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Auburn’s first SEC win comes at home against Arkansas

It wasn’t always a thing of beauty, but there’s no doubt that the best team won.

NCAA Football: Arkansas at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 9 Auburn Tigers moved to 3-1 on the season with a win at home over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

The Tigers had a strong night on defense, giving up just 290 total yards — 149 on the ground and 141 through the air. They held the Hogs to just three points and forced two turnovers. The defensive line returned to form, preventing Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey from getting into any kind of rhythm.

Auburn’s special teams also had an impressive night. Noah Igbinoghene lit up the scoreboard with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, before Ryan Davis added his own 84 yards on a punt return. Not to mention a blocked punt and stellar coverage on kickoff and punt returns. The Tigers’ special teams really did live up to the name tonight.

The least bright spot for Auburn was offense. Arkansas held the Tigers to just 225 yards of total offense — 91 yards on the ground and 134 through the air. They converted 31% of third downs and ran just 58 plays (12 fewer than Arkansas). Auburn’s leading rusher, JaTarvious Whitlow, ran for 49 yards. Jarrett Stidham was sacked four times. Basically it wasn’t a great night for the offensive line.

The good news is this: Auburn got the win and moves to 3-1. By no means is the season over. The bad news is that there are some legitimate concerns about the offense going forward, and their schedule isn’t getting any easier.

I personally think the ceiling is high for this year’s Auburn Tigers; regardless of how the season plays out, it’s going to be an adventure.