Arkansas’ personnel well?
“You’ve got a good point,” Pittman said. “You are looking at they’ve got nine games on us. So I’m sure they’ll do their studying there. I don’t know what he might have. We know what hurt them when he was here as far as our defense goes. What might have caused problems for the offensive line when he was coaching here. He’ll know our personnel, even our new guys for the most part, except for big Ridge (John Ridgeway). He knows (Markell) Utsey obviously from being at Missouri and he knows Tre (Williams). So he’ll know our personnel so he will know where, at least in their mind, they want to try to attack us. So I don’t that it gives either team much of an advantage to be honest with you.”
LSU has kept the boot since winning it back in 2016. Pittman has his eyes on bringing it back to Arkansas much like they did the trophy beating Texas A&M in AT&T Stadium earlier this season.
“I don’t know we’ll have a lot of conversation about the past games,” Pittman said. “We certainly do, there’s a trophy, and we would like to have it. Certainly we know LSU would too. I think (David) Bazzel designed it. I think he designs everything, but he designed a trophy. It’s a wonderful trophy. It was here two of my three years when I was here before. Very heavy trophy. But yeah we’ll talk about The Boot and probably show a picture of it and things of that nature. We would like to have it.”