The Hogs face another interesting QB threat this week in Auburn’s Bo Nix.
His ability to scramble and go off script makes it hard to predict how our defense will perform, but I’d bet it’s much better than last week. Remember, we won’t see an offense as prolific until Alabama. And while Auburn has some weapons, the defense — in front of a charged, sold-out Razorback Stadium — will be ready for some redemption.
On offense, Nix can make plays out of thin air, as he did not long ago in Baton Rouge. But some of the rabbits he pulls out of hats come back to bite him. The Hogs need to make sure those rabbits are biting on Saturday.
Auburn’s Tank Bigsby is just as good as Texas RB Bhijan Robinson and A&M’s Isaiah Spiller. And all the Tiger’s backs are good at catching the ball out of the backfield and eating up yards. The Auburn offense averages around six yards per play, which is solid considering that average includes the Georgia game.
I think our secondary has a bounce back game, especially since the Auburn receivers aren’t as good as Ole Miss. And that needs to include run support. Jalen Catalon hasn’t been 100 percent for a while, as evidenced in Oxford, but we’ll need him and other second-level defenders to limit yards after catch. Too often last week, Ole Miss ball carriers didn’t go down on first contact. Expect to see more swarming on Saturday.
And if we go to four D-linemen, it should help in the run game and force Nix to make plays. Take away the LSU game, and he hasn’t been great at making them. We just need to make sure he doesn’t have another LSU game.
Last week, we looked explosive on offense, and I don’t see a reason as to why we can’t look that way against Auburn. Georgia ran for 200 yards on the Tigers and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. We should more than hold our own in the trenches.
Some of Auburn’s defensive stats may be skewed from starting the season with Akron, Alabama State and Georgia State among its first four games. The Tigers have given up an average of 392 yards against Power 5 teams. Auburn does have a good corner in Smoke Monday, but I’ll lay it all down on Treylon Burks any day. Arkansas has averaged 438 yards against four Power 5 teams so far this year. Scoring shouldn’t be a problem.
The Tigers did play Penn State close on the road and lost on a turnover on downs from the goal line. But that only matters depending on how good one thinks Penn State is.
Last week, KJ Jefferson had the type of game that a Briles QB typically has. A lot of yards both rushing and passing. Auburn’s defense is probably better than Ole Miss but not by a lot, so look for him to have another big game.
Feeling confident — Arkansas, 45-21.