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Staff Predictions: Auburn vs Arkansas

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Bounce-back opportunity. 30-point line. Do we cover?

NCAA Football: Auburn at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

There’s one good thing about this horrendously hard schedule that Auburn’s a quarter of the way through: there are plenty of opportunities to get right after tough games.

This week is one of those chances, as a reeling Arkansas team heads into the nighttime atmosphere at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers are favored by THIRTY points this week, which is more than Ole Miss is favored over Kent State, Alabama is favored over Texas A&M, Virginia Tech is favored over Old Dominion, and more than LSU is favored over Louisiana Tech. It’s a shocking indictment of the state of the Razorback team through three weeks.

But it’s a fair indictment. Arkansas lost to Colorado State (Bobo ran the dang ball), and then got blitzed by North Texas last week. Even with a scheme switch and a new coaching staff, that shouldn’t happen.

So, what do we think is going to happen this Saturday night? Will Auburn bounce back? Will we find more problems that arise and need to be corrected before more important SEC matchups occur? There’s no need to watch, because we’re going to tell you what’s going to happen.

AUBURN vs ARKANSAS - 6:30 pm CST

“Auburn is either going to come out hungry or completely flat. I’ll try and be positive. I think the line is a little high, because while Gus would have absolutely been a threat to drop another 50-burger with 600-total-yard-sauce on BERT, I don’t think he’ll do it to Chad Morris, even after a rough week like last week. I think it gets ugly in the second quarter as the new look O-line gets rolling, but Auburn backs off in the second half. Auburn 41, Arkansas 18.” - James Jones

Gimme Auburn and the under but I don’t think the Tigers cover the spread. I think Auburn empties the benches and we see Cord and Malik a lot in the second half. This will be a great game for our numbers but won’t do much to quench the insatiable thirst we have for winning a big game, which this isn’t, unless we lose and then it’s a big game (j/k). Tigers 41, Pigs 14.” - Son of Crow

Auburn has a lot of tape to work on from the LSU game. I expect them to use this poor, poor Arkansas team to work out some of the execution issues we saw last week. I don’t see Gus running up the score on a friend just to make some people on the internet happy, but I do think Auburn will cover. Auburn wins 44 - 13.” - AU Chief

After a befuddling outing last week, Auburn returns against what should be the easiest SEC opponent on the docket left (yes, Arkansas is worse than Tennessee). This needs to be a get right game. I hope and expect Auburn to come out angry and focused. 30 is a big number so I don’t know if I would touch it with cash but I firmly believe if they want to, they can get to 30 easily against Piggy. 54-13.” - Drew McCracken

“I understand what some people have been saying about Gus not laying it on Morris since they’re friends. While I do think that idea has some legitimacy, I think the talent gap is so large in this one the Auburn backups might still push this to a big win. This could also be a big game for our quarterbacks: Arkansas is 125th in adjusted sack rate per S&P+, so Stidham should have all the time in the world to make his reads in this one. And if the backups come in, I wonder if we might see some Cord Sandberg as well. If the ASU game was any indication, Malik Willis is a long way from ready to be a starting quarterback. Despite Cord being a “freshman”, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Gus go with the mature 23 year old if he continues to perform well. Auburn 41-Arky 7. So that’s a cover and an under.” - Ryan Sterritt

“Simply put: this is a game that Auburn should win easily. Also worth noting, thank goodness this is a night game because can you imagine the nightmares Auburn fans would be having this week if this was an 11 am kick? Here’s some things that Auburn has to clean up beginning Saturday if they plan on having a good season. First and foremost, discipline has got to drastically improve. Auburn has committed the most penalties and the most penalty yards in the SEC and a lack of discipline really cost them late on Saturday. Defensively: we’ve seen that there’s a very clear game plan to beat Auburn’s defense right now: throw the ball deep downfield and hope that it will either be: caught by a receiver or the refs will throw a flag for pass interference. Washington and LSU both had success using this strategy and I would imagine that every team playing us from here on out will employ the same strategy until Auburn’s secondary can prove they can stop it. Offensively: Auburn needs to solidify their offensive line, especially on the interior. I would imagine Calvin Ashley and Nick Brahms will both get a chance to play a lot in this game and possibly going forward. Auburn looks to be leaning towards giving their freshmen running backs “Boobie” Whitlow and Shaun Shivers the bulk of the carries going forward. Whether or not we see much from Kam Martin going forward is uncertain. Hopefully, Jarrett Stidham can regain last year’s rapport with Ryan Davis, and continuing working on building one with Seth Williams and the other receivers. Hopefully an angry Auburn team comes out ticked off and motivated and ready to take their frustrations of the past week out on an overmatched Arkansas team. But honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes longer to pull away in this game than it should. Take care of business Tigers! Auburn 52-10.” - Will McLaughlin

“Like most AU fans, I’m still pretty pissed about Saturday so I have to imagine the team feels the same. Yes Bielema is gone and now Arkansas is run by one of Gus’s buddies, but let’s be real. This game means a ton to him and with what happened last weekend, I expect he wants to wash that bad taste out as well. I wanna see 0 turnovers, under 5 penalties and 1-2 deep shots that hit for TDs. This weekend is not about just winning but looking good doing it. AU doesn’t look good enough for AU fans to be truly happy but they get the job done 48-14. FYI, there’s no excuse for our 1st team DBs to surrender a big play through the air against this team Saturday.” - AU Nerd

“I think this game is closer for a while for two reasons: Gus isn’t going to mush Chad Morris into sausage and I think we’re going to use this matchup to work on some things. I know everyone would love to see us go up 14-0 in the first five minutes, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. It’ll be close at the end of the first quarter as we try to hit a couple big plays and Arkansas’ new quarterback moves the ball a little bit. In the second quarter we’ll finally get a deep ball or a long run to break, and things will be fine. Starters play into the third quarter, where we’ll be up by three touchdowns or so, but even our backup defense doesn’t allow the Hogs to get much. Bet the under, we’re going to run the ball and work in Nick Brahms. Auburn scores a late touchdown to cover. Tigers 40, Razorbacks 6.” - Jack Condon

War Eagle!