Arkansas vs. Auburn: Game Prediction

Staff photo
Tents line the sidewalk of Stadium Drive leading up to Reynolds Razorback Stadium Friday afternoon. Students who want the best seats tend to set up camp a day or two early before a big game.

The final score was Arkansas 38, Auburn 14. Jennifer B. wins the prediction with a guess of Arkansas 34, Auburn 14.

Some might say that Dallas is quite the sweet second third home for the Arkansas Razorbacks. After last week’s astounding comeback win over Texas A&M, it sure is a welcome city to play in. Given the fact that the Hogs gave up 628 total yards (381 of which were rushing yards), it’s even more amazing that they scraped out with a victory at all.

Bend, but not break, eh?

I’ve said it before. I’m not impressed with Coach Willy Robinson’s game-planning. Though his second-half adjustments have been nearly spot-on throughout his career at Arkansas, does his defense have to give up 35 points in one half before we can make said adjustments? Seeing that the Aggies were averaging over 10 yards per carry, I’m not sure if it was all Arkansas’ doing or if Texas A&M Coach Mike Sherman’s decision to mix up their attack that changed the game.

Regardless, a win is a win.

This week the defending national champions come to Fayetteville. The Auburn Tigers enter the game with a surprising 4-1 record and a No. 15 ranking. This year’s team was supposed to finish near the cellar in the SEC. Apparently, someone forgot to tell that to Coach Gene Chizik, seeing that his young Auburn squad is making a lot of noise. Last weekend, the Tigers went into Columbia, S.C. and stunned the Gamecocks. Even if you think Coach Steve Spurrier’s teams are generally overrated and that Stephen Garcia won’t ever graduate, it’s still a good sign when teams can notch a road win in the SEC.

Last year, fans were treated to an offensive feast when Auburn and Arkansas combined to score 108 points. That was Tyler Wilson’s first real opportunity to log quality time at quarterback after Ryan Mallett left the game in the first half with a concussion. Wilson stepped in and stood tall, throwing for over 330 yards for four touchdowns and two interceptions. Not too shabby for a back-up QB.

Now, Wilson is the starter and Arkansas wants to keep their BCS chances alive by winning their first SEC game of the season. Auburn would gladly take another road win and continue proving the critics wrong.

Offensively, the Razorbacks were definitely in the groove last Saturday as Wilson and Jarius Wright torched the Aggie defense with their passing game. Seeing that Auburn gives up at least 230 yards per game through the air, I’d bet Wilson and all the Hogs’ receivers are licking their chops. Also positive last week was the second half running game starring Dennis Johnson and Broderick Green (welcome back, you two). Johnson was banged up earlier in the season, but he was a breath of fresh air in the backfield. I don’t dislike Ronnie Wingo, Jr., but he wasn’t getting the job done. Johnson doesn’t shy away from contact, and that’s the attitude the Hogs need to have in the SEC. I could see a real positive running game occurring this weekend if Auburn is overly playing the pass. If not, Coach Bobby Petrino will take what he gets and the Hogs will move the ball through the air.

Defensively, the name of the game will be to stop running back Michael Dyer who averages over 100 per game and has seven touchdowns this season. Last week Dyer carried the ball 41 times after only averaging 15 carries the first four games. If the Hogs can’t stop Auburn’s running attack, Wilson and the offense won’t have a lot of time to operate with the ball. Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter is a serviceable player. He’s not the typical quarterback for Coach Gus Malzahn, but Trotter is currently the game-manager for the Tigers. A new offensive wrinkle is quarterback Kiehl Frazier (another Arkansan-turned-Tiger), who ran the ball nine times last week for 48 yards. The name of the game this season is making the Tigers beat you throwing. Unfortunately, the Hogs haven’t done so well in making teams throw the ball. Good news? Defensive end Jake Bequette should be back. Bad news? Still no word on defensive tackle Robert Thomas or cornerbacks Darius Winston and Isaac Madison.

If either team’s defense doesn’t hold up their end of whatever bargains were made, it could be another exciting (read: potentially nail-biting) and high-scoring game in Fayetteville.

I think the Hogs have too much offense for the Tigers this year. Wilson should have at least 300 yards in the air and I think Dennis Johnson will be near the 100-yard mark. The defense will do better against the run, but will still miss a few tackles that’ll allow one or two big touchdowns for Auburn. Malzahn will try to pull out all the stops, but it won’t be enough. Arkansas Razorbacks 38, Auburn Tigers 24.

Let us know what you think the final score will be. If you’re the closest (see rules below), you’ll get a free t-shirt from Bearstate Supply.

How to enter

Leave a comment with your game prediction. If you want to add anything else, please feel free.

What you’ll win

One t-shirt of your choice (design, color, size) from the Bearstate Supply online store. (Hoodies, ringers and tri-blend AA’s not included)

The rules

  • You only may enter this specific contest once.
  • Contests are open to anyone anywhere except staff of Fayetteville Flyer and their immediate family members.
  • The winning entry must pick the winning team and have the smallest combined difference from each team’s final score. Example: If the Razorbacks win by a score of 21-7, and your prediction was Razorbacks 20-10, your difference would be 1 + 3 = 4. In the event of a tie, a winner will be selected by a random drawing.
  • You must pick the score by 15 minutes before kickoff for each game.
  • Make sure you leave a valid e-mail address when filling out the comment form since that’s how we’ll contact you if you’ve won.

Good luck!

Arkansas vs. Auburn

Date: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville

Bearstate Supply