Arkansas beat its second undefeated team in consecutive weeks on Saturday when they handed the Auburn Tigers their first loss of the season 44-23.
Auburn came in with a high powered offense led by former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, but Willy Robinson’s Razorback defense stepped up on Saturday to hold the Tigers to only 3 points in the first half, and under 400 yards total offense for the game.
Michael Smith had a huge game on the ground for the Hogs, rushing for 145 yards on 18 carries, and Smith’s ground work helped open up the passing game, particularly tight end DJ Williams, who also had his biggest game of the season with 6 catches for 57 yards and a score to lead the Hogs to victory.
Arkansas was playing without star wide receiver Joe Adams, who had been suffering severe headaches, and was diagnosed with a mild stroke before the game on Friday, and wide receiver Jarius Wright, who suffered a concussion early in the game on Saturday.
Greg Childs caught 5 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown, London Crawford, Lucas Miller, and freshman wide receiver Cobi Hamilton picked up the slack for their ailing teammates, and the Hogs finished with nearly 500 yards of total offense against the Tigers on their way to the win.
“This was a good win for us. I’m very proud of our guys, proud of our coaches. We wanted to mix it up a little bit on offense. I think we did that.” Arkansas Head Coach Bobby Petrino said after the game. “It’s the first time really all season that we’ve gotten the running game going the way we thought we could, and you could see the impact it had and how it opened things up down the field.”
The improved running game comes just in time for the Hogs to face the #1 team in the country next Saturday, as the Hogs travel to meet their third undefeated team in three weeks when they head to Florida to face the Gators, coming off a big win of their own. On Saturday, they beat #4 LSU 13-3.
The Hogs will need every weapon in their arsenal and then some if they expect to beat the defending national champion Gators. The Hogs will travel to Gainesville this week, and the game time has yet to be announced.