Auburn football: You won’t find any bulletin-board material from Arkansas coaches

Arkansas coach Chad Morris is in his first season with the Razorbacks. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Arkansas coach Chad Morris is in his first season with the Razorbacks. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Arkansas coach Chad Morris and his coaching staff know a thing or two about the Auburn football team.

Even if they have never been on the opposite sideline as the Tigers.

Morris and Gus Malzahn are long-time friends and there’s little doubt the two coaches are familiar with each other’s coaching styles. But being familiar with one another and lining up in the SEC against each other are two completely different things.

Morris likely has looked at film from Auburn’s 52-20 victory last season in Fayetteville, Ark. The Tigers scored 28 third quarter points to blow open the game. Auburn ran for 345 yards and five touchdowns and threw for another 284 yards with a pair of scores.

Coming off a 44-17 loss to North Texas last week, Morris and the Razorbacks had no time to dwell on that loss — they had to get ready for the SEC opener. Here’s what Morris and his coaches said about the Auburn football game:

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Morris on contact with Malzahn this week (via WholeHogSports): “We’ve talked throughout the course of the year, texted back and forth,” Morris said. “But I have not talked to him this week.”

Morris on Auburn, coaching staff: “We’ve got a very tough opponent we’re going to pay this week in Auburn. We have our work cut out for us. They got as good a front seven defensively as I’ve seen. They’re going to run the football. I’m very familiar with their style of play. Their defense, I worked with Kevin (Steele) at my time at Clemson. I’ve known Chip and obviously my relationship with Gus. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Arkansas defensive coordinator John Chavis on going up against Malzahn and Auburn (via “They’re very talented. They’ve got size and speed. They’re going to always be physical. That’s one of the things you can expect. They’re going to try to run the football. When I say try to run the football, they get good at running the football. You expect that. And yo’re going to expect some vertical game. He’s going to throw it down the field. He’s going to take his shots, there’s no question about that, you know that. It’s going to happen. That’s what you have to be ready for and for a host of trick plays as well. You’re going to see those things, those plays that he designs and usually they’re well designed and he’s going to run them. You got to play what he does and he does a good job. He knows how to adjust. You see that happening in the games. We’ll see a well-coached, very talented Auburn football team.”

It’s obvious that there’s mutual respect for both teams with the relationships shared between the two coaching staffs.

The Malzahn-Morris relationship is well-documented and Chavis is very familiar with Malzahn. This is the third SEC team that Chavis has coached for when he’s gone against Malzahn. Chavis previously was defensive coordinator at LSU and Texas A&M, where he squared off against Malzahn as a head coach.

So you’re not going to find any bulletin-board material from these coaching staffs this week. It also brings up an interesting question that could play out Saturday: If things go as expected (Auburn is favored by 30), will Malzahn keep his foot on the gas against his friend? That’s been one of the biggest criticisms of Malzahn — that his offenses sometimes go into hiding when he has a lead. That happened last season against LSU and last week against LSU.

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We wrote earlier this week that the loss to LSU will force the Tigers to not just win, but look good each week in winning. That means putting away teams and piling up points — style points.

Will Malzahn do that Saturday if the opportunity presents itself?

We’ll see soon enough.