Middle linebacker Jake Holland with his new hairstyle
Two and one half years later, Holland finally got a haircut, and for a good cause.
"I had the idea that once it got long enough I would donate it," Holland, Auburn's junior middle linebacker, said Sunday. That's what I did this weekend, cut it off."
Holland plans to donate the hair to Locks of Love or another organization that provides hairpieces for disadvantaged children suffering hair loss for medical reasons.
Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said after Sunday's practice that the Tigers have made major progress since their 12-10 loss to No. 2 LSU on Sept. 22. They'll get a chance to show it on Saturday when Arkansas visits Jordan-Hare Stadium for an 11 a.m. kickoff on ESPN.
For both teams, it is a crucial game. Auburn is 1-3 with three losses to nationally ranked teams, two that went to the wire. Arkansas is 1-4 and has been outscored 110-10 in Southeastern Conference games against Alabama at home and at Texas A&M.
"We had a great practice tonight," Chizik said. "I feel really good about the last four practices in a row in terms of intensity. I feel like we are improving. I feel like the culture of our practices and the way we are practicing in terms of physicality and intensity, I feel good about it.
"Tonight they came back after a little bit of a break and I feel like it was a very spirited practice again."
Quan Bray's misfortune could open a door for sophomore wide receiver Trovon Reed.
Bray, Chizik said Sunday, will not play against Arkansas in wake of his arrest on Thursday night in Carrollton, Ga. Bray was charged with violating the term of his driver's permit.
Reed will first at replacing Bray as Auburn's No. 1 punt returner and No. 1 slot receiver, Chizik said.
For Chizik, dealing with disciplinary matters is never present, but he said it's a vital part of his job.
"Part of our job as coaches is to help young guys grow up," Chizik said. "In a perfect world you don't want any of these things to happen. My job, as well as winning football games, is to help young guys who come as boys at 18 and grow into men when they leave at 22. That's what our goal is with any guy who makes a decision that is not what you want. A high percentage of players on our team do exactly what we ask them to do."
Senior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen said last Saturday's open date was refreshing for players who have set their goals on making amends for the bad days of September.
"We don't have a good taste in our mouth after that last game," Lutzenkirchen said. "Having a week to kind of sit on it and see what you did wrong, we're ready to get back out there. We just need to keep bringing that same physicality we brought against LSU into each game, starting with Arkansas."
No game this season, Lutzenkirchen said, has meant more.
"It's huge," Lutzenkirchen said. "We are both sitting in the same spot with only one win. We are looking to get that first conference win. It's huge for both programs right now."
Despite Arkansas' struggles, quarterback Tyler Wilson and wide receiver Cobi Hamilton have put up big-time numbers.
Despite missing a game and a half with a concussion, Wilson has completed of 79-of-145 passes for 1,355 yards and nine touchdowns. He has thrown five interceptions. Hamilton has caught 31 passes for 591 yards and four touchdowns.
"We understand this is a great quarterback and Cobi is a great receiver," Chizik said. "They have some other good receivers, too. And let's don't forget about the tailback (Knile Davis). They have some guys on offense that can really be productive."
For video interviews with Lutzenkirchen, Holland and DT coach Mike Pelton, follow the links below.