Auburn has to find a running back and erase the terrible Gainesville sweat/loss taste. There’s not a better place to do that right now than Fayetteville. Time to make your selections, everyone.
Auburn (-17.5) @ Arkansas (O/U 54)
This has to be a get right game for the Auburn offense. Between the worst performance of Bo Nix’s young career two weeks ago and the loss of #1 running back Boobee Whitlow, there is no momentum going right now on that side of the ball. Hopefully Gus took the off week to prepare a strong script to open this one with. I imagine Kam Martin will get most of the early carries, but ideally we’ll get a healthy dose of DJ Williams early as well. Arkansas is 120th in the country in allowing explosive plays on the ground, and whoever can take advantage of that will set themselves up nicely to get plenty of action at LSU. On the other side of the ball, Arkansas is a mess, allowing havoc plays (TFL, forced fumble, pass defensed, or INT) on nearly a quarter of all offensive snaps. That is awful y’all. This may be a chance for the DL to rack up some more sacks and boost their draft stock, so long as they limit Rakeem Boyd (617 yds, 5.6 ypc, 5 TD) on the ground.
I think this one looks like the 2017 Arkansas game that helped get Bert fired. 41-14 Auburn.
While Arkansas has been playing better...or losing closer to teams rather than getting their doors blown off...this one shouldn’t be close. Auburn’s defense will be the best Arkansas has seen all year and may be the best they see for the rest of the season. I am going to say Arkansas gets to 6 points but if the Tigers leave their starters in, it should be a strong 0. On offense, I want to see what 2 weeks of work has done for Bo and the receivers. Sure, RB1 will be interesting to look at but I want to see better timing in the passing game than we saw on the Tigers last outing. They are going to need in next week in Red Stick.
Auburn 38-6, Auburn covers and the under.
You know who hated losing to Florida? Me. I did. Also, all of you. You know who hated it worse? Our team. Auburn has been basking in bitterness for nearly two weeks, waiting to pounce and the next unsuspecting opponent. Unfortunately for Arkansas, that’s Arkansas.
You know who enjoys beating the tar out of Arkansas? Me. 2006 Arkansas was the first Auburn loss I ever saw in person! Every time Auburn destroys the Hogs, it brings me joy. You know who enjoys it more? Our coach. Gus is so petty when it comes to Arkansas. This makes me happy, for I too am petty.
Auburn comes out swinging Saturday morning. The crowd won’t be a factor. Malzahn will actually have to keep his voice down as he calls in the plays - wouldn’t want anyone on the other sideline to hear. Arkansas has kicked the can this season. It’s over. Auburn 97, Arkansas 0.
I never worry about Arkansas being a trap game. Gus ALWAYS has his team ready to go against the Hawgs. Throw in this coming off a bye week where AU lost a very winnable game and I fully expect this team to come out angry Saturday morning.
However, life without Boobee will probably be bumpy out the gate. My hope is Auburn’s OL dominates allowing the Tigers to jump Arky fast so staff can start giving other backs behind Kam some work. But it wouldn’t shock me if this contest is closer than anyone would like at halftime. But I just don’t see how this Arkansas offense finds any consistent success on offense. My guess is Tigers take a bit to get going but pull away with a big 3rd Q & Joey punches 2 more late TDs in running the time out in the 4th quarter. Auburn 41 Arkansas 14.
The 2nd half of the season kicks off Saturday morning in Northwest Arkansas. With 2 weeks to stew over what happened in Gainesville, I expect a football team ready to play from the outset. I don’t mind this being an 11am kick, go in there, take care of business and start looking ahead to next week.
With Boobee out of action, it’s time for a Running Back to step up. While I fully expect Kam Martin to get the majority of the carries, I’m hoping to see a guy like DJ Williams emerge. This would be the perfect week to run the ball as much as possible.
Auburn 37 Arkansas 14
Auburn heads to Fayetteville. The Hogs stink. I think the Tigers will use this game to work out some frustrations and remind people “Hey, we are still a top team!”
Auburn 45 - Arkansas 13
I, for one, am glad this is a morning game. Get this one over with and get our boys back on the plane to the Plains to get ready for LSU. Under any other coach, I would have a least a slight concern about the Razorbacks, however under Gus he has proven time and time again that any such concern shouldn’t be warranted. Now, keys to winning this thing the right way:
Feed DJ Williams the ball at least 10 times, no fumbles, and at least 5 yards per carry. Give him a chance to show that he can be a reliable running back in Baton Rouge the next week.
Find Anthony Schwartz in the passing game in the short/intermediate levels. Throw him the screen. Hit him on a slant. Give some of the better teams in our league something else to study on film to keep them a bit more honest as we enter the meat grinder next weekend.
WHEN challenged along the OL from a DL at Arkansas that plays with pride, adjust quickly to find something that works in the ground game. We can’t wait until another 3rd quarter to get this right after this weekend.
As Gus said this past week, be aggressive with punt returns, Christian Tutt.
Get to the quarterback. Give us some hope that we have a pass rush with our defensive ends heading into next week.
Obviously Bo Nix needs to have a solid outing where he doesn’t turn the ball over. That’s the only stat I care about from him on Saturday.
Leave the game healthy.
This game is the 7th straight game where it’s about Auburn. We dictate victory. I fear I won’t be able to say that for an 8th consecutive game next weekend. I honestly expect this game to be lower scoring than some may expect, due to the absolute necessity we have in establishing a run game beyond Boobee Whitlow. I could very easily see us rushing the ball 55 times Saturday. Auburn 38 Arkansas 6.
I think Auburn might not attempt more than 15 passes in this game. There are a lot of issues with the running game, and Gus needs to work them out. Arkansas is going to be ground into powder. Auburn 62, Hogs 10.
-Son of Crow
I think this is a “take care of business” game. There’s a giant game next week, and Arkansas does not have the athletes to compete with Auburn if neither team makes mistakes. Auburn needs to avoid turnovers, force Arkansas to drive the field on offense, and get out of there with a win. Game state will dictate Arkansas covering the number and the total staying under. Auburn 30, Arkansas 13 (Auburn wins, Arkansas covers, UNDER)
I’m not sure that we win by super blowout standards, since I’m positive that we’ll be trying a bunch of different things on offense and working out a new running back. I do think that our defense will absolutely dominate the game and we may finally get that defensive score we’ve been looking for. Derrick Brown should have no trouble continuing his run toward a major award season, and I bet we start to see some sacks against a Razorback offense that’s terrible.
Offensively for us, I bet Gus does just enough in the passing game to get Bo comfortable after the bad week at Florida, and I bet we see a ton of running backs all get significant carries. We all want to see D.J. Williams, and tomorrow’s his chance to show us how he’ll lead the way to an Auburn win in Baton Rouge next week.
This one’s all on us, and I think the week off came at the right time. They come out angry, focused, and roast some pigs in the Ozarks. Auburn 42, Arkansas 3.