RazOrbaX Hot Points vs No. 15 Auburn
If the Razorbacks are to have the season their fans want and their coaching staff expects, Saturday is the beginning. An Arkansas win sets the stage for a big finish. Everyone knows the offense is capable. Everyone questions the defense. Auburn is very young and has managed to win games most thought they would lose. The Tigers do have some players. Coach Bobby Petrino called for "an obnoxious" crowd on ESPN inside college football Thursday morning. What happens between the lines is on the players, but the crowd can help, and the head HOG is asking!
MAINTAIN THE LEVEL: Arkansas needs to maintain the level of execution that they showed last week. Check down to the open receiver, hit the guys racing deep or be crisp when you run and get positive yardage. The better the execution, the bigger the score!
PROTECT WILSON: Tyler was hit less in the second half and none in the fourth quarter against the Aggies. The less he gets hit the better off the HOGS are in this game and for the rest of the schedule. Even lousy-looking South Carolina averaged 17 yards a completion.
PROTECT THE FOOTBALL: Guess what HOG fans: Arkansas had no turnovers last Saturday. No interceptions and no lost fumbles. If the Razorback offense does this Saturday, Arkansas scores a lot of points.
FROM THE START: The defense MUST play the entire game the way it played the fourth quarter against A&M. Can one play change the season for a unit? What did that fourth-and-2 stop mean for the attitude of the defense? If Arkansas plays the way it did on that play it will be a great night in the Ozarks.
DO NOT GET FAKED OUT: I will bet that every pass (unless the HOGS are way ahead) will be a play-action pass. The Auburn offense will make multiple fakes on almost every play and especially on the passing plays. The Arkansas corners and safeties must play their position and their responsibilities first and then the run second.
BE BALLHAWKS: Until last Saturday, Auburn had been averaging less than one turnover a game. Four interceptions should have done them in against South Carolina but the Tigers survived because Gamecock QB Stephen Garcia was horrible! In every game this year, Arkansas has had a chance to cover/intercept multiple balls but just has not come up with them. Saturday is a great time to start.
COVERAGE, NOT THE KICKING III: Auburn has several good return men (Tre Mason & Neiko Thorpe), and the Arkansas coverage teams better corral them or they will turn the field over. The HOGS cannot afford to give up field position. Auburn has several good return men (Tre Mason & Neiko Thorpe), and the Arkansas coverage teams better corral them or they will turn the field over. The HOGS cannot afford to give up field position.
You would think that No. 10 vs. No. 15 would have happened before with these two teams. Actually, last year was the first time the HOGS and the Tigers met with both in the Top 15 (Auburn 7, Arkansas 12), and other than 2003 when the Razorbacks were ranked 7th, this is the highest ranking for them when they played Auburn. This will be the biggest night game in Fayetteville since the 11th-ranked Razorbacks played the 13th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in 2006. That was a 31-14 victory for the HOGS. The Razorbacks and the fans brought it that evening. Let's do it again! Razorbacks 41, Tigers 27