Auburn will play a second consecutive road game Saturday against Arkansas, but this one has a unique feeling for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
“It’s always different,” Malzahn said on his radio show Monday night. “That’s where I grew up.”
Malzahn spent the majority of his youth in Arkansas and even spent two years as a walk-on receiver with the Razorbacks from 1984-1985. The coach made a name for himself coaching high school football in Arkansas for 15 seasons before taking his first college job in 2005.
Malzahn will lead the Tigers into his former home state to play a team coming off a bye week and losers of four of their last five games. Similar to Auburn, third-year Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has put an emphasis on having a physical team.
“We like to play physical football too, “Malzahn said. “We played each other the last two years, it’s been a physical game and we expect another one.”
Malzahn is focused on how the Tigers can beat Arkansas, but the coach still has strong ties to the place he grew up.
“My family is there and a lot of my best friends are there, but you got a job to do,” Malzahn said.