FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Junior safety Kamren Curl was impressive in Arkansas’ season opener.
Curl finished with five tackles, two for loss, two sacks and an interception. Curl is just starting his second year of playing safety in college after having played cornerback as a true freshman. He talked about his performance on Saturday.
“I felt like I played pretty good,” Curl said. “My main focus was being all over the field, be that guy and try to play like the best player on the field. I feel like I did pretty good. I still feel like their are some things that I need to work on, but I did a pretty good job tackling and knowing my assignments and stuff like that.”
His game was almost cut short with a targeting call that was later properly overturned though he did get charged with a late hit.
“I was probably being a little too aggressive,” Curl said. “I seen him diving for the first down and I didn’t want him to get it. But I just have to be more careful. Coach Morris talked to me about being more careful because you don’t want something that close and they miss it and then kick me out and I’d be out for the next game.”
Curl also returned his interception 29 yards giving Arkansas an opportunity to score some points late in second quarter.
“I was the high safety and I was just reading the quarterback’s eyes,” Curl said. The D-line did a good job of putting pressure on him and he had to get rid of it and I was just reading his eyes and went to the ball.”
Arkansas’ defense was aggressive and blitzed much more frequently than they did in the 2018 season opener. Curl talked about the blitzes.
“It was fun,” Curl said. “It wasn’t a called blitz. It was really like instincts. My assignment blocked and the quarterback rolled so I went and attacked. I hope I can blitz some this season, but that was really just a play I made.”
Is that your best game as a Razorback?
“I don’t know, maybe,” Curl said. “Every game, I am trying to make it my best game. I feel like I played pretty good. But I don’t think it was my best game because on the grade sheet, I didn’t get 100. I have got 100 before so it was probably not my best game.”
Arkansas’ other starting safety Joe Foucha also got an interception. Curl talked about the improvement the sophomore has made from his freshman season.
“Joe has improved a lot,” Curl said. “Me and him are always talking back there during practice and the game and trying to find out ways to get better how we can always get better and communicate more. He has made a really big step.
Were you one of the ones telling him to get down after his interception near the end of the game?
“I was because he really stole my interception,” Curl said. “I was on the ground and I was tired and I was trying to tell him to get down, but he didn’t see me. He played offense in high school so with the ball in his hands, I am not worried about the ball in his hands.”
Arkansas has another talented freshman safety on the team in Jalen Catalon. He didn’t play against Portland State, but is there a chance he plays in this game?
“Coach is always rotating him in,” Curl said. “I feel like when Coach Coop (Ron Cooper) figures the right time out to put him in, it will be the right time.”
Arkansas will return to the practice fields today at 4:30 as they continue to prepare for Ole Miss on Saturday night in Oxford. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.