First-year Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has previously stated his less-than-favorable opinion of hurry-up and no-huddle offenses and how they are dangerous for defensive players. At SEC Media Days on Wednesday, his Auburn counterpart, Gus Malzahn, unsurprisingly expressed a difference in philosophy.
“When I first heard that, to be honest with you, I thought it was a joke,” Malzahn told reporters. “As far as health or safety issues, that’s like saying the defense shouldn’t blitz after a first down because they’re a little fatigued and there’s liable to be a big collision in the backfield.”
As fate would have it, Bielema took the podium immediately after Malzahn left it. In response to Malzahn’s quip, the perpetually combative Bielema replied, “He thought it was a joke? I’m not a comedian.”
Bielema also had a response for Malzahn’s suggestion that if the 15-second substitution rule should pass, officials should pay closer attention to defensive players faking injuries to slow down the pace of the game: “You know what, in addition to not being a comedian, I’m not an actor. I can’t tell you how to tell a kid how to fake an injury.”
This certainly injects more drama into a potential matchup of SEC West bottom-dwelling teams this season.