FAYETTEVILLE — Sam Pittman held his weekly press conference and the talk varied from his job security, a video that surfaced from halftime and recruiting.
Pittman saw his team fall to 3-7 with a 48-10 loss to Auburn. The loss was the third straight in Razorback Stadium where the team is 1-3 this season. In what would normally be good news the Razorbacks final two games are at home as well, but the results haven’t been what was expected in Razorback Stadium. The fans have turned out for the games despite the losses.
“First of all, we’re thankful for them coming out and supporting us,” Pittman said. “Obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t have even a good showing for them on Saturday. But we believe we can get this thing turned around, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Arkansas will host FIU on Saturday night and then finish up with Missouri on Friday, Nov. 24. Pittman was asked if he feels he may be coaching for his job these next two games?
“Uh, well, you’re always trying to win,” Pittman said. “So honestly, it doesn’t feel a whole lot different than what it does every week. We want to win and coach for our players to be the best they possibly can be. In coaching I think a lot of times you get concerned when you felt like you had a really good practice week and it doesn’t go well on a Saturday. So we went back and tried to figure out if we can change something up. Obviously it was the same thing we did against Florida, format wise. But no, we’re trying to win games and trying to do the best we can to put the kids in the best spot to have success.”
In the SEC West, two head coaches have already been fired. Both defeated Arkansas this season. Jimbo Fisher was fired Sunday at Texas A&M and then on Monday let Zach Arnett go. Does that make the noise in Fayetteville even louder?
“That’s a good question,” Pittman said. “I think it’s hard, obviously, to block out all noise. You know what I mean? We’ve got a job to do. That is to get prepared each and every week. Jamie and I, when we got here, we were planning on coaching here until whatever that date was that we were going to do down to Hot Springs and call it a day. I’m not close to that year right now, and the plan is to get this program back to where it deserves to be and stay here as long as we possibly can. … But it’s hard to block out noise. It’s more like for the kids, for the recruits. Once it starts, a lot of negative stuff, it’s about recruiting.
“I know what’s going on and Hunter Yurachek knows what’s going on, but really nobody else really [knows]. It’s opinion. They don’t really know what’s going on. But it affects our recruits, so we spent a lot of time yesterday with that as well. My job is to get ready for FIU. I’m not worried about my job security — at all. And I think I’m the guy for the University and I want to stay here for a long time.”
To add to the wounds of a one-sided loss to Auburn, a video surfaced of some players watching Polar Express at halftime of the game. It was from a locker room for the walk-on players who aren’t playing in the game.
“I haven’t seen Polar Express, so I don’t really know my thoughts on the movie,” Pittman said. “In our locker room, I want to reward our kids by letting them run through the ‘A’ if they’ve practiced well. We don’t have enough lockers in our main locker (room) to house all the kids, so some of them have to go in a separate locker. It’s separate and a separate door to the locker.
“A young man, I’ve already addressed it with him, he made a mistake. That’s why we don’t, you don’t want cameras in the locker room — for several reasons. You know, because of your showering, this, that and the other. But it’s hard because music’s on it, as well, you know what I’m saying? So that’s a team rule. You can’t have your… But it’s also a team rule you don’t post anything after Friday night, after we leave on Friday. So a young man made a mistake. Sent it to a friend, friend sent it to his brother, brother put it out on what have you. I’ve already addressed it and I think we’re fine there, but it was just a mistake that a young man made and I wish he wouldn’t have, but he came in, he was sorry for it, he was very remorseful for it, so we’re going to move on.”
The kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night and televised on ESPNU.