Auburn travels to Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend. It's also head coach Gus Malzahn's home state.
His coaching career started at the high school level. After 14 seasons of high school ball, he became the offensive coordinator at Arkansas.
Last season, he was the head coach at Arkansas State.
So how does Gus handle going back home?
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"This will be the fourth time I've done that," Malzahn said. "The first time or two, it was definitely different, but I don't expect it to be any different than a normal game on the road."
The players get that sense from the offensive mastermind.
"It's a big game for him, but he hasn't really said much," Auburn offensive lineman Chad Slade said. "He knows, it's a game, it's the next game we have to play. He's not really worried about going back home or anything. He's never been like that at all."
But Malzahn is not the only member of the Auburn football team that has ties to the Natural State.
Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is from Springdale, only a ten-minute drive to Fayetteville. Running backs coach Tim Horton played and coached at Arkansas. Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes also coached the Razorbacks. Graduate assistant Kodi Burns, also an Arkansas native.
The one current player from Arkansas, quarterback-turned-safety-turned wide receiver, Kiehl Frazier.
"He's been there back one previous time, but i think that goes for all players from a certain state," Malzahn said. "Any time you go back home, it's a special deal."
To add to the list of connections, gus malzahn who was inducted into the Arkansas Coaches Hall of Fame this summer.
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