At the beginning of the season, one would have assumed if one team was going to be coming in to this matchup off of a big win over a ranked team, it would have been the Auburn Tigers (1-1). Instead, in a big plot twist, it’s Sam Pittman’s Arkansas Razorbacks (1-1) that come in off of a win over the #16 Mississippi State Bulldogs, and are looking to start an in-conference win streak for the first time in a while.
Both teams come into this game with big questions on the offensive end. Arkansas put up enough to points to win vs Mississippi State but still fell short of good, while Auburn was pitiful vs Georgia as Bo Nix continues to struggle to effectively get the ball in the hands of guys like Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz. Arkansas should have two of its main weapons fully available after both Rakeem Boyd and Treylon Burks were both limited to minimal contributions via injury last weekend.
Feleipe Franks will be happy to see both of those guys ready to go, as Boyd will be a key vs an Auburn defense that was gashed repeatedly on the ground by Georgia. While the Hogs talent on offense isn’t quite as good, if Boyd can keep them ahead of the sticks and force Auburn to respect the run, Franks should have an easier time finding Burks and co. down field.
On the other sideline, pretty much nothing went right last week for Auburn offensively, but they have a good chance to get back on track this week. All they have to do is look at their previous opponent as an example. We saw that week 1, as soon as Georgia started limited their mistakes and played clean football, they were able to move the ball against this Arkansas defense. If Nix can play a clean game, it would go a long way towards denying Arkansas the breaks they need to pull off the upset.
Williams and Schwartz should have a much easier time finding space in the defensive backfield this week, and one would hope Todd Monken will be a little bit more malleable with his scheme than Mike Leach. Running back Shaun Shivers is also hopeful to play this week, which will be a boost to a unit that has found it to be tough sledding the first two weeks. While Mississippi State was held to 14 points, they still racked up over 400 yards of offense. If Auburn can avoid shooting themselves in the foot, points will be there for the taking.
Trusting Bo Nix to avoid mistakes, however, is pretty risky so it would not surprise me one bit if Arkansas found a way to hang around until pretty close to the end. Despite their offensive woes, Auburn is still pretty talented defensively though, and that will probably be enough to get by the Hogs.
How To Watch
Time: 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Watch Online: WatchESPN