Hey, that was a nice day. You get up, eat some breakfast, maybe run the lawn mower over some leaves real quick, then crack a beer and it’s time for football. Then, the carnage is over before your lunch has even settled and the stress is done!
Not that there was much stress today.
Auburn shellacked Arkansas 51-10 in Fayetteville this afternoon to improve to 6-1 and reach bowl eligibility in the process. Bo Nix threw for three touchdowns and was nearly flawless in the second half, but the Tigers ended this game early with two quick touchdown drives.
Marlon Davidson forced and recovered a fumble on Arkansas’ first drive of the game, and just three plays later Nix scrambled left and into the end zone. It took just 62 seconds. Right after forcing a three and out, A 52-yard run by Kam Martin put the Tigers into good position again, and Shaun Shivers punched in a touchdown from 6 yards away to make it 14-0 just 4:12 into the contest.
Arkansas settled in, and Auburn began to get a little sloppy for the remainder of the first half. Joey Gatewood got stuffed on a fourth down on the next drive, then Anders Carlson went 1-2 on field goal attempts on the next two possessions. After that, Auburn sandwiched two three-and-outs around halftime, and led 17-0 at the break.
After the half, the Tigers figured it out and turned a sloppy and mildly competitive game into a rout. Arkansas dinged the scoreboard with a field goal, but that only seemed to anger Gus Malzahn. On the ensuing drive, Bo Nix finally got the opportunity to go deep and found Seth Williams for a 48-yard touchdown, his first scoring pass of the day. Right after that, Javaris Davis snagged an interception on Arkansas’ first play, and Nix went back to the air to find Anthony Schwartz on a 28-yard strike for another touchdown. Like that, the rout was on.
Arkansas would turn a broken play into a touchdown on a 45-yard scoring catch and run by Cheyenne O’Grady, but Auburn answered with Williams’ second touchdown of the day. That one came on a beautiful back-shoulder throw from Nix for 15 yards, but the extra point was missed. That shank broke the NCAA record streak that was set earlier in the game by Anders Carlson. Auburn had hit 303 consecutive extra points, dating back nearly a decade, and set that record in this game before missing what would have been the 304th straight PAT.
The Tigers added two more scores on a Joey Gatewood toss to Jay Jay Wilson and a 32-yard Harold Joiner scoring run, and escaped Fayetteville with yet another large victory over the Razorbacks. It was Gus Malzahn’s sixth in seven tries, and only padded his average margin of victory.
Offensively, Bo Nix went 12-17 for 176 yards and 3 touchdowns, while a plethora of running backs turned in solid performances, led by Kam Martin’s 84 yards on 10 carries. Seth Williams caught 4 balls for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Schwartz grabbed 6 catches for 73 yards and a score. Auburn turned in 491 yards overall, including 298 on the ground. Arkansas was held to just 234 total yards by Auburn’s defense. For that unit, the Tigers were led by Marlon Davidson, who put together another Player of the Week performance with 5 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
Here are the final numbers:
Up next for Auburn it’s the toughest game of the midseason. The Tigers head to Baton Rouge next Saturday to meet #2 LSU at 2:30 pm CST. The Bayou Bengals stayed perfect today by taking down Mississippi State in Starkville.