Auburn, Ala.--It will be yet another homecoming for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn
this weekend as he takes his eighth-ranked Tigers into Fayetteville to face the Arkansas
Razorbacks. A former player and coach at Arkansas along with assistants Rhett Lashlee
and Tim Horton
with J.B. Grimes
also an Arkansas native, this game has an extra flavor to it than just another SEC game said tight end C.J. Uzomah
"A majority of our coaching staff is from the state of Arkansas," Uzomah said. "Kodi Burns grew up there as well. We know how much it means to all of them as a whole. They'll give their best effort this week in practice and preparation. So will we."
That's something that Malzahn said won't change this week even with the Razorbacks up next.So far Auburn has answered the bell each and every week as far as effort and preparation is concerned, even in the loss at LSU. The first-year Auburn head coach said he'll treat this week just like any other because it's a road game in the SEC and not because it's Arkansas.
"Yeah, I think if you ask our players and our coaches, I get excited no matter who we're playing," Malzahn said. "I try to be very consistent. This is a big game. We are going on the road; another road test for us. They've had an extra week to prepare and that definitely concerns me. So we expect it to be a tough one.
"I have been there and done it before," he added of going back to Arkansas. "We haven't really talked about it. We have focused on preparing and really giving our guys the best chance to be successful."
Facing Arkansas coming off a bye week adds an extra challenge for Auburn as the Razorbacks should be rested and very prepared for what they'll see from the Tigers.
Another piece of the puzzle this week has been the continued talk coming from Arkansas coach Bret Bielema to try to start a feud with Malzahn and the Tigers. It first started during SEC Media Days when Bielema took shots at the hurry-up/no-huddle offenses that teams are using across the country. This week things got ramped up even more when Bielema went public with a complaint that Auburn's film didn't match the TV copy on a few extra-point attempts; violating SEC policy in the process.
Malzahn is not taking the bait. Focused on what his team has to do in order to be ready to play on Saturday, Malzahn said it's all about the team and the game and nothing else plays into things in his mind.
"Right now with where we are going each week, we're trying to do everything in our power to win and it doesn't make any difference if we are going to Arkansas or going to (Texas) A&M or anywhere else," Malzahn said. "There's enough to it without anything else added to it."
Tiger Ticket Notes
Updating quarterback Nick Marshall's status, Malzahn said on Wednesday's SEC Coaches Teleconference that Marshall practiced on Tuesday but is still listed as day-to-day for Saturday's game against Arkansas.
"We'll make a decision, and as a matter of fact it could be a gametime decision," Malzahn said. "As soon as we find out for sure that's when we'll make the decision.
"He's a tough guy, I will tell you that," he added. "It's day-to-day and we're hopeful."
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn discusses going to Arkansas this week to face the Arkansas Razorbacks and also updates Nick Marshall's status.