Kines, Razorbacks Cross Paths Once Again

FAYETTEVILLE — The last time Arkansas and Texas A&M met in 1991, Joe Kines was in charge of stopping the Aggies.

The former Arkansas defensive coordinator's job duties will be a little different Saturday night. Kines, who worked at Arkansas for four seasons — including a 10-game stint as the school's interim head coach in 1992 — is now looking for ways to slow the Razorbacks in the Southwest Classic.

Kines is in his second season as Texas A&M's defensive coordinator after joining coach Mike Sherman's staff in 2008.

"That's the problem having been three or four places," Kines told the Texas A&M media in College Station, Texas, on Monday. "You circle back and meet old friends."

Kines wasn't Sherman's first choice for his latest job when he was hired. Another former Arkansas defensive coordinator — Reggie Herring — held the spot for a month before accepting a position on the Dallas Cowboys' staff.

But Kines has been a good fit in College Station, rebuilding a defense relying on plenty of youth. The Aggies, who have 14 freshmen and sophomores in on their two-deep depth chart, rank 62nd in the nation in total defense (351.7 yards).

They'll face their biggest test in Arkansas and sophomore quarterback Ryan Mallett on Saturday.

"Each week you're presented with a whole different set of problems," Kines said. "This week, it's a tall, 6-6, 6-7 quarterback who can see down the field, has great range, great velocity, delivers the ball like he's throwing darts."

Saturday's game will be the fifth time Kines has coached against the Razorbacks since his departure after the 1994 season. The previous four meetings came between 2003-06, when Kines was Alabama's defensive coordinator.

Kines spent several minutes talking to the Texas A&M media about his time at Arkansas on Monday. He called Fayetteville an "enjoyable place to live" and said leading the Razorbacks into the Southeastern Conference in 1992 was a "big thrill."

But Kines said there won't be time for nostalgia on Saturday.

"When that foot hits that ball, you can forget all that now," Kines said about his ties to the Razorbacks. "It's that 6-7 quarterback and that little old running back that runs like lightning that matters. All that other stuff is so much fluff."

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