Because of Auburn’s higher ranking in the polls and because Auburn is at home, the Arkansas Razorbacks are a 3 point underdog going on the road to play Auburn. Although it is always tough to go on the road in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Arkansas Razorbacks have proven that they can go on the road and win already this year with their defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs. The Arkansas Razorbacks have also gone on the road in the past and blew out the Auburn Tigers—when Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were in the backfield for the Razorbacks. Auburn and Arkansas have basically the same teams from last year—with some exceptions. Arkansas soundly defeated Auburn last year at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Auburn is unquestionably the weakest team in the top ten in the polls.
Auburn has not looked impressive against any true competition they have played this year. They barely beat one of the weakest teams in the SEC last week, Kentucky. They barely beat and should have lost a 3 point game over a less than average Mississippi State team. Although they beat South Carolina, it was the unforced errors of South Carolina that gave Auburn the victory. One thing is for sure this weekend—Auburn will face the best team that they have played and will play all year, the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Auburn’s pass defense is 93rd in the nation. Again, 93rd pass defense in the nation. With the 3rd ranked passing offense coming to town, Auburn will have nightmares about the best quarterback in the nation, Ryan Mallett. Arkansas also has one of the top scoring defenses in the nation. The Arkansas defense is fast and swarms to the football. Cameron Newton will have Jerry Franklin following him everywhere he goes. Arkansas will put 8 and 9 men in the box and force Cameron Newton to beat them with his arm and not his legs.
While Auburn is an improved team this year, they are still not in the class with Arkansas, Alabama, and LSU. People should not be fooled by their #7 ranking in the polls—they are not that good. They have benefited from a favorable early schedule. Auburn is about to get into the heart of their schedule, which is the point at which they get their hearts ripped out.
Against Texas A&M last week, Arkansas showed an improved running game, which will only help to make them even tougher against Auburn. Arkansas will need to pay close attention to Farley on defense. He has proved to be a tough man to block.
Although Auburn will feed off of the home crowd early, the Arkansas Razorbacks have too much talent and depth to be defeated by Auburn. If Arkansas plays as well as they should, they will beat Auburn by 10 or 14 points. I am going to say, however, that they are going to win this road game by 7 points. The Arkansas players don’t think this will be an upset—they expect to win this game because they know that they are simply better than Auburn.
Arkansas has new life in the SEC West since Alabama lost. Arkansas gets a critical win on the road Saturday against Auburn. WOO PIG SOOIE! GO HOGS!
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison