Arkansas Preview: I Smell Bacon
Apart from Arkansas, no team in the SEC has EVER had the embarrassing feat of having 65 points laid on them by another SEC team, that in itself is remarkable and somewhat pathetic for the Arkansas football program.
Ok, that’s the laughs out of the way, let’s get down to business. Auburn will be travelling to Fayetteville this weekend to play the Razorbacks, a team that’s lack of run game makes up for in a high-powered pass heavy offense. Petrino has a top quality quarterback in Tyler Wilson, as well as an array of top class receivers in guys like Joe Adams and Greg Childs, will it be tough? sure, it always is against these guys, but a win isn’t out of question, not by a long shot.
The players are coming off a hard fought win against South Carolina, a game that might be touted as the “break-out” performance for the defense if they can play again like that this week. This Saturday’s challenge will be different, as the Piggies don’t have a runningback (healthy) at the level of Marcus Lattimore, instead Auburn will have to defend the vaunted Arkansas pass game. If they can do that sufficiently, all we have to do is keep our end up and score points, right?
It was clear that last week’s offensive showing was poor, Trotter had a poor game and the offensive line didn’t play to SEC standard either, without that defense which showed up last week, the Cocks would have blown us out.
Whilst our own pass game is struggling, Arkansas’ defense isn’t exactly a stout unit either. They gave up 28 points to Troy, and 38 points to both Alabama and Texas A&M. We should be able to score some points of our own, as long as we don’t turn the ball over or call some weird plays such as a bubble screen on 3rd down and 15. I don’t like running one particular back 41 times a game, but in this case we may have to run Dyer somewhere between 25-30 times, if Trotter is unable to pass the ball effectively down field, which may be even harder if Blake is unable to play (which right now looks likely).
Blake is as reliable as they come, kind of like a black Wes Welker. Several other guys will have to step up and it will come as no surprise as the man I’m looking to fill that role is DeAngelo Benton. He plays directly behind Blake in the depth chart and this will likely be his one shot to really impress the coaches and prove that he should be getting more reps. Benton is a big, physical receiver that has all the tools in the world but hasn’t been able to put it all together. If he can make some plays to help Trotter, as well as maybe catch a touchdown or two and help move the chains, then we may have found our second true weapon at wideout. It is so important right now to find a go-to guy without Blake, and I hope any one of our receivers can be that guy.
This weekend will be a shootout, I hope we can be on top of our game offensively because I will be really surprised if we hold Arkansas under 20 points, if we do then you would say we are in with a shout for the West, but until then I’ll keep the exictement to a low. Last week was impressive defensively, and if we can keep it up or even improve, then we should win this game. We won’t be scoring 65 points, so playing a complete game is a must if we are to beat the Hawgs.
Prediction: Auburn 31-30 Arkansas
I really see this one going into the last seconds of the game, I dream of a blow-out over Arkansas again, and even with our offensive struggles, putting up 31 points against Arkansas can’t be that much to ask can it? Malzahn will have a game-plan, Roof should have a game-plan, and if we can pull off a win in Fayetteville in any way or fashion, 8 wins is not out of the question.