The 5-1 Auburn Tigers are back in action this week after using the bye to shake of their loss at the hands of Florida. Their opponent is a 2-4 Arkansas team that have yet to find any consistent rhythm in 2019.
By Steve Wrights
Here are the three keys:
Don’t expect it to be easy
In terms of record, Arkansas is one of the worst teams in the SEC. They dropped a home clash with San Jose State earlier this fall and they have lost their last 14 games in league play. Those are not good things for those keeping score at home.
That isn’t to say though that this is a team that has given up. They were 13-0 up last week at Kentucky before going down 24-20. They also game Texas A&M a big time game in Week 4 when their upset bid came up short in a 31-27 defeat. This is a game Auburn has no business losing, but they can’t just expect to walk into Fayetteville and have the Hogs roll over.
Expect a rushing attack
What Arkansas had going for them last weekend against the Wildcats was a solid ground game that caused Kentucky problems. The Hogs rushed the ball for 183 yard, a good number above the 148 yards per game they average on the ground. Their passing attack, however, wasn’t working, with Arkansas passing for just 122 yards and 27 attempts.
This game plan isn’t likely to change this week. Expect Arkansas to go run heavy, trying to shorten the game and win the ball of field position to make up for their lack of explosive plays.
Next man up in the backfield
The timing of Boobee Whitlow’s injury isn’t ideal. The knee injury he picked up late in the Florida game was a salt in the wound moment for the Tigers, especially when Whitlow was then ruled out for four to six weeks.
The second leading rusher in the SEC at the time of his injury, Whitlow has rushed for 544 yards and seven touchdowns at almost five yards per carry. The loss is huge, but Whitlow will be back before the end of the season. It is up to the stable of Auburn running backs to get the Tigers wins in his absence.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 11 AM CT. Watch on the SEC Network.