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Bret Bielema Press Conference Recap - September 1st

Here's what was on Bielema's mind a couple of days after the game.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start with the quote everyone is talking about. Bielema did say toward the end of the presser that "some people in that stadium and on that other sideline knew a little bit more about us."

That was first reported in a tweet and many people have taken it to mean Bielema was insinuating Auburn was stealing signals or accusing them of cheating of some sort. However, anyone who watches the video of the press conference (which is available on the SEC Network + channel on the WatchESPN app - it's toward the end with about 2-3 minutes remaining) or reads the full quote will probably not come to that conclusion.

It seems pretty clear he was making reference to his belief that the program he ultimately has envisioned is being built and that Auburn should have a better sense of that after the game (or at least at halftime). It was in reference to how as he continues to recruit and put more pieces in place, people will see what he's been working toward.

That's it. But don't let that get in the way of a good story.


While many Hog fans have been debating how to react to the Auburn game, Bielema said "I was beside myself Saturday night. Probably wasn't a great person to be around Sunday morning."

Bielema listed several players he felt stood out for good performances Saturday: Denver Kirkland, AJ Derby, Sebastian Tretola, and Cody Hollister. He was also happy with Luke Charpentier, Mitch Smothers, and of course Brandon Allen.

He also mentioned that Dan Skipper probably played his best game but he has to be careful about after-play stuff because "he'll become a marked man."

He said the team would be more "full force" against Nicholls State, meaning they expect to be able to play more of the freshman throughout the game. Bielema suggested Josh Liddell would play quite a bit at safety, along with Henre' Toliver at corner and the three freshman linebackers and Josh Williams. He also wants the two freshmen receivers (JoJo Robinson and Kendrick Edwards) to play as well.

He hasn't discussed and won't mention the losing streak to the team. He doesn't want to develop a losing attitude.

Bielema said they're field goal range limit is around the 25-yard line, and that's why they didn't attempt field goals when they punted twice around the 35-yard line. He was set on going for it on 4th down the second time when Arkansas had a 3rd-and-4, but when the play blew up for a six-yard loss he elected to punt.

On that play, Bielema said one guy (didn't name names) executed incorrectly by blocking down instead of blocking out. The play was executed perfectly otherwise and Collins might have even been able to score because he should have had running room. He said those are little mental corrections they have to fix so they can be more consistent.

Bielema addressed the tackling issue. He said "we can tackle with much more efficiency, no doubt about it." He acknowledged there were too many yards after contact and "we have to make everybody earn everything."

Bielema talked about the team having to do better with figuring out how many plays the players have in them. Mentioned that Bijhon Jackson stared out great but with his size he can't play too many snaps.

He also addressed the drops, said the players' reaction was what you wanted to see and Keon Hatcher's nice run along the sideline in the second half was partially the result of him wanting to redeem himself. Bielema also said the receivers and their run blocking was a big part of why the rushing attack was so successful in the first half.

Auburn was given their credit. According to Bielema, "[Auburn] played them a little bit better." Bielema said that the lost momentum as well as the players getting tired all contributed to the failures at the end of the game.

Bielema also talked a little about recruiting. Said he was able to get in touch with Class of 2016 prospects at 12:01 this morning and he did so although he's never "been a big 12:01 guy" in recruiting. But it worked well and had some nice conversations electronically with prospects. He even had a message from one at 3:15 am which kind of blew his mind.

I was beside myself Saturday night. Probably wasn't a great person to be around Sunday morning.