The last time Arkansas came to town, Auburn was riding a high off the 2013 BCS Championship Game run and was looking to make a charge at the first ever college football playoff. The game started with Jeremy Johnson lighting up Arkansas' defense for a half and having every Auburn fan dreaming of the future when he took over as the starter.
Some funny things happened between then and now. And, also, some not funny things. Sean White - whom no one would have believed would be the starter right now if you'd asked them back in 2014 - will lead the Tigers onto the field against Bret Bielema's Razorbacks. Arkansas is throwing the ball more than they're running it. Dogs and cats are living together. Mass hysteria.
It's a funny little game, football. We, as fans, believe we can predict how players will perform based on recruiting rankings and our own desires and we think we know how the seasons will go just because of past performances or our own biases against other teams.
Auburn comes into this game fresh off a bye week and on a roll after three straight victories. Arkansas played a tough game against Alabama and then had a great emotional win over Ole Miss last week.
While it's not talked about as much, this game means a lot to the coaches, too. Bret Bielema would like to prove his brand of football is better than the native Arkansan leading the Tigers. Gus Malzahn would just like to beat his home state school where he got his start as a college coach under Houston Nutt.
When The Tigers Have The Ball
Arkansas' run defense has been... porous. Kerryon Johnson will play in this one and I'm sure you'll see a heavy dose of Kamryn Pettway, as well. The Tigers will want to pound the ball and wear out the Razorbacks and then unleash Sean White's accurate arm in key moments. The Razorback's defense has also given up quite a few big plays, and Auburn will want to take advantage of that.
When Arkansas Has The Ball
The Razorbacks have a very good balanced offense with an excellent running back and perhaps the best passing quarterback in the SEC at the moment. It will be a tough test for the Tigers' defense. If the Front 7 can stop the run and generate pressure on Austin Allen while rushing four, then the Tigers can make this a much more manageable game. If they let Allen get into a rhythm and let Arkansas get momentum running the ball as well, then it could be very interesting.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 6:00pm Easten / 5:00pm Central
Radio: Auburn Network