Maybe every coach in the country is already prepping for their opening-week opponent, but Bret Bielema made it known that the Hogs are dedicating this week’s practice to prep for their opening-week opponent against Auburn.
RELATED: 2014 SEC football schedule
“It’ll be a little bit different,” he told reporters Saturday. “After three weeks you need a little bit of pace, so we’ll really go hard into Auburn and Texas Tech prep and work on some of those early non-conference opponents.”
The Hogs are currently on a nine-game losing streak and an eight-game conference losing streak. For the first time in school history, Arkansas lost every conference game and finished with a goose egg in the win column.
So, Bielema’s getting a head start on 2014.
Remember, Bielema and Malzahn have been at odds since both entered the league before the 2013 season. The two exchanged jabs at SEC Media Days regarding hurry-up offenses. Malzahn’s hurry-up, no-huddle attack was put in the crosshairs by Bielema and Nick Saban this offseason in an attempt to slow it down, citing player safety with the 10-second proposal.
Bielema also accused Malzahn of excluding the ‘swinging gate’ formation of the submitted game film. Auburn thumped Arkansas 35-17 last year, and the Hogs also had an issue with an Auburn player faking an injury.
RELATED: 2014 SEC strength of schedule
The two coaches are essentially polar opposites, but both know how crucial an opening-week conference win would be for their team in 2014.
Bielema wants to make sure he allows ample time for his players to get accustomed to Auburn’s style of pace and play.
Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports