FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas won't be flying to or from Little Rock according to Sam Pittman.
The Razorbacks open the season against Western Carolina on Saturday at noon in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium. Pittman explained the travel plan on Monday.
"No, we’re bussing down and back," Pittman said. "Especially with the game being moved up, you know we can get back by seven, seven-thirty. Which will be a good time. Again, I’m concerned about eight games in a row. And, I’ll tell you this too. You may or may not think about his but you if you went to practice every day, this air conditioning getting fixed in the in-door, was huge. I mean, huge. Because you get into week five and it’s hot, and you just played a pretty brutal schedule. You’re going through it. And, I remember when we won nine games, it was we had to cut some reps and different things like that. Now, I don’t think that’s really good for anybody. We had to do it because of the heat. So, hope that answered your question."
The Hogs open against an opponent that was 6-5 in 2022 and won its final three games. Yes those wins were over Wofford (36-29), ETSU (20-17) and Chattanooga (32-29). But Arkansas has struggled against opponents at times they should have beaten worse and that concerns Pittman
"I want to play our best ball," Pittman said. "There are some things that are concerning. That’s how we’ve played against non-logo schools. I put us in that, too, when I start talking about LSUs and the Alabamas and all that, the guys who are in the top 10 every year in recruiting. We haven’t played well. We didn’t play well against Missouri State last year, obviously Liberty, and even two years ago Rice. I think they had us on the ropes out here until we woke up a little bit. That’s a concern. We talk a lot about, ‘We’re not playing opponents. We’re trying to play our best ball.’ We’ve got to get back to that physicality and playing our hearts our every week [against] whomever we play. Goal-wise, if we can do that, wins and losses will take care of itself because I do think we have a talented team."
Pittman also was asked what he has learned from season openers?
"The first year I was just trying to figure out how to use a headset to be honest with you," Pittman said. "I had worn in it practice, but I was so nervous man. You know, the year we played Georgia I was over there, and I said ‘Hey, are you guys here? Are you on? Are you on? Oh, you’re on defense?’ I was trying to get to offense and stuff.
"I know I make light about it but everything when you first get started is so brand new. You’re concerned about penalties, do you take it, do you not? Two minute, all those types of things. And as you practice it more and do it more, you become hopefully a little better at it. But yeah, I’ve learned a lot of those types of things and it takes the stress a little bit out of it now. You know, I feel a little more confident about everything."
Arkansas and Western Carolina will be on ESPN+ and SEC Network+.