Today the Countdown to Kickoff hits 47 days, and that means we get to show you Zac Etheridge’s 47-yard scoop and score against Arkansas in 2010. Overall, that game was known for scintillating offense, but Etheridge completed one of the bigger plays of the afternoon, surprisingly coming on the defensive side of the ball for Auburn.
The Tigers entered this game ranked 7th in the country and looking for revenge after Arkansas smoked them in Fayetteville the season before. Riding high on the back of Cam Newton, Auburn had shown off the clutch factor in wins over Clemson, South Carolina, and Kentucky already that year, but the explosive portion of the offense was about to take another shape.
After falling behind early, Cam Newton rolled over a Razorback defender into the end zone for Auburn’s first touchdown, then the Tigers scored 20 second-quarter points to take a 27-21 lead into halftime.
Of course, Nick Fairley crushed Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, and in stepped Tyler Wilson. This was just part of a long line of backup quarterbacks channeling Tom Brady and tearing Auburn apart, as Wilson proceeded to throw for over 330 yards and 4 touchdowns in just over a half of play.
Three of those came within a seven-minute span toward the end of the third quarter, and his final scoring toss of the day put Arkansas up 43-37 a minute into the final period. Cam Newton calmly drove the Tigers down the field with his arm and hit Emory Blake for a touchdown to give Auburn the lead right back at 44-43, and then the defense began to take hold, starting with Etheridge’s heads-up play.
Craig Stevens got the credit for the forced fumble, and there was Etheridge — right place, right time — to scoop it up and take it 47 yards for the touchdown. Auburn added two more late scores after Josh Bynes interceptions ended Razorback drives, winning 65-43 in the end. At the time it was the highest-scoring non-overtime game in SEC history. It also firmly cemented Cam Newton into the Heisman race as he accounted for another four touchdowns and 188 yards on the ground.
Overall, however, it was Zac Etheridge and the defense that did most of the work in the fourth quarter, allowing Auburn to move on and remain undefeated. War Eagle!