Arkansas Preview: Only a Win Right Here
Hello loyal readers, I hope you all spent your bye weekend doing something enjoyable. I had to work both Friday and Saturday (eugh), but now we can get back to what really matters on this blog: Auburn Football.
Auburn’s game 5 is a home game against Arkansas – a program that has struggled mightily since John L. Smith took over, and doesn’t seem to be making any progressional strides. Which is why this game, is a must-win for Auburn.
Thus far, Arkansas has suffered 4 bad losses – beatdowns by both Texas A&M and Alabama, a meltdown against LA Monroe, and another poor loss against one of the poorer passing offences in Rutgers. So we can all agree that they are in a horrible place right now, right?
The reasons stated above, are why this is a game Auburn simply cannot lose. Not because of the fact that this would be their fourth loss of the season, but because it would be quite frankly embarrassing to lose to a team like this. Auburn has suffered some beatdowns in the past, most of which have come from pretty decent teams, but this is one that we can’t overlook. Arkansas is in turmoil, and we can’t give them a glimmer of hope in this one.
Frazier will get a game against one of the easier defences on the schedule in this one. Arkansas ranks 113th in the country, giving up just over 40 points per game. It’s not a good unit, and even though Frazier has struggled of his own, I can’t imagine we will experience that much trouble since we have a pretty solid run game to rely on as well. Getting the runningbacks in a type of groove will be crucial to how our offence performs. We have the backs with the right skills to expose Arkansas and make them quit, which should be the main objective early on. Loeffler will have to game-plan this one with some authority. Pound it down the field and try to set up some deep throws.
Defensively, we go up against a struggling Arkansas offence, but one that is still quite dangerous. Tyler Wilson is still a darn good quarterback, Knile Davis still has some moves, and Cobi Hamilton is a decent enough wideout. These guys may cause us problems, which is why I hope the intensity of this defence matches the level they played at two weeks ago. They simply have to.
It’s an offence that puts a lot of emphasis on the pass, so we may see a lot of deep coverage and soft zone play-calling in this one. I just hope we’re aggressive enough up front to force some mistakes, and put this one to bed early. We saw some good things against LSU, but now we have to hope for some consistency.
The bye-week should have done us some good at least. Kiehl will have had more time to study his weaknesses and improve, which is probably the most important thing right now. He apparently spent the last week or so watching Chad Henne and Tom Brady on tape, two former Quarterbacks that were coached by Loeffler. Perhaps this is the week he gets into a permanent groove? Who knows. I certainly hope so.
In conclusion, this is a game that Auburn has to win. There aren’t many excuses to losing against a poor Arkansas team that has been bruised and battered through the first 5 weeks of College Football. I think we will be able to run the ball on them, and get some success through the air.
Prediction: Auburn 35 – 19 Arkansas