FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas coach Bret Bielema met with the media for roughly 25 minutes today, previewing Saturday's game against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Bielema - who would prefer shorts and flip flops - suited up for the event as you can tell by the photo.
But he also had plenty to say about the opener. Below are three things we learned from Bielema's first game week press conference of the season:
1. Nothing new Is Bielema feeling any extra emotions with his first Arkansas game just days away? If so, he didn't admit to them Monday. Bielema said preparing for the 2013 opener "doesn't really feel any different to me." Bielema went on to add that he doesn't much recollection of the sites and sounds of previous games as a head coach. He credits his headset for blocking all of that out so he can concentrate on is the actual game itself. "A lot of people have asked me, what do you think about?" Bielema said. "When I'm in the tunnel, I'm thinking about the coin toss. I'm thinking about if we win the toss, if we lose the toss. What's our action?"
2. Williams the Man Alex Collins got plenty of preseason publicity. But Bielema made it clear Jonathan Williams will get the ball as Arkansas' No. 1 running back. Bielema assured Williams earlier this month, telling the sophomore "you're our guy. We're on your back." Williams will get the chance to prove he's ready for the responsibility against the Ragin' Cajuns on Saturday. "I think Alex is a great change of pace," Bielema said of Collins. "I think Nate Holmes is a great change of pace. But if youre talking about a consistent first down through third down offensive threat, Jonathan Williams is the guy.
3. Razorbacks Buying In Bielema said the Razorbacks drew up some team goals on Sunday night. He was curious about what the group would come up with and was pretty impressed by the results. "One of the first things out of their mouths offensively was 'no pre-snap penalties,'" Bielema said. "I mean, that's something I've been saying since Day One. But for it to come out their mouth, it means everything to me. They talked about being a champion in adverse situations. That's something that we talk about, harp about constantly." Of course, it's one thing to say it. Another to mean it and back it up. But Bielema doesn't believe it's simply "lip service" with his new team.
Robbie Neiswanger Arkansas News Bureau